Preston Porter of Riegelwood, N.C. killed a giant 8-point buck that green-scored 140 6/8 inches in Columbus County on Oct. 26 at 10 a.m., and while he prides himself on putting in a lot of time and hard work when deer hunting, he has no problem admitting this trophy buck was more a product of luck than anything else.
“I got lucky. I didn’t even know he was on that property,” said Porter, who had hunted several days in a row without seeing anything earlier that week.
“It was my fourth morning hunting, and I didn’t see anything. I got out of the stand to go put corn out on a different stand that I was planning to hunt later that afternoon,” he said.
And on the way to the corn pile, Porter caught a glimpse of a deer with its head down, eating corn.
“I could only see the deer’s back. I didn’t even know if it was a doe or buck right then. I didn't have a really clear view because of a pine tree that fell during that last hurricane, and it was also raining. The wind was blowing the right way for me though, and the deer was facing away from me. It didn’t know I was there,” he said. “And then I saw some tines, but I couldn’t tell much about the size of the rack.”
Porter had left his Ruger .270 rifle in his truck, so he ran back to retrieve it, and even though he felt like the deer would be gone by the time he got back, he knew he would regret it if he didn’t try it.
“I was walking back with my rifle and thinking he’s not going to still be there. But he was. I snuck through the woods and stuck my head out to get a peek, and he was standing there with his head up. I looked through my scope and now the deer was looking over his shoulder back at me,” he said.
Porter pulled the trigger and shot the deer in the spine from 110 yards away. It dropped on the spot, graveyard dead.
“I’ll tell you, I wish I had been in the stand when I shot that deer. I wish I’d known he was there and really targeted him, but I didn’t even have a camera turned on at that stand. Usually when someone kills a deer this size, it’s because they put in a lot of time and work, and I do all of that, but I didn’t do it in this case. It was pure luck. I was just meant to kill that deer,” he said.
The buck had an almost perfectly symmetrical 8-point rack. The left side scored 61 3/8 and the right side scored 62. With an inside spread of 17 3/8 inches, it totaled 140 6/8 inches, and is the second 140-class buck Porter has killed in 15 years of hunting.
“I haven’t had a deer mounted since 2007, but I’m mounting this one and taking it to the Dixie Deer Classic in March,” Porter said.