Bobby Davidson of Sanford has travelled all over the country to kill big bucks as a pro staffer for Mathews Archery – Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, Missouri – so who would have thought that his biggest buck of his life would come from family farm in Moore County? But it did: a 169 1/8-inch buck taken on Sunday, Sept. 14.
A competitive archery who shoots on the Archery Shooters Association circuit, it took Davidson only a routine 15-yard shot to take down a non-typical 10-point buck on his first hunt of the season.
His buck was by far the biggest he has ever killed. A main-frame 4x4 with split G-2 tines on each antler, the buck had 12 ½-inch G2’s, 5 ¼-inch bases, an 18 ¼-inch inside spread and 24-inch main beams.
Davidson and his hunting companion, Ritchie Ward, had trail-camera photos of the buck for several years, and Davidson had first passed on him in 2012 when it sported a rack he estimated at 115 inches.
“It was bound to happen. We have been watching this buck mature for several years now,” Ward said.
For the past few weeks, trail cameras had showed the 10-pointer traveling on Davidson’s 320-acre farm with a couple of other smaller bucks, including a big 9-pointer and a smaller 6-pointer.
“Last year, we had thousands of photos of him and just last week, we had 222 photos of him. I told Bobby on Sunday it was definitely time to get him before they break out of their bachelor groups,” Ward said.
Davidson’s tree stand was in a wooded travel corridor between two food plots – he planted 30 acres of corn, soybeans, oats and winter peas – and the deer’s primary bedding area. He slipped in on Sunday afternoon without making too much of a ruckus.
Shortly after climbing into his tree stand, Davidson watched a couple of does and a few smaller bucks milling around and browsing on their way to the food plots. A few minutes later, a 7-point buck came into view but was quickly startled by an animal coming in from the field.
“My neighbor’s dog showed up and ran off the deer,” Davidson said.
Luckily, the dog didn’t hang around very long and went back home when its owner called. Twenty minutes later, the big 9-point buck showed up.
“On almost all of our photos from last week, the 9-point has run with the big 10,” Davidson said.
A few minutes later, he heard some leaves crunching from the direction of the bedding area. He turned his head and saw a 6-pointer, but he could still hear more leaves crunching.
“I turned the binoculars, and the first thing I saw was the forks off his G2’s and big brow tines. Then, I went into kill mode,” Davidson said.
As soon as the buck got into range, Davidson drew his bow and released a razor-tipped Carbon Express arrow, which took the deer right behind the shoulder. And 70 yards later, the 175-pound bruiser collapsed and sealed the deal for Davidson.