When Jeff Pierce of Grantham, NC passed up a long-range shot at the biggest buck he had ever seen, he was afraid he had missed his opportunity — but he made the right call. The next day, Oct. 30, he closed the distance and dropped the 133 6/8-inch Wayne County 10-point that had 2 drop tines.

On Oct. 29, Pierce was perched in his Cadillac climbing stand overlooking a corner of a bean field, hoping to get a glimpse of something on a piece of property that he was hunting for the first time. The first deer he saw was a doe. But, hot on her heels and in full pursuit came the 10-point.  

More than 500 yards further away than he was comfortable shooting, Pierce crossed that option off the list. He considered climbing down and moving in closer, but didn’t want to risk being spotted. Instead, he noted that the buck was comfortable in his surroundings. If he could slip out without being detected, Pierce thought he may have a chance the next day.

“I moved my stand a couple hundred yards down the field this time,” said Pierce, “and set up on a pinch point where I could see both corners.

“About 5 o’clock, I looked up into the field and saw a big-bodied deer. When he raised his head up, I could see the antlers because the sun was shining in that corner. I could see the drop tines and knew that it was the buck I had seen the day before. That’s when my legs went to shaking.  

“He had come out in a different corner, closer this time, about 200 yards way. I was talking to myself, saying, ‘Calm down, you can make this shot. You shoot targets at this length.’ I knew I could make the shot, but when you see something like that you have to gather yourself.”

Once Pierce managed to pull his eyes off the antlers, he placed the crosshairs of his scope behind the buck’s shoulder. With his Remington .30-06 resting against the tree he climbed, he squeezed the trigger and launched a 150-grain Remington Core-Lokt bullet. Immediately, Pierce knew he had made a good shot. He could see the impact through his scope as the deer buckled before loping a mere 10 feet and falling into the edge of the woods.

Pierce’s buck carries an inside spread of 17 inches. The longest tines are a 9 2/8-inch G2 and an 8-inch G3, while the brow tines measure 4 2/8’s inches. The longest drop tine is 7 ⅝’s inches long and the other is 5 inches.