Sevin Carter was short on hunting time while in the process of moving to a new home last month when he decided it was time to put a buck on the ground, even if it wasn’t the 11-pointer he’d been pursuing for over two years. And a few minutes after he pulled the trigger on an 8-point buck from his Durham County, NC tree stand, his long-time target finally stepped into view. He put that one on the ground too. It green-scored 145 inches.

“When the 8-point showed up, a bunch of does were all around and under my stand too. They kept looking back into the woods like something was going on. So I just watched the 8-point for a while. But I had not had a lot of time to hunt because I was moving, so I decided to go ahead and shoot the 8-pointer,” said the Durham hunter, who was hunting a tract of wooded family land that he’s been managing for trophy bucks for several years.

The buck dropped in his tracks 40 yards away, and even though Carter figured that was the end of the hunt, he sat in the stand a while because he didn’t want to spook the does that stuck around.

“Some of the does ran off as soon as I shot, but some of them just looked around like ‘what was that?’ but then calmed down and just hung around,” said Carter, who operates 7th Century Outdoors.

With an unloaded CVA muzzleloader sitting in his lap, Carter watched the does until something else caught his eye.

“The 11-pointer just walked right in, walked up to the 8-pointer on the ground, sniffed him, and then walked off. Luckily, one of the does kept the 11-pointer’s attention, and while they played around, I was able to reload, and I shot the big buck from about 50 yards away,” he said.

As much as the hunt sounds like a chance encounter, it was anything but. Carter killed another big buck from this same stand in 2015 using the same strategy he did this time, with one exception –– this time he shot a smaller buck before the big one showed up.

“I’ve got two stands, and I always hunt one stand really hard. The other stand, I just keep it baited constantly, but rarely hunt from it. Putting so much pressure on one stand pushes the smart deer to the other stand, as long as you keep it baited, so then when I finally pop up at the stand I rarely hunt, I often see big deer, and that’s what happened with this buck and the other big buck I killed in 2015,” Carter said.

This also wasn’t Carter’s first encounter with the 11-point buck. His trail cameras had several photos of the deer over the past two years, but very few were daytime photos. He’d also seen the deer in person once before.

“I shot at this deer and missed on Thanksgiving in 2015. It was a poor shot and I shouldn’t have even tried it, but thankfully it was a clean miss. This was my second time seeing this buck in person. I’ve let a lot of other bucks walk over the years, and I’m glad I finally got another chance at this one,” he said.