A few days after missing a crossbow shot on a fine buck in Guilford County, Chad Thousand of Greensboro blasted the 137 5/8-inch bruiser on Oct. 29, the opening day of muzzleloader season.
Thousand misjudged his crossbow shot on October 26th and watched his razor-tipped bolt land in the dirt several inches below the deer’s white belly. While most hunters don’t get another chance at a buck after missing, Thousand buckled down with a plan and made it happen.
“I first saw him at 60 yards coming through the woods following a smaller seven pointer and he was heading in a direction that would be too far to make a crossbow shot,” Thousand said. “So, I blew my grunt call to get him closer. He heard it and we both got excited!”
The buck circled back behind him giving Thousand a shot opportunity, but in an area he hadn’t exactly planned for.
“I watched him walking through the woods in my scope and the magnification of the scope made him look closer than he was by the time I was ready to shoot. And I missed when I used my 20-yard pin,” he said.
The buck jumped around a few times, settled back down, then continued to eat acorns as he eased out of sight. Thousand was sick, but glad he hadn’t wounded the trophy buck. At that point, Thousand decided to make it his life’s mission to get this deer back into kill range before the season was over.
Thousand doubled down on corn for all his stands, check his trail cameras closely, and even added a few scrape drippers in hopes of getting this buck one way or another.
Two days later, Thousand discovered several brand new rubs as big around as his thighs on a stand several hundred yards away from where he had missed the buck. He figured it was the same deer. So, he chose that tree stand to hunt the next morning for the opening day of muzzleloader season.
The next morning, he watched those rubs, hoping the buck that made them would come by for a visit, but his buck didn’t show up.
On his way out of the woods, Thousand decided to check a stand he had set up for his son behind some houses and pull the trail camera card. And to his surprise, at a stand over half a mile away from where he missed the buck three days before, his buck had dodged him. The trail camera had photos of his nemesis eating corn for 15 minutes between 7:03 a.m. and 7:18 a.m. that morning.
“I took in all that info and figured he would come back to that same place that evening. And at a few minutes before dark that afternoon he showed up and I was ready,” he said.
At only 8 yards from his tree, Thousand shot the 200-pound 8 pointer with his Thompson Center Encore. This time, Thousand’s shot found its mark and his buck piled up just 20 yards down the trail still within sight of his tree stand.
The buck had a whopping 21 ½-inch spread and eight scorable points to total up to a rough gross score of 137 5/8 inches.