Within eight days during the rut's peak, Duncan downed a pair of large-racked bucks, one a 150-inch 10-pointer and the other a 9-pointer. He killed both hunting with a muzzleloader from the same ground blind.
Duncan dropped the big 10-pointer on Oct. 29. Gross-scored at 155 Boone-and-Crockett inches, the buck had only four inches of deductions and will net 151. Duncan, 48, killed the 205-pound 9-pointer on Nov. 6; he hasn't had it scored yet.
"I was hunting a food plot not far from Hyco Lake," he said. "I had 100 (trail camera) pictures of the big buck from last year.
"I had set up the blind at the field's edge eight years ago. It's at one end of a food plot that's 40 yards by 150 yards long. I also had a gravity corn feeder in the field."
With the weather cloudy and cold, and the wind blowing in his face, Duncan was in the stand by 4:15 p.m. Not quite an hour later, he watched a cowhorn buck walk into the plot and begin to eat.
"I put my gun, a Thompson Center Omega .50-caliber I'd won several years ago at the Dixie Deer Classic, on a shooting stick and stuck it out the blind window," he said. "I was practicing sighting at this little buck. He ate for a while, then he walked into the woods."
But a few minutes later, the cowhorn jumped back into the field.
"He was acting like something had scared him," said Duncan, who put his gun to his shoulder again, looked through his Bushnell scope and saw a big buck trotting across the field.
"I scoped him and saw he was a real good deer," he said. "I went 'Baaa!' to try and make him stop."
However, the buck, at an estimated 85 yards, continued to trot.
"I saw the (pine) limbs coming into the edge of my scope (lens), so I said, 'It's now or never,' and 'Bam!' I pulled the trigger," Duncan said, who despite the smoke billowing from the muzzle, saw the bullet strike the deer.
"It was a double-lung shot behind his right shoulder," he said. "I saw the buck tuck his tail, so I was sure I hit him."
Duncan reloaded and walked to the place where he'd last seen the deer - and found nothing.
"I found tracks where he'd run out of the field and down a road," he said.After searching nearby woods, Duncan spied what he thought was a piece of white paper that turned out to be the buck's chin. When it feel, the buck's antlers had buried in the forest floor, leaving its jaw sticking up in the air.