Zacheriah Mellott killed two trophy bucks, both in full velvet on Aug. 16, and if that sounds greedy, it was anything but. He could have shot quite a few more if he’d wanted to, but after his wife killed a velvet buck on opening day last year, he was just happy to join — then pass her — as a member of the velvet club.
The North Augusta hunter was sitting about 20 feet above the ground in a tower stand overlooking a cutover with some bottom nearby on the second day of the season, which he said was a good bit cooler than this year’s opening day. After sitting for an hour or so, he spotted a buck about 100 yards away.
Hunting on his hunt club in Aiken County, Mellott took a close look at the buck through his scope, and when he pulled his eye away to look at the field again, he saw the deer was no longer alone.
“Eight bucks were standing there all in one group. They were all in full velvet. I looked at them all, picking out the biggest one, which was a 12-point. I put my crosshairs on it, and pulled the trigger. It dropped on the spot,” said Mellott.
Expecting the rest of the deer to scatter at the report of his rifle, Mellott said they did the opposite.
“They just stood there looking around. They didn’t move, so I picked out the best one of them, put the crosshairs on him, and pulled the trigger,” he said.
Mellott found the second buck, an 8-point, about 100 yards from where he shot it.
The 12-point buck weighed 200 pounds, and was green-scored at Sportsman’s Acre Taxidermy in Johnston at 134 inches. The 8-point weighed 165 pounds.
Mellott killed both deer with a 30.06. They are the first bucks in velvet he’s killed, and he is having both mounted to join his wife’s velvet buck on their trophy wall. It’s a safe bet that she’ll be back in the woods soon, gunning for another.