Typical Maryland Day Turns Non-Typical
Mark Clemens of Edgemere, Maryland awoke December 5th 2010 to what he thought would be just another ordinary day out in the woods hunting with his hunting partner on a private farm located in Charles County.
Sure, as we all do, the hopes of the one, danced around in his head during his morning preparation. It’s what pulls us hunters from our warm beds, well before sunrise. We look forward to sitting in freezing cold conditions, waiting for that bruiser that might stroll by. Hunters don’t like to call it “freezing cold”, we refer to as “Crisp”, and embrace the frigid temperatures, for we know when it’s “Crisp” the deer like to go on the walk about, and walk they did this day of days for Mark.
Mark has been hunting for about 33 years and this day was no different than any other. Mark prepared for the hunt without any inkling of what extraordinary occurrence that would soon come his way. He and his hunting companion parted ways and Mark navigated his way through the dark woods to his Charles County honey hole and nestled into his wooded stand before first light.
At about 9:30 am Mark saw several does coming his way. He counted seven in all as they worked toward his stand popping in and out of site through the woods. As they crossed out in front of Mark he said they were approximately 70 yards away and were in a little bit of a hurry. After hunting for 33 years, Mark was no stranger to the possibility of a buck following close behind these young ladies. The rut was still happening in Mark’s region so he waited a little bit and sure enough out steps Mr. Buck.
Mark was already in position to make the shot; he had plenty of time to get ready when he saw the does coming to him. When the buck stepped out into the clear there was no doubt this was what he called a “Shooter Buck”. At one glace he knew this was a mature animal and away went the 12 gauge slug. The Shooter buck took off crashing through the woods and in the excitement Mark had no idea that this was a shot that would be heard around Maryland and possibly around the county. It all happened so quickly, he didn’t know just how big this buck was. A million things went rushing through his head and it took him all of a second to get on the horn with his buddy Dale and let him know he had just shot a “Hammer” buck and Dale was immediately headed his way to assist.
Mark said when the buck took off he heard it running through the woods and “Crash in” back deeper into the woods, about 40 yards away from where the deer was originally shot.
Mark left his stand to investigate the shot and to locate his deer. The shot was perfect and there was little tracking for the deer was piled up in the exact location where he had earlier heard it crash in.
Mark said as he approached his deer he was absolutely amazed of what laid on the ground but could not believe what he was looking at and he asked himself “What was coming out of his head?” The antlers were so big; he thought they could not be the antlers…They must be caught up in some branches. It didn’t take long to figure out those branches were no other then his deer, all 23 points of him.
Mark looked down and
“Holy ____” look at my deer.
Dale arrived shortly thereafter and the two of them stood in awe over what Mark had just done. The base of one of the antlers measured 14” around as Mark explained There were 23 points that were over an inch and a whole lot more that you could hang a ring on, so Mark was not sure of just how many points the bruiser would actually score. Now here is what is really strange… this thing still was in Velvet.
Velvet is usually shed off early September after the antlers harden. Some hunters have taken bucks in velvet during early bow season but I’ve not heard of anyone taking a buck in full velvet during firearm season in Maryland.
Well to Marks surprise, as he was field dressing his buck, he noticed that the testicles were damaged on this animal in a previous mishap; maybe the poor ole boy got them hooked on a fence when he tried to jump over, guess we’ll never know but the injury was obvious.
This would explain why the bruiser was still in velvet. The buck was without the hormone that triggers the velvet to stop and the hardening of the antlers to begin. Marks buck had also broke off one of its point during the excitement and you can still see the blood coming from the antler that indicates this thing was still growing.
Mark told me that this deer was aged by the DNR and they estimated Mark’s deer to be about 8-8 ½ years of age, which we all know is a real old deer, and an exceptional trophy and feat of its own.
Mark has not had the Maryland Monster officially scored yet, but two official Boone & Crockett scorers are going to be coming in to meet with Mark and measure this exceptional beast. Mark said that according to Boone and Crockett officials, the deer will be recognized, but it will be noted with a (*) by his name because the deer was killed in velvet with a gun. Mark said he was not sure about this ruling but none the less, he was pumped about his possible Maryland State Record. Mark said that his deer will at the least shatter the existing record of circumference at the base of the antler. At 14 inches this one may never be beat.
Mark said this deer could change his life, and that it is unbelievable how many people were interested in his unusual animal. Many big names have been burning up his phone trying to get the scoop on this truly magnificent whitetail.
Mark said they had no idea this Monster lurked on their land, no cam shots, just a sweet surprise!
For Mark, this typical day turned Non-Typical very quickly and it could happen the same for anyone of us out there.
Mark said he’ll keep us posted on the scoring.
Thanks for sharing Mark and congratulations on a remarkable accomplishment.
Tight Lines and Safe Hunting