A record-breaking buck killed with an amazing shot over a century ago continues to hold family history for one Louisiana crew.
Joe Sam Rolfe attended a campout over 100 years ago when he came across a massive buck. The deer went running and Joe knew he only had on chance at a shot, so he took it, right in the back end of the deer.
While it wasn’t an ideal shot, Joe did eventually recover his deer.
Honoring the story and his family’s past, Rolfe’s grandson, Joe Cooper Rolfe, now displays his grandfather’s massive rack in his Oak Ridge home.
“The rack of my granddad’s buck had been handed down to a cousin who hung it on a wall at the family’s old home place near Oak Ridge,” he said. “When she passed away, another cousin told me if I wanted anything out of the old house, I could have it. They were afraid that since nobody would be living in it, the house and its contents would eventually deteriorate. I went down (and) collected a few things from the house, including my granddad’s set of antlers.”
A neighbor of Rolfe’s from long ago, Robert Barham, now works as the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Rolfe’s grandson showed the rack to Barham in 1970 shortly after he received it. Impressed with its size, Barham encouraged him to have the rack scored.
“A few weeks ago, I called Robbert and asked him if he thought it was too late to have the set of antlers scored. He agreed to take it with him to Baton Rouge and have Scott Durham, an official scorer, take a look at it,” Rolfe’s grandson explained to Louisiana Sportsman.
“Durham scored the 10-point rack as typical with the score of 172 4/8.”
This beautiful set of antlers has an inside spread of 20 6/8 inches, main beams measuring 27 and 26 4/8 inches, and a base circumference of 5 1/2 inches. These measurements place the rack in 23rd place in Louisiana for typical whitetails.
It’s safe to say that considering the care this rack has been given over the last century, it will likely continue to be passed down and treasured as a piece of family history.