Abbey Long of Summerfield was hunting with her dad on Nov 7 when she killed the third deer of her life, and her biggest by far. The 10-point mainframe buck had 15 total points, and was gross green-scored at 145 1/8-inches. She ended the hunting trip disappointed though, and didn’t overcome that disappointment until several days later.

“We hunt from a barn loft overlooking a bean field. It was muzzleloader season, and I was hoping to get a big buck my dad had seen several times on trail cameras. He only shoots really big trophy bucks, and this one was a good one that he was saving for me or my sister, who also hunts with him,” said Long.

It was raining off and on that day, and Long and her dad saw several does and fawns, but nothing to get excited about. Their luck changed though, when they spotted something about 75-yards away at the edge of the woods surrounding the field. It was the buck they were hoping to see.

“I put my scope on him and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t fire. We reloaded and I got ready, found the deer in my crosshairs again, and pulled the trigger. It fired this time, and with all the smoke from the muzzleloader, we didn’t see the deer fall or anything. Once the smoke cleared, there was a big buck standing there, and we figured I missed,” said Long.

Long and her dad didn’t have time to reload before the deer trotted off, so she was disappointed. They went to check for blood or any sign that she’d hit the deer, and they found none. “My son started calling my ‘Shaky,’ and I took a lot of joking around from my family. After a few days, my dad noticed that buck had not shown up on any of the trail cameras since that day, so he went back for another look,” said Long.

Long’s dad called her at work to tell her that she hadn’t missed after all. The deer they spotted after the smoke from the muzzleloader cleared was a different deer all together! Long’s aim was true, and her dad had just found the proof. 

“Dad found the buck about 50-yards from where I’d shot it. I was at work, and I got him to bring it by so I could see it. No more getting teased about missing from my family now!” said Long, who is having a mount of the deer by Kenny Gallimore at Wildlife Creations Taxidermy in Denton.

Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.