Tyler Campbell bowhunts throughout North Carolina and Ohio, and said planting food plots is half the fun for him. He was rewarded for his fun last week when he killed his biggest buck to date in Alamance County while hunting one of the food plots he planted.
Campbell’s buck was 6-1/2 years old with a rack that measured 166-inches, and he feels fortunate to have taken it. “It’s definitely the deer of a lifetime for me, especially it being a North Carolina deer. It was an awesome experience for me,” said Campbell, who was running out of daylight when the big buck finally exposed himself.
“I got to my stand a little later than I’d hoped after dropping my wife off at her stand. I bumped three deer on my way in,” said Campbell, who was hunting from an 18-foot tall lock-on stand with his Mathews bow. “I decided to stand up for the last 15-minutes or so of the hunt.”
“It was a 72-degree day and the mosquitos were bad so I had the hood of my mosquito suit up. I thought I heard a step, so I lowered my hood, and I heard it again. When I looked in that direction, I saw the right beam of a set of antlers and I knew it was a good buck,” Campbell said.
But with daylight running out, Campbell wasn’t sure the buck would offer him a clean shot. Luckily, it did. “ The buck was downwind of me, and even though I’m real cautious about being scent-free, I was getting worried he had caught wind of me. He stood there for probably three-minutes before finally stepping into the food plot,” said Campbell.
“It was cloudy, and when I drew back, I couldn’t find the deer. I let down, then saw the buck walk into the food plot. I drew back again, then I found the deer, but couldn’t find the pin. Then I’d get the pin in focus and couldn’t see the deer. I had to relax and tell myself I could get it together, and I finally put it together and released the arrow. It sounded like I’d hit a watermelon,” said Campbell, who saw the Nocturnal Lighted Nock and knew he’d connected on the shot.
“I hit it right in front of the last rib. I heard it crash through the woods,” said Campbell, who headed back to pick up his wife. Knowing the deer needed some time to expire, Campbell returned the next morning and tracked the buck. “It had bedded down in three different spots during the night, and we found it about 450-yards from where I’d shot it,” he said.
As proud as Campbell is of harvesting this buck, he said that isn’t why he hunts. “The best part of my hunt is getting to spend time in God’s creation, and I hope others take the opportunity to do the same. That day, I just was especially blessed,” he said.
Campbell hunts with a bow almost exclusively, and enjoys the management part of hunting a great deal. “I let a lot of young bucks walk and target only mature bucks and management does,” said Campbell, who believes management doesn’t just end there. To him, management is a year-round activity which includes keeping food plots in throughout the year. He also sees management as something that takes several years, as his latest trophy buck can attest.