Jacob Shepherd of Wilkesboro, N.C., had never seen the big buck that stepped out on him on Monday, Sept. 10, the third day of bow season, but it didn’t take him more than a second to recognize it as a shooter.
And it didn’t take too many more seconds before he sent an arrow through the buck, and not too much longer before he was kneeling astride a great buck: a 4x4 main-frame with one split drop tine that measured 141 1/8 inches in full velvet.
“I had some small bucks on (trail) camera, but I had never seen this buck,” said Shepherd, a 26-year-old agriculture teacher at West WIlkes H.S. “I’ve got a buddy who hunts a piece of land across the road, and he told me after I killed him that he had pics of him all summer.”
The buck carried a heavy rack with a 17-inch inside spread, bases 5 1/2 inches in circumference and thick beams that were 4 inches in circumference almost to the very tips.
“The mass is what really helped him (score),” said Shepherd, who was hunting out of a box blind on the ground back in the woods, close to an open area that had been a food plot in 2017 but had not been planted this year. He had apples and corn spread on the ground in front of his stand, which he got into on Monday afternoon.
“Typically, I don’t see a lot of deer from this stand,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of pix, but I think I spook ‘em going in or out.
“I had been seeing some deer (Monday), but it was getting late. I had a spike come in, then a small 10-point, then an 8-point,” Shepherd said. “I had the 8-point almost beside me; I was afraid he was gonna bust me.”
The 8-point finally walked toward the old food plot, when Shepherd saw the big buck’s head pop up.
“He came off this little embankment and started to push the little 10-point around,” he said. “He finally actied like he was leaving, quartering away, and I said, ‘Here’s my chance.’”
Shepherd let fly with his PSE Brute bow when the buck was 22 yards away. The arrow, tipped with a Rage X-treme broadhead, took the buck well back on one side, angled forward and came out behind the opposite shoulder.
The buck took off and got out of sight — less than 10 seconds after it originally appeared. Shortly, Shepherd was joined by his father and brother, and he started trailing the buck.
“I got 18 inches of arrow back from where it broke off,” he said. “There were little bits of blood, then it got down to a dot here and there. It ran out, and then I looked up and saw him lying there.”
Shepherd guessed that the buck wasn’t going to be in velvet for much longer.
“His velvet was real thin, and the veins were popping out,” he said. “He would have probably lost his velvet in a couple of days.”
The big buck was only Shepherd’s third deer with a bow, his second buck.