Katie Purgason of Taylorsville killed her first bear while hunting with a black powder rifle on Nov. 5, and followed it up on Nov. 16 with her biggest deer ever, a 140-inch 11-point monster in Wilkes County.
But if it wasn’t for her younger brother, Lindy Hudson, she wouldn’t set foot in a deer stand in the cool November mountain air.
“My brother is a diehard deer hunter and got me into deer hunting back in 2013 where I killed my first buck in Caldwell County,” Purgason said. “And I have been hooked ever since!”
Purgason is in love with deer hunting, and is making every attempt to turn her friends onto the sport too. Just last season, she let her best friend hunt one of her hot stands. And her friend killed a 135-inch buck on her first time in the woods. But this season, it was Purgason’s time.
Leaving her driveway on Nov. 16 at 5 a.m., she called her brother to see where he was going to hunt, and he was already at the hunting property preparing to walk into the stand she was planning on hunting that morning. She pleaded with him because she had a good feeling about this stand that morning.
“I talked him into letting me hunt that stand and I headed that way,” she said.
A spike buck came in shortly after daylight, and started eating acorns along the edge of the hill. Moments later, Purgason heard another deer coming from off in the distance grunting at the young buck. She looked up and was pleasantly surprised.
“I looked up and all I could see was horns coming through the woods. I was like ‘what in the world’ and I started shaking like a leaf,” she said.
It was a huge buck. The biggest she had ever seen, and the deer was right in front of her.
“He came in running towards that spike. I don’t know if he thought it was a doe or not, but as soon as he stopped, I aimed my muzzleloader and pulled the trigger,” she said.
A huge burst of smoke filled the mountain air from her black powder rifle and when the smoke cleared, the deer was gone.
“I was praying I had hit him, but I wasn’t sure what to do,” she said.
Over the next couple of hours, Purgason sat quietly in the stand and wondered if she was going to go home with a big smile on her face or feel devastated.
“I was too nervous to go look,” she said.
Over the phone, her brother coaxed her to climb down, and she headed off down the hillside with high hopes. After a short walk down the trail, she looked up and saw her trophy lying motionless in the leaves. She called her brother and told him the good news.
“I told my brother I was going to cry when I finally found him,” she said.
“Holy moly, that’s the big boy we have been after,” Hudson said once Purgason showed him the buck.
Hudson couldn’t have been happier for his sister on that day to take such a beautiful animal.
Not only was the deer sporting a massive rack of antlers with 11-inch G2’s and a 17 ½-inch spread, the deer weighed 225 pounds. The deer was at the base of a Wilkes County mountain, and it took nearly 4 ½ hours to get the deer back to the truck with the help of a four wheeler and a heavy rope.