King: One of the Biggest Free-Ranging Bucks in Texas History

With the nickname of “King” this buck was destined to make Texas deer hunting history. But as good as King looked, little did Houston County hunter Mark Lee know that the big buck he and his son Cullen were hunting during the 2012 and 2013 hunting seasons would end up in the number three position for free-ranging Texas bucks. Only two Texas bucks ever entered into the Boone & Crockett records have larger antler scores than King, but one is from over a century ago and the other is rapidly approaching that mark.

The “Brady” buck from McCulloch County taped in at a whopping 284 3/8 inches. The buck was shot by an unknown hunter in the 1890s. The Brady deer, a former B&C world record holder, still tops the list as the largest of Texas bucks. The number two position belongs to the the 272 0/8 inch non-typical whitetail that was found dead near Junction in 1925 by Fred Mudge.

Mark Lee’s buck, King, checked in with a B&C score of 278 5/8 gross, 268 4/8 net. Not at all bad for an East Texas deer hunting lease.

King: The Lee Buck is the Third Biggest Free-Range Buck in Texas History

Source: “I’ll never forget the first time I saw him,” recalls Lee. “Cullen and I were out setting cameras and putting out corn when a bachelor group of bucks jumped a fence about 50 yards in front of us and took off across a freshly disced field. They were’t messing around, either. Their heads were down and there was nothing but a smoke trail behind them.”

As the bucks sped away, Lee said his son commented about the antler spreads on a couple of the bucks, and how tall one of the others was. Lee, meanwhile, was more interested in the buck that was bringing up the rear.

“I told Cullen, ‘dude, look at the other deer,’ and I handed him my binoculars,” Lee said. “He said, dang, dad, he looks like he’s got a big knot on his head.” A life-long deer hunter, Lee, 51, said he knew right away the buck he was looking was way more special than any he had ever seen.

“We watched them run for probably 2,000 yards and maybe 2-3 minutes,” Lee said. “I couldn’t tell exactly what he was, but guessed he had probably 18-20 points. His rack looked like a big crown on top of his head. That’s when I nicknamed him “King.”


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