Savannah River Site hunter makes quick shot count

Borrowed shotgun tags 8-point for the ages

Jeff Dennis

December 16, 2010 at 9:23 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Cole Croggs with his Dec. 4th monster 8-point from the Savannah River Site
Tara Hodges
Cole Croggs with his Dec. 4th monster 8-point from the Savannah River Site
Cole Scroggs is an Augusta, Ga., high school student who has a passion for redfishing and duck hunting. But he took time to work in some deer hunting during the Dec. 4 draw hunt at the Savannah River Site near Aiken. With rules and regulations stating that hunters could take only one doe and one buck, Scroggs filled his tags and then some when he took down an SRS trophy.

Scroggs was excited about attending his first-ever draw hunt at the SRS with family members Jimmy Carpenter and Glenn Cline.

“I had been on a dog drive only once before down in South Georgia,” Scroggs said. “I was so happy about going that I would have been happy with nothing as long as we had some fun.”

Scroggs did not have to settle for nothing as one of his 45 buckshot pellets from the three rounds he fired towards a fleeing buck found purchase in the whitetail's lungs after breaking two ribs.

The deer had a massive rack that included a 5 1/2-inch base on the left side and a 6-inch base on the right side. After the tape was applied to the tines (including G2s that measured 11-inches) and calculations were made, the buck scored an astounding 161 inches.

“This is the biggest buck I have ever killed, and he carried a 19-inch outside spread and an 18 1/2-inch inside spread,” Scroggs said. “I am getting him mounted, and I would pay $1,000 to mount him if I had too.

"I am already working extra hours to pay for it.”

Scroggs shot the deer with a borrowed Remington 870 12-gauge and used Winchester 3-inch 00 buckshot.

The deer control activities as they are known at the SRS are held each year in an attempt to thin the deer herd on the expansive property. A safety meeting proceeds each hunt and on Dec. 4 Scroggs was taken to his stand by 8 a.m. and given directions not to leave that spot until hunt staff returned for him.

It would not take long for the action to get started.

Sitting on the corner of a powerline and a secondary road, hunting dogs were turned loose near his position, and by 9 a.m. a doe came out of the woods.

“I had a close and easy shot on the doe when she trotted right towards me, and I gave her three rounds of buckshot,” said Scroggs.

Elated about shooting a deer, Scroggs still had three hours of hunting time to go, and by 11 a.m. the woods had become relatively quiet.

While Scroggs was texting a friend about his doe harvest at about 11:15 he looked up and there was the buck with the lumber yard on his head.

“The buck was 65-yards away from my stand, and he was looking directly at me, and I knew I had no chance of getting a shot off without him seeing me,” Scroggs said. “I grabbed my gun from between my legs and clicked the safety off before standing and firing three rounds as accurately as I could.”

The buck ran out of sight, and Scroggs had to sit tight until the hunt staff returned.

“I convinced myself that there was no way that I had hit that deer, but I would look for him anyway hoping I had cut him,” Scroggs said. “When my driver, Kym, arrived, I skipped the brush in the powerline and went straight to the dried leaves in the woods to find blood, and I found one drop.

"A big ditch was an obvious place to look, but there was no sign of him so I turned around and headed back to the powerline, and I just walked right up on this beast of a deer.”

Scroggs dragged the deer for 25-yards before giving out and going to get some help from hunters waiting in the van, and in the process added another chapter to the lore of giant bucks at the Savannah River Site.


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