Making a last minute decision put Burlington native, Steven Fazzino, on the map with a huge 155-inch Person County giant on Nov. 14. But, this wasn’t the first time Fazzino had looked at this massive mainframe 10. 

He first spotted this buck moving along creek corridors on his Person County hunting property, and for months, Fazzino sifted through trail camera photos devising various plans to get the huge buck in his sights. By early November, the deer was still on the loose. At least Fazzino hoped he was. But he wasn’t sure, because his trail camera with the most recent photos of the buck was missing.

“My camera vanished and I am not sure if he was still around or not,” he said. “But, the activity along this creek bottom was low.”

Knowing he needed to change up his tactics for a shot at the trophy buck this late in the season, Fazzino began scouting around the field edge and towards a major crossing of three creeks that he called the “three way.” Following this tactic, he noticed a narrow section between the field and one of the creeks, and then he heard something crashing through the woods. He had jumped two big deer which ran off into the distance. He set up his new stand right there, and spent the evening cutting a new shooting lane under his truck lights. 

Two days later on Nov. 14, it was drizzling and Fazzino observed the squirrels and birds around his house were very active. He figured it may be a great day to go, so he did. That decision made it a great day in the woods, but a last minute relocation strategy almost foiled Fazzino’s success.

Getting into his new stand at 2 p.m., Fazzino sat for nearly two hours without seeing anything at all. He began to second guess his stand location and really wanted to be at the end of the field where the three creeks came together. At 3:45 p.m., he climbed down and started walking towards the “three way” stand.   

At the end of the field, he realized the woods had dried up, making it too noisy to head into the woods to overlook the three creeks. So, he turned around and headed back to his new stand. Halfway back, something caught his eye near the creek bottom right out in front of his stand. 

“I kneeled down immediately along the edge of the field and I wasn’t sure if it was ‘the’ deer, but it was definitely a good buck. He was moving towards my new shooting lane and I was preparing to shoot as my adrenaline was running strong,” he said. 

As soon as the deer got in his shooting lane at 80 yards, Fazzino stood up just enough to get the deer in his crosshairs and pulled the trigger. The deer ran 60 yards and fell dead. 

“It was pure luck that I got that deer. If I would have stayed in the stand, he would have walked right by me, but if I would have gone to the three-way stand, he would have spooked,” he said.