Northeastern North Carolina has produced some outstanding whitetail bucks this season, and a Bertie County monster killed Nov. 9 by Lee Mizelle of Windsor may prove to be the best of them all.

Hunting over an uncut soybean field, Mizelle, a 40-year-old chicken farmer, dropped a massively-tined trophy buck with one shot from his Remington .300 rifle.

Drapp Harrell of Ahoskie's Stoney Creek Taxidermy unofficially has scored the antlers at 179 inches gross and 169 inches net - one inch shy of the Boone-and-Crockett typical-rack minimum.

"I have a place we call a 'honey hole' because me and only four other members of our hunting club go there, and I'm the one who hunts deer the most," said Mizelle, who had killed eight different deer from the same field in past seasons.

"I didn't know there was such a buck there," he said. "I hadn't seen him, but I'd seen some other bucks. I hadn't done any scouting; I just knew it was a good spot, and my son (Alex, 10) had killed a nice 8-pointer there the second day of gun season."

Mizelle's stand was a chair at the base of a cedar tree in a 15-acre soybean field. "I just took a chair out there and sat down and waited for deer to come out," he said. "I was out there when Alex killed his 8-pointer."

On Nov. 9, his son was standing  behind the cedar tree with Mizelle seated in what he called a "lounge chair."

"I had to scold (Alex) because he kept moving around, peeking around the tree at deer," Mizelle said. When he arrived at the field dressed in a camouflage pullover and orange cap, Mizelle wasn't sure conditions were favorable, but he sat down in his chair.  

"I didn't have a good wind direction. The wind was blowing directly from us toward where I thought the deer would come out," said Mizelle, who found a scape at the edge of the woods and hung a paper towel soaked with Tink's 69 deer lure above the pawed area, in addition to spraying himself and his son down with Scent Killer.

"We got there about 4:05 (p.m.)," he said. "I set down my gun and walked to the edge of the woods about 125 yards away and put out the Tink's." After he walked back to the tree, Mizelle said a cowhorn buck came out of the woods, then a couple of does.   

"The cowhorn walked directly to the paper towel, pawed the scrape underneath it, then peed in the pawed ground," he said. "I'd never seen that before. Then he walked off. He never acted like he smelled me or my son."

Then something caught Mizelle's eye farther down the edge of the field. "Three does came into the field, then I saw the big one standing in the edge of the woods," he said. Borrowing his son's binoculars, Mizelle got a quick look at the buck's headgear.

"I figured it was an 8-pointer, and I decided I was going to take the shot," he said. "Probably it's good I didn't look that hard at his rack."

Still sitting in his lounge chair, Mizelle steadied his aim with his elbow on his leg and looked through his Simmons 3.5x10 scope cranked up to full power.

"I put my head phones on because the gun makes so much noise," he said. "The deer was quartering away. When I shot him behind the right shoulder, he dropped right there."

The time was 5 p.m.

Mizelle said he and his son didn't get excited until they walked to the buck. "When we saw the rack, I went to pieces," he said. "Alex was dancing around, jumping up and giving me high fives, and (he) wanted to call his (grandfather) right then."

This buck's rack, which has a 21-inch outside spread and 19-inch inside spread, is truly impressive. The right main is 25 inches long, with a brow tine of 9 3/8 inches and other tines measuring 7 4/8 inches, 7 6/8, 6 2/8, 4 4/8 and 3 4/8 inches.

The left main beam is 24 2/8 inches with a 7-inch brown tine and other tines measuring 8 7/8, 8 2/8 and 3 3/8. A 3 3/8-inch abnormal tine extends from one tine.

Circumference measures on the right side were between 4 7/8 and six inches, and on the left side from four to 6 4/8 inches.

"Patience pays off," Mizelle said. "People said I'm lucky, but I've killed several nice deer. I tell everyone to not shoot the first thing that comes out."