On Sept. 13, the second day of archery season, Calvin McCaskill of Thomasville killed his first-ever buck with a bow, and boy, what a start. The Moore County buck was a massive 11-point main-frame buck with two sticker points that scored better than 160 inches – still in full velvet.
McCaskill credits his success to the quality deer management practices he and his neighbors use on the farm they hunt. The huge velvet buck wasn’t the first trophy to come from the property; in 2014, McCaskill killed a 152-inch, 10 pointer with his muzzleloader.
After looking at his trail-camera footage this summer, McCaskill felt the 2015 season was going to be very promising.
“I was amazed to see all of the bucks that were in my area, including three or four that had great potential to grow into trophy bucks,” he said.
But two of them were beyond just big bucks: a huge 10-pointer and an 11-pointer with a split brow tine. McCaskill decided to spend his hunting time targeting those two animals.
“I had never killed a buck with the bow before. It was my goal this season to try to shoot a trophy with my Mathews,” he said.
On the second afternoon of archery season, he climbed into his tree stand in a patch of oaks next to a swamp. A small non-typical buck showed up 45 minutes later, which put McCaskill on alert; this buck had generally been traveling with the two trophy bucks. Only a few minutes later, the 11-pointer stepped into the picture, giving McCaskill just enough time to settle down and prepare to make the shot.
“He was broadside at 26 yards when I released the arrow, and I watched it hit him right behind the shoulder. I knew it was a great shot!”
The deer ran off in a hurry, but he crashed to the ground only 50 yards away.
McCaskill wasn’t disappointed when he got to his trophy. The buck was a main-frame 5x6 with sticker points on the base of both antlers. The inside spread was 19 ½ inches, and preliminary measurements of the main frame of its rack put the buck at 163 gross inches – not counting the sticker points.
– Read about some of North Carolina's great bowhunting areas here.