"Like virtually all new nickel carvers he either started out on "no date"/"no horn" buffalo nickels or he decided to blow the date away. He also did the same thing to the LIBERTY legend. I don't hold this against beginning nickel carvers because everybody has to start somewhere. Occasionally the subject being carved simply doesn't leave room for the LIBERTY but generally most of us collectors prefer the final carving to look as much like a "real nickel" as possible.
Sonny apparently did one good thing right from the "get-go"... probably from having observed Ron carving nickels. He signed (hallmarked), dated and numbered his carvings! He also signed the coin holder in most cases which is a great addition to the carving in my eyes.