Andy Caudle was beside himself when Thanksgiving rolled around. A contractor from Boonville, N.C., Caudle had a huge 10-point buck in multiple trail-camera photos from two different places he hunts, but an uncle told him, the buck might have been killed.
“I was about to go crazy,” Caudle said. “My uncle had heard somebody had killed a big 10-pointer on the other side of a thicket I was hunting. I was sure it was him.”
But on Nov. 30, the buck showed up in another trail-camera photo, and the next day, Caudle was kneeling over a 10-point, 155-inch buck, filling out his deer tag.
The buck had an 18-inch inside spread and tall, ivory colored antlers. The tallest tines were 10 3/4 and 10 1/2 inches long, and a taxidermist judged the buck to be either 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 years old, based on tooth wear.
“A lot of people had this buck on camera; everybody was talking about him,” Caudle said. “I had him on camera a bunch of times, 2 to 3 a.m. in one place, and 8 p.m. in another spot. But this was the first time I’d seen him in daylight.”
Caudle got off work on Friday, Dec. 1, and slipped into a box stand overlooking a food plot of clover and chicory where he had one of his trail cameras. He was in the stand by 4 p.m., and at 4:58, three does walked into the food plot. A few seconds later, the biggest doe broke and took off.
“Not much later, he showed up; he came out of the thicket,” Caudle said. “I knew it was him as soon as he got out. As soon as he got broadside, I shot him at 5 o’clock.”
Caudle shoots a .338, and the 200-grain bullet did its job at 75 yards. The buck stumbled off but barely got 30 yards before piling up.
“Most of the pictures I had of him came from my other place, about three-quarters of a mile away on the other side of the thicket,” Caudle said. “But I had 8 o’clock photos of him at this place.”