Noah Pennell of Roxboro, NC took advantage of a 30-yard shot window to make a deadly connection on a massive 9-point Caswell County buck that had enough tine length, mass, and spread calculations to yield over 138 inches on the Boone and Crockett scale on Sept. 24.
The buck, which Pennell and his small group of hunting buddies had named Bent Brow because of a crooked brow tine, was on the group’s hit list after they observed its growth from last year on the series of trail cameras they have installed throughout their hunting area.
Pennell credits Bent Brow’s growth to the quality deer management tactics the group employs, and said a major change to the group’s trail camera system is one reason the buck stayed comfortable enough to stick around their property long enough for him to kill it.
“All of us are members of QDMA and have really benefited from their resources for hunters and land managers,” Pennell said. “We started planting food plots, keeping mineral supplements out, conducted selective timber harvests, and came up with a harvest program to control the population and take bucks 4.5 years old and older, said Pennell.
And the changes to their camera system gave them a complete look of their farm, and the deer on it, with the least amount of human disturbance as possible.
“We upgraded to the Cuddeback CuddeLink system that allows all of our cameras on the farm to be linked and checked from one location. We wanted to further reduce human activity on the farm to provide limited disturbance,” he said.
“’Bent Brow’ was regularly on our mineral licks and food plots throughout last season. One of our hunters actually had a shot at him, but passed on him last year to let him grow another year. When we saw him on camera this past summer, we were pleased to see pictures of him at the Buck-it mineral lick site and were surprised of how many additional inches of antler he had added,” he said.
Thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Florence, Sept. 24 was an overcast and cool day, and the wind and rain from the storm had piled up plenty of acorns around one of Pennell’s stands along the edge of some mature oak trees. It just so happened to be a place frequented by Bent Brow.
Around 7 p.m., the buck showed up, slowly moving through the oaks and into range of Pennell’s Bear X Fisix Crossbow. Pennell evaluated the deer through his Nikon binoculars for a few seconds.
“I saw great beam and brow tine length, good mass, and overall tine length; the G4 on the left and the brow tines looked familiar and I decided he was a shooter,” he said.
The deer stopped broadside at 30 yards, and Pennell released his arrow tipped with a 100-grain NAP Spitfire broadhead. The deer bolted and crashed a few seconds later. After a brief tracking job, Pennell and a friend found the deer lying just inside the edge of the clear cut.
“When we grabbed his main beam and pulled his head up, we both knew immediately it was indeed ‘Bent Brow’,” he said.