On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 23, Tory Pegg of Oak Ridge, North Carolina ended the day in a big way, when a massive Guilford County 9-pointer with 11-inch tines and a 22 1/8-inch spread stepped broadside at 15 yards from his tree stand. Pegg’s arrow took down the once-in-a-lifetime buck on his hunting property two weeks into the 2018 hunting season. But, Sunday afternoon wasn’t the first time Pegg had encountered this beauty.
“I had pictures of him last year during the summer before the season started. He was a big buck last year with at least a 20-inch spread then,” Pegg said. “But, he disappeared at the first of the season and (I) never saw him again last year.”
Then, the deer showed up as soon as Pegg started putting up trail cameras in July of this year. And he had grown wider and taller than before.
Pegg set up his stand just inside a grove of oak trees adjacent to a field, excited about this deer reappearing. He wanted to make sure he was ready on Sept. 8, North Carolina’s opening day of archery season in the Central Game Zone.
That morning, Pegg got in the stand and the massive 9-pointer appeared five yards away from his stand. Before he could get his arrow drawn, the wind shifted, alerting the buck of his presence and the deer ran off.
“I thought he was gone for good now,” he said.
But, Pegg kept his spirits up and continued to hunt the deer. And a few minutes after 7 p.m. on Sept. 23, he started hearing bucks sparring in the distance.
“It had been a real slow afternoon. I hadn’t seen anything and I was about to climb down when I heard the bucks fighting across the field. I couldn’t help but to get excited at this point,” he said.
Pegg could hear the bucks every few minutes until he finally spotted the smaller of three bucks walking his way, with the second biggest one right behind him.
“They were coming in a line and I knew one of these bucks was going to be him,” he said.
The first two bucks made it to the corn pile and ate for a minute or two before they cleared out for the granddaddy buck to enter the scene. The big nine-pointer stepped out of the brush. And as soon as the deer made it 15 yards and turned broadside, Pegg let him have it.
The buck ran off 60 yards leaving a blood trail that helped Pegg find his trophy.