Jake Shields of Guilford County was getting ready for bow season in early October when he realized his crossbow string was broken. It got worse when he realized it also had a broken cam. Instead of fixing it, he spent his money on a muzzleloader and prepared for muzzleloader season. The decision paid off for him more than a month later when a trophy buck presented Shields a broadside shot at 100-yards. The buck was net-scored at 142-inches, and weighed 180-pounds. He had never seen the deer until that day.
Fresh off winning the annual Capt. Rickey’s Trout Speck-tacular Tournament on Egret Baits’ new Rattling Vudu Shrimp, Clay Morphis of Shallotte, N.C., caught a big prize, a 13-pound, 30.5-inch flounder, with the same lure on Dec. 29.
Terry Henderson knew he had a good spot to hunt when he got permission to use his pastor’s property in Wilkes County just 1/4-mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway a number of years ago. And after hunting a total of 22 years, he finally got Brutus, his first wall-hanger from that 40-acre tract of land on Dec. 9.
Barry Bryant of Yadkin County grew up hunting quail and never was interested enough in deer hunting to set foot in a deer stand until about five years ago after he’d turned 50-years-old. That’s when his son Daniel, who had been hunting for around 5 years, decided to get his dad involved. Last month, Bryant killed the second deer of his life, and it was a deer he surely will never forget.
Who wouldn’t like to get paid for catching a fish? Thanks to a hybrid striped bass study being conducted by the NCWRC, anglers fishing on Lake Norman can get $100 if they catch certain tagged fish and report the tag data to the agency.
Big bucks are becoming more common every year for Tarheel hunters. Still, few true trophies arrive at the taxidermist painted white. For Scooter Pegg of Oak Ridge, a three-year saga after a piebald buck ended at 4:30 in the afternoon on December 22 with a 141-inch eleven pointer.
The day after killing her first deer, 18-year-old Katlyn Williams of Coats went on her first bear hunt with her friend Joey Oliver. The two were hunting not far from Lake Phelps. Five minutes into the hunt, Williams killed a 645-pound black bear. It is one of the top 5 bears killed by female hunters in the state of North Carolina.
Killing a big buck is every deer hunter’s dream, but when you kill a trophy buck that has some kind of cool feature to it, that’s a bonus. Non-typical racks with long drop tines and unnaturally facing tines are cool, calico bucks are always a big hit, and a true albino buck would be even better. But sometimes, the unique feature is a little less noticeable than those.
Some trophies are measured in more ways than shear size, and sometimes it’s the smaller trophies that are the most memorable. That’s definitely the case for Josh Hyde’s 120-class buck he killed at the end of November in Graham County.
Joshua Miller of Mitchell County saw the biggest deer of his life the week of Thanksgiving, and he saw it on his grandpa’s old farm. He killed that buck, and said it’s extra special to him because of it being on his family’s land that has been passed down to him. The 9-point buck weighed about 200-pounds, and its rack featured a split main beam and measured 5 1/2-inches at each base.
Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice? You can bet guide Zakk Royce of Murfreesboro won’t be making that wager any time soon. After catching a 91-pound blue catfish at Lake Gaston on Sunday, Dec. 20 — a fish that stood to break the state record by 2 pounds — he bested himself by shattering that record the next day with another blue that weighed 105 pounds and measured 55 ¾ inches.
Granville County is growing them big this year, with another 150-inch monster making a fatal mistake with only two weeks left of the 2015 season. Anthony Richard of Butner finally got the big 10-pointer he had been targeting for two months within rifle range.
We’ve all been there. You’re super excited about the next day’s hunt and for whatever reason, you oversleep. The story behind Jeffrey Burgess II’s Rutherford County buck that he took on Dec. 5 testifies that late is certainly better than never, because this 151 ¼- inch, 18-point was a late morning mover.