The last two weeks of October wound up being pretty special for Chase Tedder, an 18-year-old Rockingham Community College student from Walnut Cove, N.C. He caught an 8 1/2-pound largemouth bass, his biggest ever, from a local watershed lake on Oct. 18.
“I wasn’t expecting anything else like that to happen,” he said.
Six days later he killed a 10-point, 200-pound Stokes County buck, with a crossbow.
Sounds like he was due for a break of good luck.
Nine years ago, Tedder was diagnosed with bone cancer in his left femur. He spent a year in Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, undergoing chemotherapy. Doctors saved his leg, inserting a metal rod in the affected bone, but he’s still undergoing treatments.
“But I feel blessed,” he said. “Something like that gives you a different perspective on life.”
Tedder felt blessed when he saw the 10-point buck in mid-September, about 10 days after North Carolina’s statewide archery season opened. He passed on a bunch of does and several smaller bucks, waiting for the big buck, who he saw on Oct. 22.
“He came out (into a field) with a 6-pointer 10 minutes before dark,” he said. “He gave me a shot at 60 yards, but I didn’t want to risk it.”
Two days later, he got home from classes at 1:30 p.m., rested, finished his homework and pulled on his hunting clothes. He almost forgot his grunt call.
“It stuck in my mind what my buddies, especially my hunting teacher, Randy Hill, had said that the rut was already in because they’d seen bucks chasing does,” said Tedder, who climbed up in his Loc-on stand at 5 o’clock.
“I was hunting over a long soybean field,” he said. “I put out corn, molasses and apples, but the deer ignored it and were eating soybeans.”
At 6 p.m. Tedder heard what he thought was an animal walking in the leaves behind him.
“Then the buck came out at a point across the field,” Tedder said. “He was looking. It seemed like he might walk across the field, so I eased the grunt call out of my pocket. He’d made a scrape a few yards away on the field edge, so I thought he might be heading for that.”
Tedder grunted softly two or three times, then increased the volume.
“His ears pointed forward, and he started walking toward me,” he said.
The buck slowed its walk at 30 yards after Tedder grunted again.
“I put the sight pin behind his left shoulder and touched the trigger; I heard a big slap sound when the arrow hit him,” he said. “He took off running across the field, stopped, then jumped in the woods.”
Tedder called Hill, who advised him to sit in the stand until he arrived. An hour later in darkness, Hill used a flashlight to track the buck about 65 yards, finding it piled up in the woods.
The buck, a 4x5 main-frame with one sticker point, is Tedder’s best.
“When he was coming in, I didn’t realize he was that big,” Tedder said. “He was so massive me and Randy had a hard time dragging him. It took several tries to heave him on the back of my truck.”
The buck’s inside spread is 17 1/4 inches; it’s 19 inches outside.
“I didn’t want to go to sleep that night, then wake up and find out it was all a dream,” Tedder said.