With a knee surgery scheduled for early December, Mary Morgan of Angier had been spending as much time as possible trying to bag a trophy buck before her hunting season is cut short.
When invited to hunt on a friend’s property in Chatham County, she accepted, and killed a 162 ⅞ inch, 14-pointer that was chasing a doe.
Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro takes great pride in growing big deer on his tract and wanted nothing more than to see Morgan take one home. On the morning of Nov. 15, she and her son Jesse Wise settled into a ground blind that looked between a lane of pines into a food plot that Phillips had planted in clover.
“Shortly after sun up, we had 2 does come out at about 400 yards,” said Wise. “We knew right away that it was going to be a good morning. The does walked right across to the food plot. Three or four more came out at about 200 yards while we were sitting there and then at about 7:45 we had a small basket rack 8-pointer come out.”
After letting the young buck walk, Morgan and Wise witnessed 2 more does and a cow horn come to the food plot. Then 5 more does came out together. Wise estimated that they hadn’t gone 10 minutes the entire morning without seeing deer, totaling 25. As they discussed their good fortune, they didn't know it was about to get much better.
“It was about 9:30 when a single doe came out,” said Wise. “She didn’t act like any of the other does we’d seen. She was trying to get away. I told Mary to get ready.”
“I sat up in my chair and started getting the gun out to get ready,” said Morgan. “Then he came out and I said, ‘there he is!’ All I saw was that it was a buck with horns.
“Jesse said that he was a shooter, so I started getting ready to shoot. He had the binoculars on him and they were running. esse hollered at him to get him to stop. He stopped and looked right at us.”
Morgan peered through the scope of her Remington .270 and placed the crosshairs just behind the right shoulder before squeezing the trigger and firing a 130-grain Hornady GMX bullet towards her target 115 yards away.
“When she pulled the trigger, the deer jumped and his front brisket hit the ground,” said Wise. “He barreled out of there and made a big U shape. I was watching him through the binoculars and when he turned to the left I could see blood pouring out. I said, ‘Momma, you smoked him.’
“We gave him about 30 minutes and went down to look for blood. We found some good lung, just chunks laying out. I knew he couldn’t hold that. We went about 8 yards into the woods and that’s where we found him. He had run about 50 yards.”
Morgan’s buck carried an inside spread of 14 and a ½ inches. Its right G2 reached 11 ½ inches and the right G3 was 11 ¼ inches. The brow tines were 8 inches and 6 ½ inches, and the circumference of the bases was 5 ¾ inches.