January 19, 2018 at 9:18am
Two mountain bucks I killed this past deer season. First buck I killed on the afternoon of December 3rd with about 20 minutes of shooting light left. I had pictures of that buck for the past 3 years coming to food plots on my farm. I have been doing a strict management plan (habitat improvement, food source improvement and only harvesting mature bucks in the 4.5 yr old + range) for the last 5 years and it is starting to pay off. After weeks of scouting and using trail cameras I figured out the deers general movements. I set the stand up on the mountain to catch the deer coming from bedding on his way to the food plots. I knew I had to get close to bedding because mature bucks like that wouldnt be moving far from bedding during daylight hours. The buck followed the script perfect and I heard his horns trashing trough the thick laurel coming down the trail straight toward my shooting lane. The wind was swirling as it always seems to in the mountains and he came to a dead stop about 5 yards shy of the shooting lane. I was able to see just enough of his vitals for a clean shot. I put my scope on him at 25 yards and savage 30-06 did the job. He ran about 30 yards and dropped. I immediately called my wife, Dad, brother and friends with excitment. They came and helped me drag him out of the rough thick rocky mountain side that took almost 2 hours to get him out. The first buck was just starting to get hot his neck wasnt swelled but his hocks were a little colored but not really stinking. The second buck I killed on the morning of thursday December 7th at about 7:30 am in McDowell County in the same area as the first one. I told my wife Wednesday night that the weather and wind was perfect for a morning set in my stand that Thursday morning. I had one tag left and couldnt pass up the perfect weather even though I had just killed the buck of a lifetime for McDowell 3 days before. So I went Thursday morning got in the stand an hour before daylight and set there watching a beautiful sunrise content with the deer I had already killed. At about 7 am I heard a deer coming up the mountain. I knew it was a buck as I could hear his horns thrashing and him grunting. I had my mind made up that I wasnt gonna shoot anything unless it was as big of a buck or around the same size as the first one. This buck was coming up the mountain from the food plots headed toward bedding. As the buck came through the laurels he stopped behind a big oak just before my shooting lane. I couldnt see his horns but I knew the body was big. He took one step and put his head down to smell the ground and with disbelief I couldnt believe the rack I saw stick out past the tree. I immediately reached for my gun. As he stepped into the shotting lane I said to myself I can't believe it. I put my scope on him at 50 yards and squeezed the trigger. He went about 30 yards and dropped. I was in shock after that. I couldnt believe what just unfolded. 2 huge bucks in the same week. I called all my friends and family again and said your not gonna believe it. They quickly came to help me get him out. I had no pictures of that buck but I knew their were more good deer in the area and with the rut starting to get hot their was a chance of seeing another big buck. 1st buck was a perfect main frame 10 point with long tines weighing in just shy of 200lbs and grossed in the 160 class. The second buck was a mainframe 10 with a crab claw at the top of his right g2 and total of 13 scorable points weighing in at 218 lbs and in the 150 class. My taxidermist and myself rough scored them using trophy tape. I am waiting to do official scores after drying period. North Carolina can produce big bucks even in the mountains with all the vast expanses for them to hide. As hunters though we have to let them reach maturity to be able to harvest good quailty bucks. The first buck put on a lot of inches in that range from 3 to 5. He was hard to pass last year but I knew he would be something special this year. Both bucks aged at 5 to 6 years old.