CW Shelton and Big Red Deer

Legendary “Big Red” buck dressed at 260 lbs and 34 4/8″ antler spread

Living in Western Kentucky, I’ve heard about this buck a few times in my life. One of my neighbors down the street knew the guy and showed me an original photograph of the legendary Big Red.

It was 1964. Kentucky game wardens were paid $25 per month salary. Hunting permits were $10. If you were lucky enough to snag a buck, you would pay an additional $15 harvest tag.

His name was C.W. Shelton. One mid afternoon, Shelton climbed up on his tree stand. The weather was rainy and miserable, however, he quickly spotted “Big Red” about 50 yards away in a clearing.

Original photograph of C.W. Shelton and his Todd County Kentucky deer named Big Red
Original photograph of C.W. Shelton and his Todd County Kentucky deer named Big Red

C.W. pulled up his .44 magnum rifle and fired off a few shots to hit Big Red. The huge buck was having trouble running through trees and brush. With C.W. in hot pursuit behind the deer, he fired off a few more shots to take down the deer. Big Red or C.W. did not want to give it up. C.W. eventually had to finish the deer off with his knife.

The deer dressed 260 lbs and a whopping 34 4/8” antler spread.

Hunter name: C.W. Shelton
Harvest location: Todd County, Kentucky
Harvest year: 1964
Antler points: 16
Score: 185 2/8 Non-Typical
Antler spread: 34 4/8″
Field dressed: 260 lbs.

Note: The Kentucky General Assembly prohibited deer hunting in 1916 due to lower deer herd numbers. Deer hunting in Kentucky did not become legal again until 1946.


  • Hey folks! I'm Trey Copeland, founder of Made To Hunt. I'm from Kentucky and love the outdoors. I've been hunting or fishing in many states including KY, MO, MS, AR, TN and FL as well as Mexico and Costa Rica. For more updates follow me on Twitter.

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