R.J. Seiler of Stokesdale had hunted a piece of property in Rockingham County for about 20 years and knew it like the back of his hand, but when 30 acres that adjoin the property were clear-cut this year, he had to rethink everything. Fortunately, the place he decided to hang a stand turned out to be a winner, with a 150-inch buck making a fatal mistake there this past Monday night.
Seiler figured the new clear-cut would have a profound effect on the deer using his property, and he was correct. There were tracks all over the place with several major trails entering and exiting the cutover littered with fresh, tender sprouts. After thorough scouting this past summer, he found a place inside his hardwoods where several trails converged leading into the cutover and connecting with a 4-acre field of standing corn field adjacent to a creek bottom.
Stand placement was critical, and timing is everything.
“In order to see a decent buck in the daylight hours, you have to cut them off before they get to the corn. I have been hunting this farm since I was 18 years old, and I knew this would be the place,” he said.
Monday afternoon, Seiler got in his stand early. From his stand, he has a wide variety of views, including the cutover, back across the creek bottom and down a shooting lane that intercepted the trail at only 15 yards.
At 6:45 p.m., he saw three racked bucks 100 yards away feeding on fresh browse in the cutover. One carried a small, basket rack, one was a 16-inch 7-pointer, and then there was the big 8-point buck.
“I knew the 8-pointer was a shooter immediately,” Seiler said. “I didn’t try to gauge his antlers much. All I knew is that I was going to shoot him if I got the chance.”
As he’d hoped, the bucks were moving towards Seiler, approaching the trail opening along the cutover. As the two smaller bucks stepped into the woods, the big buck was lagging behind, and that alerted Seiler to get his bow ready. Then, he heard some commotion coming from the creek bottom.
“It was three does coming up the trail and the three bucks going down the trail. They were getting ready to converge right in front of my stand,” he said.
At this point, the bucks and does saw each other and stopped. Seiler was ready and waiting for the big buck to step into the shooting lane.
“One of the smaller bucks was standing in front of the big one, until the big buck nudged the smaller buck with his antlers,” he said. “I guess he wanted him to get out of the way so he could greet the does, but he stepped into my shooting lane, giving me a beautiful quartering-away shot.”
Seiler released his arrow, tipped with a two-bladed Rage Extreme broadhead, which took the buck with a perfect shot. The buck took off and jumped the creek.
“The buck stopped suddenly, looked back and tipped over. I didn’t get tore up until I could see him laying here at 75 yards away. I had no idea this deer existed, but there he was, and I had him on the ground,” he said.
Seiler’s buck is a main-frame 8-pointer with five scoreable sticker points around his 6-inch bases. His gross score, including all of the kicker points, is right around 150 inches. With 24-inch main beams, 11 ½-inch G2s, and an 18-inch spread, there is no doubt this is one massive buck and a deep notch in Seiler’s belt.
“I have been real fortunate over last seven or eight years to take several nice bucks in the 120s, but this buck is head and tails over the rest of them,” he said.
View more deer hunting articles at NorthCarolinaSportsman.com.