Patterson, a 26-year-old Duke Energy employee from Concord, travelled to Ohio last Sunday for a week-long bowhunt on public land. He killed a 118-inch 8-pointer the first afternoon he hunted, allowing him to return home to North Carolina and kill a 140-inch 8-pointer on Wednesday in Orange County with the same bow.
"I'm still in shock," he said. "I'll have a hard time topping this. The one I killed in Ohio was my biggest buck before the one I killed back here."
When Patterson got back from Ohio, he headed to a tract of land in Orange County where he hunts with his father, who had seen a big buck from one stand in a perfect traffic corridor.
"He had an encounter with this buck in October," Patterson said. "I hunted him Tuesday afternoon, and he didn't show up. He showed up Wednesday morning." Patterson was hunting a narrow area between two thickets, a place he described as "a perfect funnel."
"There was no food, nothing – just a travel corridor, an excellent place to hunt during the rut," said Patterson, who saw several does on Tuesday afternoon and had seen one smaller buck cruising through the area early Wednesday morning. At around 9 a.m., the buck suddenly appeared about 50 yards to Patterson's left, head down, cruising through.
"I had ranged a couple of trees, but not the place he as going to come through, so I didn't know the exact yardage, but I was close," he said. "He was gonna come across between two trees; the hole was about four or five feet wide.
"He was quartering to me, and all I saw was horns; I about had a heart attack, but I kept my composure, and all the practice and preparation – shooting the 3-D shoots – it paid off.
Patterson drew his bow before the buck hit the gap between the two trees, and when he got there, he let out a soft mouth grunt. The buck stopped, and Patterson whistled an Easton Full Metal Jacket shaft tipped with a Slick Trick Magnum broadhead toward him from his Elite GT 500 bow. The buck was hit through both lungs and piled up about 40 yards away.
"He ran off, and I heard it get quiet, then I heard the crash," he said. "Before I got down, I ranged the spot, and it was 35 yards."
When Patterson got to the buck, he quickly realized that the 118-inch Ohio 8-pointer was his personal best for only three days. One look at the Orange County buck was enough to convince him. A certified N.C. Bowhunters Association scorer, he put a tape measure on the buck a couple of days after killing it and came up with 140 5/8 gross inches, with about five inches in deductions.
The buck had an 18 5/8-inch inside spread; the tallest tines measured 12 3/8 and 10 3/8 inches, and the second tines were 9 5/8 and 8 3/8. It will easily qualify for the Pope & Young Club's all-time record book.