In 2015, Bud Long of Greensboro killed a trophy buck on Halloween day. And on the day before Thanksgiving this year, Long killed another whopper on the same property – a 10-pointer sporting a green score of 158 inches. But, this wasn’t the first time this deer made a showing on his Rockingham County hunting property.
In fact, Long and his 16-year old grandson, Ryan Long saw the deer together during bow season. Then, Ryan Long made an attempt at the deer with his muzzleloader a few weeks ago.
On Nov. 5, after an unsuccessful morning in the stand, Ryan Long decided to scout behind the hunting camp to see if he could find any sign of the big buck. Ten minutes later, Bud Long heard his grandson shoot. A few minutes later, Ryan Long arrived back at the camp excited.
“Pops, I just shot the biggest buck I have ever seen. I believe it is that buck,” Ryan Long said.
The two looked for over two hours.
“We looked all over the place for that deer, but we could never find anything,” Bud Long said.
Several more weeks went by and Bud Long wanted to get a bead on this deer. He thought the deer was staging on the ridge above a thicket where he was hunting, so on the day before Thanksgiving, Long and his grandson got on both sides of the ridge in hopes of getting a shot at the deer.
“I got into the stand before daylight and at the crack of day, I saw four big does walk off the ridge and into the bottom,” Bud Long said.
After 45 minutes of silence, Bud Long decided to get closer to that ridge top, where he had seen several large rubs on the edge of the thicket. He climbed down and walked to the top of the ridge.
“As soon as I sat down, a doe came running at me, stopped, and turned back like she was being chased,” Bud Long said.
He turned and got ready to make a shot in anticipation of the buck coming. And as he waited, another doe did the same exact thing. He kept pointing his gun in that direction and then he heard another deer coming 30 seconds later.
“I heard the buck coming across the ridge grunting every breath. As soon as he stopped at 75 yards, I shot him with my Browning .30-06 and he turned and leaped back into the thicket,” Bud Long said.
Moments later, his grandson called to hear the news, then came to help look for the deer.
After a short walk across the thicket, they found the buck piled up only 15 yards away. And after further inspection of the deer, they saw something interesting.
“The deer had a hole in his shoulder from where my grandson had shot him just a couple of weeks prior. Anyway, we got him and we were both very proud to get this deer we had been after for the last few months,” Bud Long said.
“Last year I was lucky enough to kill one on Halloween and this year, I got a Thanksgiving blessing,” he said.