Amanda Graves is a top-notch student-athlete, and her parents, Travis and Robin Graves said she’s a top-notch daughter as well. Add trophy deer slayer to her resume; on Nov. 16, the 15-year-old killed a big 10-point buck that was green-scored at 149 1/8-inches.
It’s no surprise that while sitting in the box-stand with her dad, she was doing homework. “I’ve been really busy so I had to do my homework in the stand. While I was reading, my dad said ‘Amanda, there he is,’” said Amanda Graves of Alamance County.
Hearing that, she wasted no time putting away her book. “I looked up and there he was. He came into the pasture and stood around looking for about 15-minutes. He stared in our direction for a good 5-minutes looking for does. He didn’t see any, then he started walking away,” she said.
Luckily, while making its move to walk away, the buck offered Graves a broadside shot. “My rangefinder’s battery was dead, so we had to estimate the distance. We figured the deer was about 200-yards away, which is as close as we ever saw it during bow or muzzleloader season,” said Travis Graves.
With the broadside shot there for the taking, Amanda Graves leveled her Thompson Center Venture 7mm rifle, looked through her Nikon Monarch scope, felt confident about the shot, and pulled the trigger. She knew her aim was true right away, and the big buck fell just 40-yards from where it was hit.
The father-daughter duo got into the stand at about 4 p.m., that the buck walked into view about 40 minutes later. The buck was on the ground before 5. But, this was no lucky occurrence. Rather, it was the end of a long, hard hunt that had lasted over six weeks.
“During bow season, we saw that buck, but it was never in range. During muzzleloader season, we saw that buck but it was never in range. This was at least the sixth week we’d specifically hunted that deer, and finally, now rifle season, the deer was in range. My friend Jason Carter helped out a lot with checking trail cameras and in many other ways. It was a team effort,” said Travis Graves.
One thing that surprised the duo was the actual distance of Amanda’s shot. “We had estimated the deer was about 200-yards away, but once the deer was on the ground, we stepped it off. It was 260-yards away. Amanda made a great shot,” said her dad.
“”I was very excited. We’ve been after him a long time and I’m glad we finally got him,” said Amanda Graves, who plans on having the deer officially scored during the Dixie Deer Classic. Taxidermy duties are being handled by Steve Rogers Taxidermy in Chapel Hill.
Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.