Eric Knowles of Reidsville, N.C. is one happy daddy after the opening weekend of North Carolina's black powder central deer season. On opening morning, just thirty minutes after light, his oldest son, 11-year-old Jonah Knowles shot a monster 150-inch, 11-pointer at 20 yards from his stand. Jonah's younger brother, 8-year-old Isaiah Knowles shot his first buck, a nice seven-pointer, the next day.
And while a hefty taxidermy bill would normally be on the way, Eric Knowles is the owner/operator of Broken Arrow Taxidermy. His sons will be in for a real treat after their father gets finished with them.
For over 20 years, Knowles has served hunters of North Carolina and neighboring states transforming hunter's kills into masterpieces. This time, he has two good deer to mount for his own flesh and blood. And Jonah's buck was a real beast that sported 11 points and weighed a whopping 210 pounds on the scales.
"When we saw Jonah's buck lying in the honeysuckles, his belly looked like an old freezer lying there," Eric Knowles said. "But, Jonah knew exactly what it was. He told me it was his belly and he was right!"
This wasn't the first time one of the Knowles boys had seen this deer though. Just a few days before in the stand, Isaiah saw the 11-pointer just 10 yards away with his crossbow in hand. But, it was too dark for Isaiah to see the crosshairs, so he didn't attempt the shot.
On the opening day of the black powder season, Jonah and his father slipped into the stand before daylight. Jonah had his .50 caliber CVA Wolf locked and loaded. Overlooking a former food plot juiced up with corn and some volunteer browse, they believed the deer was still in the area and the old food plot would be a good place to sit.
As the day broke, Jonah Knowles was antsy to see some action and picked up his grunt call to stir things up.
"Two minutes later after he blew the grunt call, the buck showed up. He was coming to the grunt call," Eric Knowles said.
Jonah Knowles picked up his rifle and fired a shot into the deer from 20 yards away. The deer took off into the woods and out of sight. He felt like he had made a good shot and they walked over to look for blood. But, a blood trail was nowhere in sight.
"We looked everywhere for blood and we didn't find anything," Eric Knowles said.
They looked for blood for three hours and they both began to feel heartbroken. But, Jonah Knowles remained positive.
"I made a really good shot. I know I did," Jonah Knowles said.
They decided to make one wide sweep to comb the entire area one last time and they finally saw him piled up in the honeysuckle vines. He ran 150 yards and didn't bleed at all.