Youth hunter Haylie Richard of Butner took down a massive 9-pointer on October 29 just before sundown. Growing up in a diehard deer hunting family, the thirteen-year-old finally got a buck well worth sending to the taxidermist, and what a buck it was! Sporting 147-inches of extreme, pearly-white antler and several 14-inch tines, it is a trophy buck worth scripting into anybody’s trophy book.
Richard, her father Anthony, and younger nine-year-old brother Colby are always running to get into the deer stand at every opportunity. She was already behind the eight ball in her family after her brother took honors in Raleigh last year at the Annual Dixie Deer Classic with the largest youth crossbow buck of the 2014 hunting season. So, it was definitely her time to take a big one back to the skinning shack.
According to this father-daughter team, this buck was a recent arrival on their private hunting parcel in Granville County. They spotted him on several trail cameras in and around food sources abundant with does. With the rut beginning to crank up in their area, the Richards knew the big buck would start making mistakes, and they hoped to be around when he did.
On Thursday afternoon, Haylie and her father got situated in their tandem ladder stand, which sits along a pine thicket and a creek bottom covered in hardwood trees. They hoped for the best, and their confidence level was already high because of a recent trail camera video they watched just before climbing into the stand. The big buck was in the area and they felt like they were in the right spot.
Shortly after they climbed in the stand, several does walked up and headed into the creek bottom browsing around. Moments later Haylie saw something moving and signaled her father with a blow to the belly.
“Haylie elbowed me in the gut so I would look up,” says Anthony. “I looked up and I could see a big bodied buck standing at about 15 yards away from us and the buck was looking at the does and grunting hard at them.”
Haylie took one look at his antlers and knew this was the buck she wanted to shoot. It was him!
Immediately, she raised her Horton Bonecrusher and started to get into position, but she pinged the side of the metal tree stand with her crossbow. The deer stopped for a second. Luckily, the buck resumed his travels and headed toward the does, grunting every second.
Haylie was trying to get the crossbow set on the buck’s vitals, but was having a hard time getting the perfect shot, and the buck would soon be out of range. Dad stepped in and pulled back on the reins with a timely move.
“Instinctively, I started bleating at the buck, stopping him right in his tracks. We were both shaking. I believe I had buck fever just as much as she did!” he said.
Moments later, Haylie released the bolt right into the lungs of the buck and out the other side. The buck ran off for 70-yards and piled up, leaving a perfect blood trail.
“She was grinning as hard as she could. I don’t think either one of us could have been much more excited at that moment,” he said.
She kept her cool though and made a perfect shot. Her father had told her not to focus on the deer’s head, but the deer’s body.
“It will mess you up every time if you stare at those antlers. But, she was great and took a fine buck that she will remember for a long time,” said Anthony.
The buck weighed 160 pounds, and is estimated to be around 4 ½-years old. Haylie hopes to take home another plaque for the Richard family at the Dixie Deer Classic this year with the largest youth crossbow kill. At a green gross score of 147-inches, she definitely has a good shot at the title.
Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.