Deer season opened back on Sept. 13 of last year, and almost instantly, big bucks started to fall. Within a week, a handful of enormous bucks had been tagged by archers across North Carolina, and the fun didn’t stop there.

If you ever questioned when trophy bucks are most vulnerably to hunting fatality, the 2014 season should have provide the answer: the first week of archery season and the middle two weeks of November around the peak of the rut.

North Carolina Sportsman tried to keep up with the big bucks that were killed across the state this past fall. There’s little doubt we missed a few — like one Gates County monster we got a photo of but couldn’t talk the hunter into discussing — and we’ll doubtless be surprised by a few of the bucks that show up at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh at the end of this month. And there’s little doubt that counties in the northern Piedmont make up North Carolina’s “trophy belt.”

Anyway, take a gander at some of the huge bucks we have featured in previous issues of the magazine — and go on-line and read the stories of bucks you’ve missed — and read about some bucks killed in the last six weeks of the season.

Good reading!

New home, new land, new big buck

Father’s fingerprints “all over” big Orange County buck

Raleigh teen archery had the right stuff

Rabbit hunt leads to huge Person County buck

Gates County beagles come through 

Passing on little bucks results in Randolph County trophy

The hunting gods frowned, then smiled on hunter