Warren Curtis of Lee is an avid outdoorsman and trapper, but he admits he can’t do everything he once could.
“I’ve got terminal cancer. Multiple myeloma,” he says nonchalantly, like you or I might announce our coffee order to a drive-through cashier. “I can’t do a hell of a lot.”
A week ago, however, Curtis proved himself wrong: He can do a hell of a lot. And he’s got the photos to prove it.
Curtis was riding toward a deer-hunting spot with his son, James Curtis, on Nov. 15 when the pair spotted the buck of a lifetime in Prentiss Plantation.
“I looked down in the field and there he was,” Warren Curtis said. “The sun was such, it just glowed off those antlers.”
The 70-year-old hunter was amazed at the size of the deer’s rack, and at the size of the deer itself.
“I jumped out of the truck and hobbled across the road,” Warren Curtis said. “He had his face to me, and that was a horrible shot.”
After trying to creep closer, Curtis eventually realized that the deer wasn’t going to give him a better shot; he took aim, and fired.
The deer ran, but the Curtis men thought the shot was a good one.
“My son said, ‘You can’t go down there [into the field],'” Warren Curtis recalled. “I said, ‘Watch me.'”
The hunters found the deer 50 feet from where it had originally stood. And it was a monster.
On certified scales, the field-dressed deer weighed 254 pounds. Even more impressive was the 19-point rack.
Before they even left the field, the Curtises learned that the big buck was a bit of a mythical figure in the small town of Prentiss.
“We had cars stop. It was the biggest thing the town of Prentiss has seen in its life,” Warren Curtis said. “Apparently, this deer has been there for a number of years. People were saying, ‘He shot the buck!'”
When they arrived at Smith’s General Store in Springfield, the crowd grew even larger.
“We were two hours there. We couldn’t get away,” Warren Curtis said. Then we went home and hung it up.”
And the people kept stopping by to see the monstrous deer.
“I’ve never had so much company in my life,” he said.
Warren Curtis said he’s had a pretty good deer-hunting career. Five years ago, while napping behind a bale of hay, he woke to see another large deer. That deer weighed 227 pounds.
Curtis said that deer was the talk of Hermon. This year’s buck has brought him a bit more notoriety, though.
“Standing right there [at the tagging station] one guy offered me $2,500 [for the antlers],” he said. “Another guy called me from California and offered me $5,000.”
Curtis refused both offers and said he didn’t even know there was a market for deer antlers … or that someone in California would hear about his deer via what he calls “the internetty.”
“I’m not really up on that stuff,” he said. “Meanwhile, I just keep trapping, the best I can.”
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