It is not every day that a 6-point buck is a monster-sized trophy, but when Noah Pennell, a Person County sheriff’s deputy, saw a huge 6-pointer crossing a road last week less than a mile from his tree stand, he quickly became obsessed. Then, on Friday, Nov. 20, Pennell put the smackdown on this behemoth 142-inch deer at a range of 15 yards.
During a late-night patrol near the city limits of his hometown of Roxboro, Pennell saw the big buck just down the road from one of his 20-acre hunting leases.
“It freaked me out that this buck could be using my stand already,” he said.
The next day, Pennell replenished his corn pile, hoping to keep plenty of does around to hold the big buck’s attention. He also noticed a new scrape with a very large track in it.
“A big track like that would have to be a really big deer, and I made the connection he was using my stand already,” he said.
Over the next few days, Pennell held off hunting the deer because conditions weren’t right.
“I am real funny about wind and humidity. I didn’t want to mess up an opportunity at this deer by hunting and allowing the buck to smell me and mess this deer up,” he said.
Pennell believes low-humidity days and favorable winds are extremely important when hunting in tight quarters. His stand was in a transitional area between a major bedding area in an old clear-cut and a mature hardwood forest covered with swamp chestnut oaks.
Pennell kept watching the weather until conditions changed and finally, a cold front pushed into the area. The humidity and temperature dropped, making for perfect conditions for a Friday evening hunt. In fact, after getting into his stand that afternoon, he saw plenty of deer.
“The deer were all over me. I had a 100-inch, 8-pointer come out and eat on the corn,” he said, wondering if this buck was responsible for the scrape and the big track.
Shortly after 5 o’clock, Pennell had one doe below his tree stand, several smaller bucks around and a big doe eating on his corn pile. Then, he heard something rustling the leaves behind him, looked back and saw the huge 6-pointer.
“There he was. I absolutely knew it was the deer I was looking for,” he said.
The buck stepped up, and started walking right toward the doe in the corn pile. It stopped broadside at 15 yards, and Pennell wasted no time putting a shot from his 30-30 through the deer’s chest. The deer trotted off as if startled from the sound of the gunshot, and he heard no crash or anything that would indicate the deer fell.
Pennell shucked a new cartridge into the chamber and looked in the direction the deer had run, and after a few minutes, he climbed down and headed for the spot the deer had been standing.
“I immediately saw lung blood and looked down the trail the deer ran. I knew then, I had made a good shot after all,” he said.
A couple of minutes later, Pennell found the buck 40 yards away, and what a buck it was. The 6-pointer had a 19 7/8-inch inside spread, 27-inch main beams and tines that measured 12 and 13 inches. A tape measure later showed the buck’s green-gross Boone & Crockett club score at 142 inches.
“The palmations where his G2 comes off his main beam is about as wide as my hand. It is an amazing buck and I was happy to get him,” Pennell said.
Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.