A hunter with an itchy trigger finger may have a hard time letting any buck pass. But, after dropping a 14-point, 200-pound Chatham County bruiser on November 10th, Edward Diver of Goldston proves that you can harvest trophy bucks in your own backyard if you let them go and let them grow.

Diver, who leases about 1500 acres between Chatham and Moore counties for his hunt club, credits a change in their management practice for his success. “We started the club in 1982,” said Diver. “But about 5 years ago, we changed from shooting anything, to managing everything. Now we only shoot bucks that look like they have an inside spread of 16” or better. We weigh everything and keep up with what we’ve got.”

Diver’s trophy had an inside spread of 19¼ inches, tines measuring up to 12½ inches, and main beams that were 26½ inches each. The gross green score on the rack is over 180-inches. Because it will score as a five-by-eight or six-by-eight, some deductions are expected, but it will surely make the state's record book.

He describes his encounter as “about 45 seconds that felt like 2 hours,” he said. “I was in the stand by 5:45 in the morning and this deer came out about 7:00. First, an 8-point came into the shooting lane closer to me. He was 16-inches or better, but I wasn't interested in him. Two or three minutes later, a doe popped out farther down the lane, and the big buck came in right behind her,” he said. Diver was hunting an oak grove surrounded by pine trees and sweetened with a corn pile.  

“When he came out, he had his rear end toward me,” said Diver. “I could see part of the left beam and the back tines. I knew it was a mature buck and big enough to shoot, but I didn't know how big he really was until after.”

When the doe this buck was chasing made a turn to the right, the buck also turned. This proved to be his fatal mistake. “When I saw the main beam, I put my scope on his rear end,” said Diver. “When he turned, I just followed him on around.”

Diver squeezed the trigger on his Knight muzzleloader and ignited the powder, embeding a sabot slug behind the buck’s right shoulder. After receiving the blast from 80- to 90-yards away, the buck sprinted about 45-yards before piling up on the ground.  

“I really didn’t know how big he was until I walked up and found him,” said Diver. “I’m glad I didn’t. I was shaking hard enough just walking up to him.“

“He’s supposed to be on my wall by Christmas,” Diver said.

Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.