Just last year, Jonathan Lines had a memorable hunting season with his biggest bow buck ever near his Caswell County home. And when he thought his hunting career couldn’t get any better, last Saturday on opening day, he stuck a much bigger buck that will surpass his 2016 trophy. But, if the deer were cooperating that day, he would have shot a doe or a smaller buck instead, and he would have never known what he missed.
For the last two years, Jason Carter of Snow Camp, North Carolina watched a tall racked 10-pointer grow to maturity on his hunting property in Alamance County after his summertime trail camera revealed the deer was still around and had blossomed into a real stud. Needless to say, the buck made the top of the hit list for the 2017 deer season.
For the last five years, Hunter Stevens of Thomasville, North Carolina has watched a buck grow on his Chatham County land from a small basket rack to a massive 140-class buck with a 21.25-inch inside spread.
After receiving multiple reports of dead, dying or sick deer in the Southern Appalachians, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said that hunters may see dead deer this hunting season but that the recent outbreak of hemorrhagic disease (HD) in white-tailed deer is cyclic and the population will rebound.
As one of North Carolina’s fastest growing and most populated counties, Wake doesn't always register with deer hunters. But, that didn't stop Chris Phinney of North Raleigh from taking the biggest buck of his life — a full velvet 8-point that was given a gross green score just under 130 inches, on Sept. 9.
Throughout the fall, deer and other wildlife species get the opportunity to eat a wide variety of foods, from agriculture and food-plot crops to native foods growing around every corner. During the fall, the native food component can be a combination of tender twigs and leaves, as well as many other types of woody and herbaceous matter. These run-of-the-mill food sources can provide nutrition but will not generally attract deer to a certain area. On the other hand, deer expect to have fall mast crops and will go out of their way to take advantage of these food sources — especially soft mast.
During the rut, the action can get hot and heavy. As does come into estrus, odors filter through the deer woods like smoke in a forest fire, driving bucks crazy. Hunters who spend a lot of time in the stand get many opportunities to see deer moving in and out of their property.
Many hunters have asked this question after killing a deer. In today’s world of instant gratification, many just load the deer into the back of the truck and take it to a processor who will, for a fee, gut, skin and dress your deer ready for your freezer.