Brent Boney knows what it’s like to be dismissed by friends.
In January 2016, the hunter from Drewryville, Virginia, saw and missed a whitetail so fantastical that other members of the Round Hill Hunting Club were convinced he was exaggerating.
He was not.
His encounter came during a dog deer drive on the club’s 1,000 acres in Greensville County. Hounds were pushing the one-of-a-kind deer, which was hell-bent on eluding them.
“The rack had 15 points on ONE side. Missing that deer messed me up so bad that I lost sleep,” the 47-year-old told Gita Smith, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine.
Unable to shake the vision of the giant buck, Brent returned to the property in February and cleared shooting lanes where their paths had crossed, just in case he could return there the following season.
His skeptical buddies began referring to it as the Greensville Ghost.
The 2016-17 dogging season opened the third Saturday in November. The stars aligned for Brent on Nov. 23, when he drew first choice of stands for the club’s afternoon drive. He knew exactly where to go with his stool and shotgun.
Around 2 p.m., when the drive began winding down, his daughter, McKaley, texted him, saying she was about to turn loose four dogs nearby. Soon afterward, he heard the wailing hounds approaching. He also heard something running in front of them.
He couldn’t believe his luck when he realized it was the same giant whitetail he’d missed the previous January.
Brent didn’t miss that time, maybe because he’d had no opportunity to get the jitters. The load of double-ought buckshot stopped the 6 ½-year-old deer in its tracks.
“That buck had to be very smart,” he said. “It got away from dogs and hunters all those years.”
While none of the club members had seen or collected trail camera photographs of the animal, the neighboring landowner had retrieved two images of it during the summer. The man had also seen it the night before Brent shot it.
At 219 5/8 inches, the Greensville Ghost is No. 2 among Virginia’s shotgun harvests. It has 26 scoreable points – 15 on one side, and 11 on the other.
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