Peyton Smith took some early Halloween tricks into the woods with him on Oct. 29 in the form of two scent bombs 30-minutes before first light. He was rewarded with a big treat – a 14-point buck that has been gross green-scored at better than 140-inches. 

“I used two scent bombs just before getting into the stand. I made three estrous bleats on my Primos can call, and the first thing I saw was a red fox about 7:45. The fox stood in the clearing for about 5-minutes. It went straight from standing dead still to running full-speed. Just then, I heard a sound to my right like leaves falling and I could see a few leaves dropping. Then I noticed the tree shaking and I looked at the base of it. It was a deer rubbing his rack on the tree,” said Smith.

The buck left the tree and started heading toward one of the scent bombs. “He had his tongue in the air and he was licking his nose. He was really interested in the scent of that thing,” said Smith, who was sitting in a tree stand about 25-feet off the ground.

Soon, the deer stepped into the clearing. “I couldn’t see anything but rack. I knew it was a shooter, said Smith, who was hunting with a Hoyt Faktor bow.

“He stopped and turned his head and looked in my direction. My heart was pounding! Then he turned his head the other way. I drew back, but the buck was only about 20-yards from me, so I didn’t even stand up. It was all I could do to pull that 60-pounds of draw cleanly while seated, but I put the 20-yard pin right on his shoulder and released. I saw the arrow hit, then the deer took off running,” Smith said.

This brought memories of a bad hunt from the past few years, when Smith, who prefers to hunt only with a bow, arrowed another deer in the shoulder. “That time, the arrow must have deflected off the shoulder or just didn’t get past the bone far enough. I never found any trace of that deer,” he said.

This time, Smith was sure he hit the deer, but didn’t want to jump the buck if it had crashed nearby. He got out of his stand and paced back and forth, giving the deer time to expire. “I waited about an hour, then went to the spot I shot him. I saw no blood at all at first. I walked a little in the direction he ran and saw one small drop of blood. About 10-feet away from that, it was buckets of blood,” he said.

Smith found his trophy about 50-yards from the spot he shot the deer with a Rage Hypodermic broadhead. The 14-point rack measured better than 140-inches, and is the best buck Smith has killed so far. 

Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.

Click here to find out why Rockingham County is such a hot-spot for big bucks.