Christin Carter, a student in East Carolina University’s dental school, has been introduced to deer hunting by her boyfriend, Brad Whitman. Thanks to a big 12-point buck she killed last Saturday on opening day of gun season in Guilford County, he’s a jealous boyfriend.
“My first deer is bigger than any deer he’s ever seen,” said Carter, who was hunting on family land in the Oak Ridge area last Saturday when she killed a 165-pound buck with antlers that have been estimated to score between 140 and 155 inches.
Whitman began taking Carter hunting in Duplin County in October, but neither had seen any deer “worth shooting,” she said. At the same time, however, big bucks were showing up in photos from a trail camera set up on the edge of a pasture that sloped down toward a creek bottom back home near Greensboro. Two were 8-pointers – at least one of them a nice, big buck – and another 6-pointer had been using the area.
“He had to work last weekend, so I went home to hunt on my family’s property,” she said.
Last Saturday morning, sitting by herself in a stand for the first time, Carter saw a few does. Back on stand after lunch, a 6-pointer showed up in the field at around 3:30, chasing a doe.
“I didn’t want to shoot the 6-pointer with a chance at shooting one of the 8s,” she said. “I was hoping to see the bigger of the 8s.”
She held off, and the 6-point buck left the field, only to return at 4 p.m. She held off again, and when two more does showed up at 5:10, she expected the 6-pointer to make another appearance.
Then, she said, “The biggest buck I had ever seen walked out of the woods. Knowing he wasn’t what I had seen on the trail camera, I started shaking.”
Carter calmed herself enough to shoulder her .270 and let fly at the buck, 200 yards away. The shot caused him to jump, take a half-dozen quick strides, then stand still, panting visibly. Her second shot dropped him in his tracks.
“I was so excited, I called my parents,” said Carter, who found out that her mother and the man who manages the family’s horse operation had been watching through a scope the entire time.
When she took the buck to a nearby deer processor, she ran into three N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission employees who estimated that the buck, which has a main-frame 5x6 rack with one sticker point near the base of the right beam, would score in the neighborhood of 155 inches.
Allen Watson of Outdoor Blessing Taxidermy in Oak Ridge, who said he hadn’t put a tape on the rack, guessed it somewhere in the mid-140s.
“It’s a really nice buck; I’d think the deer will score in the 140s,” he said. “It’s not very wide – only between 14 or 15 inches – and it’s got good tine length and pretty good mass.”
The buck has six points on its left beam, including three very close together of about the same length. The right beam has five typical points, plus a sticker near the brow tine.
“I still can’t quite believe it,” Carter said.