David Curtis, a native North Carolinian who has lived most of his life in Florida, returns home nearly every November to deer hunt in Alamance County. Last fall was a special season for Curtis, who used a Thompson Center Encore rifle with a .25-06 barrel to drop the best buck of his hunting career, a 10-point typical that scored 166 7/8 Boone and Crockett Inches.

“I’ve been hunting this buck for 50 years,” the 58-year-old Curtis said. 

Curtis operates his family’s bee-keeping business in Labelle, Fla. He learned the apiary art from his grandfather, George Curtis, of the Mount Hermon community.

Because of sleet and snow, Curtis almost didn’t make it to his hunting spot on Thanksgiving morning.

“Then, I was walking to my stand, which is 200 yards from a 5-year-old, 150-acre cutover, and I heard deer blowing,” he said, thinking he’d been detected.

But after he climbed into a lock-on stand, he heard another deer snorting near a creek a good distance away from him. To him, that meant a buck was “messing with” a doe and not alarmed at his presence.

“I was in my stand about 45 minutes and a doe came out of the cutover, then five minutes later, the buck took one step out of the cutover and stopped,” he said.

Curtis shot the deer through its spine and dropped the 5x4 main-frame buck — which sported several sticker points off the antler bases — in its tracks at 45 yards.