When it comes to deer hunting, Mike Davis would rather be at Person County.
Davis, 55, the lake warden at Burlington’s Lake MacIntosh, bagged his second giant Person County whitetail buck on Dec. 1. Taxidermist Randy Dunkley of Hurdle Mills has green-scored the nearly-perfect 10-pointer’s rack at 160 3/8 inches gross and 159 2/8 inches net. Its inside spread is 19 inches.
Five years ago, on Nov. 12, 2011, Davis dropped a 152-inch 8-point buck on the same spot where he helped harvest tobacco as a youth.
Hunting with Burlington’s Mike Nichols last Thursday, Davis was in an enclosed box stand next to a 200-yard long food plot in the middle of a cutover when the bruiser appeared at the field’s opposite end.
“We had one trail-camera photo of him Sunday of the week gun season was coming in,” said Davis, who had seen “two real nice bucks” at the food plot the previous Saturday but didn’t take a shot.
The buck walked into the open alone around 7:45 a.m. on a day marked by perfect cool conditions with no wind.
“We didn’t have any corn out or anything; it’s just a food plot,” Davis said. “I think he was looking for does.”
Davis took the shot at 180 yards with his Browning A-Bolt .270, but the buck didn’t appear to be hit.
“He didn’t run after I shot,” Davis said. “He just spun around and started walking back the way he’d come into the field. I don’t know how I missed him,” Davis said. “It was definitely my fault because the gun was set up right.”
Getting more settled, he put the Bausch & Lomb scope’s crosshairs on the deer’s shoulder and pulled the trigger a second time.
“I knew I’d hit him because he ran off with his tail bucked,” Davis said.
After his second shot, Davis called Nichols, who was hunting nearby, and told him what had happened. After a few minutes, his friend arrived. They followed a scant blood trail 70 yards and found the buck piled up in the thick cutover.
After shooting, when Davis got to the fallen the deer, he could smell the deer’s tarsal glands, meaning the deer was still actively in the rut.
Davis, who is set to retire July 1, said he hopes to hunt and fish a little more in the future.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever see a buck as nice as this one again,” he said.