Pulled from The Tennessean
One big buck’s appetite for turnip greens led to his demise on the opening day of the current archery-hunting season.
Lade Conlee landed the 5½-year-old buck that weighed 230 pounds (live weight) and had a massive 15-point rack. Using a crossbow from 20 yards, Conlee took down the animal as it nibbled on turnip greens Conlee had planted to lure him.
The rack’s Boone & Crockett net green score was 182¾ gross and 167¼ net.
“It was a perfect broadside double-lung shot,” said Conlee, who was hunting with his wife Katie. “He ran about 60 yards before he fell.”
Conlee lives in Kingston Springs and hunts on his land near the Williamson County line where he had spotted this particular buck the previous two years. He recognized the deer because of his unusual girth.
“He’s been coming through up there each year, but when deer season would come around and the acorns would start dropping he would disappear,” Conlee said.
“Every once in a while he’d show up in late October, but it’d be in the middle of the night and all I’d get would be trail-camera photos of him.”
Conlee recalled being asked to help a friend a few years ago by hunting the deer that were gobbling up the turnip-green patch he had planted in his garden.
That’s where Conlee came up with the ideal to bring the coveted buck close enough for a shot.
He planted a long row of turnip greens that started near the spot where he had last spotted the buck.
“Most people use seeds from Mossy Oak or put out corn or clover or stuff like that,” Conlee said. “But I remembered the deer that were bothering my friend really liking turnip greens, so I thought I’d see how they would work.”
It didn’t take long for the deer to be enticed by the leafy treat.
The base of the buck’s rack measured in circumference at more than five inches.
The buck field-dressed at 179 pounds.
“The body on him was ridiculous,” Conlee said.
Conlee’s taxidermist estimated the buck’s age at 5½. Conlee said he watched the buck grow significantly larger year after year.
“He was a real good deer last year and by all means if I could have gotten him I wouldn’t have hesitated,” Conlee said. “But there was quite a bit of difference between last year and this year.”
Conlee’s deer could be the largest ever harvested with a bow in Cheatham County.
The record rack score for a bow kill in Cheatham County is 1401/8 taken by Peter McEwan in 2003, according to the Tennessee Deer Registry.
The largest rack ever scored in Cheatham County was 1907/8 taken by Randy Newman, who used a gun.
There is a mandated 60-day wait period before antlers may officially be scored. That period will end for Conlee’s deer on Nov. 25.