By Mark Kenyon
Six Shooter. If you’ve followed Wired To Hunt the past few years, you’ve probably heard of this deer a time or two. In fact, I don’t think there’s any deer I’ve written more about over the past 5 years.
Six Shooter is a buck I hunted and obsessed over in 2011. I had four or five close encounters with him and I watched him from the treestand for hours (here’s the story of a day where I watched him for probably 6+ hours). I in fact had three hunts in a row where I nearly got a shot on him, and my season quickly became a chess match with the goal of closing the deal on this buck. I became so obsessed with figuring this deer out that I even reached out to Bill Winke, Dan Schmidt and Todd Pringnitz to get their opinions on the proper strategy (here’s the article where I shared their opinions).
The “Death” of Six Shooter
In the end though the story ended sadly, as I saw him one final time in November and he appeared to be mortally wounded. He limped away into the fading light, and I never saw him again. My assumption after the 2011 season was that he died soon after I saw him that night. Although Six Shooter was gone, he still hung around in my head and I was haunted for months with the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” (I wrote about this too! haha).
Fast forward to this spring. I was scouting this property for turkeys in April, and while skirting the edge of one of my food plots I came across quite the shocking discovery. A shed. When I picked it up, I immediately knew what deer this antler was from. Six Shooter! He had survived!
That said, it was his 2011 antler. So while I now knew he made it through the 2011 winter, I didn’t know if he made it through the 2012 season – as I never saw or got a picture of him all that year (here’s the article and photos of the Six Shooter Shed).
The Appearance of “Unibrow”
Now follow along with me for one more fast forward, to August and September of this year. I began getting trail camera pictures of a buck with a MASSIVE brow tine and a funky right side. I posted about him here, and asked for your help naming him (here’s that article). At the time I didn’t pay him much attention, as I was rather obsessed with two other bucks on this property that I was filming and getting pictures of.
We ended up dubbing this buck “Unibrow”, and photos kept piling in. Finally this week I posted an article about the daylight activity I was seeing from him (click here to read that piece). I captured a daylight photo of him near one of my stands and I then filmed him walking across the CRP field towards a food plot of mine on Sep 30. It was this video that finally sparked my curiosity.
Could It Be?
You see, I filmed Six Shooter bedding, feeding and mingling in the very same CRP field two years earlier, and I couldn’t help but get deja vu watching Unibrow now doing the same thing. He looked so dang similar.
I then got a few texts from some friends, saying that after looking at the pics and screenshots I posted of Unibrow they thought it might be Six Shooter. I was intrigued, so I dove into the archives and started revisiting past video and pics of Six Shooter and comparing them to the current pics and video I have of Unibrow.
Long story short, I now believe there is a strong possibility that “Unibrow” may in fact be “Six Shooter” returned as a 5.5 year old! I posted some pics on Facebook last night to get others opinions, and the overwhelming majority agree. That said, I need your opinion too.
Before we do that though, here are a few thoughts on my end.
The main similar characteristics that make me think it’s Six Shooter are …
– The left side on the 2013 buck is a big 3 point side and has a very similar main beam sweep, with similar spacing of brow tine and G2.
– Both brow tines on the 2013 buck have a bit of the characteristic brow tine curl that Six Shooter had.
– The funky right side on the 2013 buck could be explained by the injury I saw that Six Shooter got in the fall of 2011.
– This 2013 buck is bedded and hanging out in the same general area that Six Shooter spent most of his time in 2011. 2011 was a year of corn on this farm, and so is this year. Maybe he only spends time here on years with corn?
– In the first photo immediately below this, it appears that Six Shooter had more white around his eyes and muzzle than the 2013 buck. But if you look at the next image down, you can see that the 2013 buck indeed does have similar markings
– The foreheads on both bucks are similarly darker
I Need Your Opinion
All that said, take a look at the comparisons below. Six Shooter is on the left, the 2013 buck currently know as “Unibrow” is on the right. I need your help here. Check out the photos, and then please let me know if you think this is Six Shooter in the poll. If this is Six Shooter, it would blow my mind and make this season about 200 times more exciting than it’s already shaping up to be. So what do you think? Is “Unibrow” actually Six Shooter?
Thanks for giving me your opinion on this one, and please share any of your specific reasons why or why not in the comments!