A photo of a monster whitetail buck that began circulating on Facebook and texasbowhunter.com in late November has the northeast Texas’ deer hunting community abuzz, especially those who play the game in and around Bowie County, where the big non-typical was reportedly shot near Simms by local rancher Mack Hammonds sometime before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The photo shows Hammonds, 66, standing alongside a large deer with a remarkable set of antlers sprawled across the tailgate of a pick-up. I say the antlers are remarkable because they are.
The buck looks to be a main frame 12 pointer with tall tines and incredibly long main beams complimented by thick mass and gobs of trash including a pair of club-shaped drop tines off the front of each main beam and one off the rear on the left side.
I’ve reached out to the hunter via phone and Facebook messaging, but have been unsuccessful in making contact to learn additional details other than those shared by Caleb Young, a close friend to the family.
Young says the 24-point buck has been unofficially gross scored at 269 2/8. It is easily the biggest buck ever killed in Bowie County. However, it may or may not qualify for any sort record recognition even though the hunter legally shot it on open range on property he has leased for hunting.
According to Young, the buck was an escapee from a high fence enclosure located in close proximity to where it was shot. He said the buck reportedly got out of the enclosure earlier this year and had been roaming the area ever since.
He added that the buck was doing things that wild deer do the day Hammonds shot it.
“Mr. Hammonds just happened to be in the right place at the right time when he saw the buck behind a doe,” he said. “He knew the buck was legal but had no idea of what he really was. He made a good clean kill on the deer and walked up on the 269 2/8-inch giant. It was the buck of a lifetime for him, no doubt.”