Lee Huffman of Dallas likes to hunt, and this is his favorite time of year to do it. Seeing the results from his hunt on Oct. 23, it’s no mystery why. Huffman killed two deer — a 10-pointer and a 9-pointer — within a five minute stretch, and the 10-pointer was the best deer he has ever taken. The 10-pointer was green-scored at 135 1/4-inches.
Huffman’s hunt was also on public land, a detail that he takes pride in. “To take these two deer on public land is a blessing,” he said. And while he feels fortunate things worked out for him, this wasn’t just a lucky hunt for Huffman. Many other hunters would have never had the opportunity to take his biggest deer because they don’t have the patience, which Huffman said will always tip things in a hunter’s favor this time of year.
“I hunted the day before, and it was so foggy that I couldn’t see 50-yards. I spotted 2 does and 2 cow-horns that day, but I only hunt here for big deer. This is a draw hunt on the lower section of the Roanoke River and it’s tough hunting. A day hunting here involves a long boat ride, followed by a long walk through some swampy areas with lots of downed logs and debris. You don’t want to shoot just anything here. It’s a long haul back to the boat,” Huffman said.
On Friday though, Huffman was glad to see the fog had cleared. After shimmying 20-feet up a tree in his Summit climbing stand, Huffman saw a doe almost immediately. “She was about 200-yards away and I could see her clearly. There was no fog at all and I was happy to see that. I watched her for a while and then I heard something sounding like a dog shaking itself off when it’s wet,” said Huffman.
The sound had come from a buck that was following the doe, head down and grunting. Huffman immediately recognized it as the same buck he had missed two weeks earlier with a blackpowder rifle. He grunted at the buck several times, and it finally stopped, offering Huffman a shot which he took. “I shot, and the buck dropped right away. I called my wife and told her I had just killed the biggest deer of my life,” he said.
But while on the phone, Huffman saw another big buck, walking the same path as the first, head down, and also grunting. With his wife on hold, Huffman took aim and shot that buck too, which also dropped on the spot. “I started coming down the tree then, and I saw two more bucks, both on the same path, and both also grunting after that doe,” he said.
“If you have patience and let those does walk this time of year, you will see bucks following them. A lot of guys just shoot the first buck they see, and that’s a mistake too, because a bigger one is bound to come out if you let the smaller ones walk. I was lucky that the big one was immediately following that doe, but a lot of times, a smaller buck will come out first behind a doe, and if you let those walk, you’ll get a shot at a bigger one,” he said.
Another tip Huffman offered is for hunters to make sure they are comfortable with their rifle, scope, and ammunition. “I missed that bigger deer at a little over 200-yards two weeks earlier, and as soon as I got home, I started shooting my Ruger at 225-yards, and I shot it numerous times over the next two weeks. When I shot those two deer at 200-yards, I was completely comfortable that I was going to hit them both dead-on,” he said.
Huffman shot both deer at 200-yards with a Ruger American .308 with a Leupold scope and Hornady SST 150-grain bullets. JR Smith from Bessemer City is handling the taxidermy duties.
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