Jim Andrews has kept tabs on a massive 8-point buck on his Orange County, N.C., hunting land for quite a while. Early on the afternoon of Nov. 28, his patience and experience managing his herd and providing premium habitat paid off in a big way when the 155-inch buck stepped out in plain sight, giving him a killing shot.

Andrews lives in the small community of White Cross, just south of Chapel Hill. When not ringing up customers at his convenience store, he is planting food plots rich with clover and oats, improving natural habitat, checking trail cameras and exploring ways to grow trophy bucks and pull them into range. 

Last year, Andrews arrowed a 145-inch whopper, by far his biggest buck to date. When he started seeing the huge 8-pointer in trail-camera photos earlier this season, he was on board with topping his personal best as soon as possible — but the buck outsmarted him every chance it got.

“During bow season, there were so many acorns on the ground, I couldn’t get him to come into the food plots,” Andrews said. “Then, he disappeared for the last three weeks on my cameras, and I started to get worried.”

The rut began to crank up in his area, and he knew the buck would make some poor decisions in the coming weeks. He just hoped the deer would make bad choices on his land. When Andrews checked his trail cameras last Sunday, he found something refreshing.

“He was back. He was there Saturday night and Sunday morning. He was traveling with the same group of six does he had been with before,” Andrews said.

Sunday afternoon was Andrews’ first chance to target the buck. But when the six does appeared, the 8-pointer wasn’t with them. Instead, two smaller bucks showed up and sparred in front of him most of the afternoon.

“I believe he was there that afternoon, but just inside the wood line,” Andrews said. 

Andrews’ next opportunity was Monday afternoon. He got in his stand at 3:45, and after sitting for nearly an hour, he saw movement on the edge of the food plot: the six does. They emerged from the woods, and Andrews saw movement behind them. A deer stepped into the plot and Andrews pulled up his scope to get a better look. 

“It was him. I could recognize those massive G2’s anywhere,” he said. 

The deer moved swiftly into the food plot, not giving Andrews a steady shot with his Savage .270. 

“He was throwing his head up and moving like a bull elk with his herd of cows, and then he stopped, giving me a front-quartering shot. I put the crosshairs on his shoulder and let it rip,” he said. 

The buck immediately dropped his head and bulldozed back into the woods. Andrews knew he had made a solid shot and waited as long as he could before climbing down. He didn’t have to go far; the buck, struck by the 130-grain Remington Core Lock, had gone only a few dozen steps back into the woods.

Andrews’ buck will overtake his personal best by nearly 10 inches. And with two 13½-inch G2s, this 8-pointer is an incredible deer, a true reward for all of his efforts.