Daniel Jacobs of Concord has known the value of hunting suburban whitetails for a long time, but on Friday, Oct. 13, he was surprised to see a huge buck with a 12-point, non-typical rack standing 10 feet from his stand, a deer he had no clue lived anywhere near his hunting spot of 20 years.
“I hadn’t seen it; I didn’t have trail-camera photos; and nobody in the neighborhood had seen it,” said Jacobs, the operations manager for Concord Regional Airport.
Jacobs has placed Loc-on stands at various spots in a long, hardwood funnel in suburban Cabarrus County, a favored place to find deer skulking or resting near housing developments.
“It’s a strip of woods probably 100 yards wide,” Jacobs said. “How long (the strip extends) is anybody’s guess; it goes for miles. My stand is near an (intersection). There are houses on either side. The best thing is it has lots of old hardwoods, and this year, plenty of acorns on the ground. Acorns are everywhere.”
The stand he was sitting in was relatively close to one house, with a church across a street from the house.
“All I have to do is check the wind,” he said. “If it’s right, I sit in the stand and wait. I don’t bait with corn or anything.”
Jacobs enjoys watching wildlife trade up and down the funnel, knowing that few residents grasp how much wild game uses the strip.
“I’m a meat hunter, so I don’t hunt bucks,” he said. “I just hope for something to walk by. I hope to kill a doe every so often.”
Jacobs carries a Hoyt Nitrum compound bow set at 65 pounds draw weight and carbon arrows tipped with Muzzy broadheads.
“I’ve got it cranked up pretty high for elk hunting,” he said. “I use the same arrows for deer that I use on elk. They fly really good.”
When legal shooting light arrived on Oct. 13, a rainy Friday, Jacobs was 20 feet up in a mid-sized oak tree.
“At first light, I was surprised when I looked down and saw the buck 10 steps from my tree,” he said. “With the wind, rain and acorns falling, it was so noisy I didn’t hear him walk in behind me.”
Jacobs was watching a worn-out trail in front of his stand when the buck passed underneath him.
“I couldn’t tell what’s going on with his (antlers), but I drew back, released — and shot under him,” Jacobs said. “But he didn’t hear the bow shot, I think, because of all the wind and rain. So he didn’t run off.”
Jacobs put the next arrow into the buck’s boiler room, and it bolted only 25 yards down a hill before collapsing — a bit of good luck on Friday the 13th.
“I’m glad he fell quickly,” he said. “With the rain, I never could have followed a blood trail.”
Jacobs was stunned at the buck’s thick antler mass but more surprised at its body size.
“I hoisted it up on some scales at my shop, and it weighed 210 pounds — with the head on the ground,” Jacobs said. “So it probably weighed around 215 or 225 pounds.”
The “starburst” rack had six points on each side, with above-average mass at the bases, but extremely thick antlers; the circumference between the first two points on the left beam was 7 inches, while the circumference in the same spot around the right beam was 4 2/8 inches.
“I haven’t had it scored yet,” Jacobs said. “It may not score a lot, but the rack has a lot of character and I like it.”