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The Three-Legged Freak Buck, David Herold

The Three-Legged Freak Buck, David Herold

Deer of the Day

The buck as it looked prior to losing a leg

All it takes is a picture to get a community of deer hunters buzzing about "the big boy" that everyone wants to put their tag on.

For Clay County Georgia hunter David Herold, he first laid eyes on "the one" in 2009 when his Wildgame Innovations Trail Camera produced an image of a fantastic buck featuring everything you'd want in a trophy whitetail.

A picture of the buck after losing his leg during the 2009 season

The buck almost fell to another bullet near the end of the 2009 season. A hunter spotted the big buck chasing a doe and fired off a shot at the running deer, catching the buck's rear right leg, but not mortally wounding the animal.

"The hunter found a little blood, but not much and couldn't recover the deer," shared Herold, "we thought the coyotes would get him, but at the end of season a neighbor had a picture of him missing his right rear leg at the knee. We only hoped that he'd make it, but didn't think he would."

A picture of the buck prior to the 2010 season

Amazingly, the buck -- minus his right leg -- started showing up in trail camera images the following summer, only now his rack had blown up as a result of the missing leg.

David Herold (right) and land-owner Ronnie Crozier with the great buck

His second morning of hunting he spotted the buck standing broadside 160 yards away!

Buck fever set in immediately as Herold started shaking at the thought of taking this great deer. Trying to calm himself down, Herold took the shot, missed, but was able to get another shot at the deer as he crossed a small creek. This time the deer jumped and then walked into some thick brush.

Herold was shaking so hard that he almost fell out of his tree! It took 15 minutes for him to settle down to the point where he could get out of his stand and look for blood. He looked at his first shot and saw nothing. He located the second shot location and still didn't see any blood that would indicate a hit.

A true trophy on the wall!

Herold then walked into where the buck had gone after his second shot and found the big boy piled up from a perfect double lung trophy taker.

"He is the biggest deer I've ever harvested and he has plenty of character. I've always wanted to shoot one with a crazy set of horns and know I'll never be able to top this deer," said Herold.

Herold took the buck to the Georgia Outdoor News show in Macon where he net scored 156 1/8.

Herold with his fantastic deer.

Through the hot opening weekend of the 2010 Georgia whitetail season, Herold was sitting in a treestand that overlooked a 30-acre clear cut. Small bucks and does were passing through when suddenly the veteran hunter caught movement and there he was -- the freakish three-legged buck that Herold had been waiting for.

Herold quickly shouldered his Browning .270 and fired a 130-grain Power Point at the buck that was standing broadside 330 yards away. The shot hit low, kicking up dirt underneath the deer, sending him back into the timber.

Frustrated with the long miss, Herold didn't get a chance to hunt again until November 20th and he was hopeful to get another crack at the buck. He set up on the opposite side of the clear cut from where he was prior, scanning the timberlines for anything that might step out.

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