For the past several years, biologists and visitors to Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson got to see more than sea life.
A herd of white-tailed deer stayed on the property, and the biggest buck was a mature deer staff nicknamed “Big Boi.”
But Big Boi disappeared over the weekend, and a large pool of blood in the parking lot, along with drag marks and a bloody crossbow bolt, led staff and investigators to believe Big Boi had been poached sometime Friday night.
“The investigation is ongoing with game wardens and the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department,” said Shane Bonnot, hatchery manager. “It was a heinous act and a potentially dangerous one, since the crossbow bolt was found in an area where staff from the Sea Center works.”
Bonnot said Big Boi had been around the complex the past few years, and staff picked up his sheds in 2011. They scored 148 inches. Bonnot said he was sure the mature buck would score over 150 this year.
“He had a lot more mass this year,” he said. “There’s no doubt he would have been over 150. We’ve been following him through the years. This buck wasn’t scared of humans. He’d just sit and watch us as we worked and drove around on ATVs.”
Bonnot said the evidence in the parking lot looked like there could have been two deer killed because of multiple drag marks.
“It was pretty obvious that this was the place where he died,” Bonnot said. “I’ve never seen a blood trail this big. But, I’ve never seen a blood trail on concrete, either.”