Reidsville’s David Vaughn took a good buck on opening day, but his latest kill, a 169 4/8-inch wall hanger carrying a 24-inch inside spread, 27-inch main beams, and 5-inch bases is a true North Carolina whopper buck that was completely unexpected on the second Saturday of the muzzleloader season in the hills of Rockingham County.
“Since I killed another mountable deer last weekend on opening of black powder, I let the other guys pick where they wanted to hunt,” he said. “I decided to hunt a creek bottom just off a gas line.”
It wasn’t his first choice stand, but he and the other five members of Town Creek Hunt Club manage for quality bucks on their 400-acre hunting club, and most of their stands are in good places.
The morning started slow, but around 8:15 a.m., he looked up and saw the buck coming out of the creek bottom to his left. The deer was alone and just cruising through the area.
“The deer comes out and starts to cross the gas line in the opening and I smoked him at 64 yards,” he said.
Vaughn dropped the buck in his tracks with a solid shot with his CVA .50 caliber Optima.
Vaughn’s big buck almost became another hunter’s trophy minutes before he spotted it. Just across the woods 200 yards away, his uncle, Kenny Vaughn was hunting over a pond dam and had watched the buck for a few seconds on his stand. But, he couldn’t get a clear shot at the deer.
Kenny Vaughn was getting ready to call David Vaughn to tell him the big buck was coming his way. Before he could dial the number, he heard his nephew shoot and knew it was over for that deer.
Vaughn’s buck was a familiar one they had watched for most of last season last on camera. But, the deer was strictly nocturnal and they thought somebody had killed him last season. Fortunately for David Vaughn, the deer made it into the 2016 fall season just in time.
“It is the biggest deer I have ever killed and probably the biggest deer I will ever see in the woods for the rest of my life,” Vaughn said.
Keith Knight of Knight's Taxidermy in Summerfield (336-312-6457) officially green scored the deer at 169 4/8 inches.