Around 5 years ago on the BrushyR Ranch, we started seeing a buck that had a really tall rack, but lacked any width. It was a very unique buck and we named him TooTall, after the former Dallas Cowboys football player Ed “TooTall Jones.
This year, by our estimates, TooTall would finally meet the antler width restrictions for our county and we decided to harvest him. Our group opted to allow our landowner, who hunts with us, to have the first 3-4 weeks to try and take him. I saw him at 100 yards two different times, and chose only to shoot him with a camera, taking multiple videos and photos.
Hunting free range low fence properties comes with its perks. The most important being that if a hunter harvests a free range buck, you’ve taken an animal in its natural environment. Free to roam, and not a penned deer that’s been released for kill(there is nothing wrong with that if you choose to do so). The bad thing being is that after you’ve watched a young buck mature to a magnificent trophy, that he is capable during the rut of roaming up to 5 square miles or more in search of does to breed. Which makes him an easy target for neighboring properties outside of his home base.
Such is the story of the buck we called TooTall.
About three weeks ago TooTall quit showing up on any of our trail cameras. We feared the worst, but the worst turned out to be pretty cool. After hearing rumors of a buck killed in our area with split G2s, I started doing some detective work, in my heart hoping it wasn’t the buck we called TooTall. TooTall was a unique individual sporting split G2s and G4s (or mains) with an additional crab claw main on the left side. In 2016 he even had a rear kicker off of a main beam pointing rearwards, which did not appear this year. His G3 on his left antler was slightly palmated which added some awesome character. We don’t know his score yet, but hopefully we will someday. In the end, he had 13 scoreable points from all indications. I soon discovered that the buck was harvested a few weeks back on neighboring property by an 11 year old young hunter. Sadness quickly faded at the thought of the joy in this young mans heart after taking such a trophy. Many of us hunt for years, and never see trophy bucks, much less kill one and are able to tell the story for the rest of our lives. It is our prayer that by harvesting this unique buck, that it will ignite a passion in this young mans heart for hunting, and that he will grow up to be an avid sportsman, and that he will help manage and carry our sport into the future for generations to come.
TooTall wasn’t our deer, and he wasn’t the biggest deer in Wise County. We just gave him a home for a while and were able to watch him grow and mature into the trophy he was to us. We have hundreds of pictures and videos of him, as we have logged his every move for over 5 years so he will forever be in our hearts. TooTalls story doesn’t end here though, because we have already witnessed a few young bucks with tall narrow racks running around snorting and lowering their heads challenging other young bucks. His legacy just continues.