Byron Ellington of Reidsville is probably one of the happiest men alive, because two of his three young daughters dropped 10-point Rockingham County bucks just two days apart last week, and neither one of them is a teen yet.
The sisters killed their bucks while hunting with their father in a large box stand that’s in the middle of a small field behind their house that their father saves just for his family to hunt. While he normally plants milo or soybeans, this year he allowed the field to go fallow, then mowed a few steps and cut a corn pile in the center, 75 yards from the stand.
The afternoon of Nov. 1, Emma Ellington, 10, was excited because she had seen a big buck slipping around behind the stand the previous week, but it didn’t give her a good shot. In their first 90 minutes in the stand, they’d seen several does and a few smaller bucks, including an 8-pointer. Had it been up to Morgan Ellington, 12, her younger sister would have shot that buck when it stepped into the corn pile.
“Morgan kept nudging me to get Emma to shoot the 8-pointer, but I whispered to them to be patient. I knew there were bigger deer around,” Byron Ellington said.
Moments later, a big 10-pointer walked into the field and directly to the corn pile, giving Emma a perfect broadside shot. Getting the okay from her father, she squeezed the trigger on his .50-caliber Savage muzzleloader, and the buck dropped instantly.
“As soon as the deer fell, Emma shouted, ‘I got him, Daddy,’ and Morgan was bouncing around in the stand steadily congratulating her every breath,” Ellington said.
While Emma Ellington was quickly rewarded for being patient in the stand, Morgan Ellington was fired up and ready to get back in the stand at the first opportunity, which came two days later, but action was slow, with only two does and a yearling buck showing up in the field.
“It was getting late in the day and I was beginning to think this hunt was over until I got a glimpse of a rack coming out of the woods,” said Byron Ellington, who knew the buck was a shooter after a quick look through his binoculars.
Morgan Ellington got the buck in her crosshairs, clicked the safety off and waited for a broadside shot. When she got it, she squeezed the trigger and the buck fell in its tracks.
“Just like (the first time), the girls started jumping up and down. Morgan was ecstatic and was ready to climb down to go see her buck,” Byron Ellington said.
A tape measure showed exactly what kind of trophies the sisters had. Emma Ellington’s deer scored 130 inches, and Morgan Ellington’s deer scored 141.
“I was real pleased both girls made good shots. I enjoy taking them and getting the opportunity to see them get that excited when they hunt,” Byron Ellington said.
These two girls love to hunt and will head to the tree stand at the drop of a hat. While their older sister, Mary Catherine hasn’t hunted very much, she is rearing to go now after her two younger sisters took two nice deer in such a short period of time.
“She has never shot one, but I am doing my best to find her a good one. So far, no luck, but if we are fortunate enough to get one, we will,” says Ellington.
Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.