Hunter Pegg of Guilford County took to the woods on Nov. 19 with every intention of sitting in his stand until dark, but his plans changed when someone on the neighboring property decided to do a little target practice. After hearing about 30 shots, Pegg decided he’d had enough of that, and moved to another stand he has on the other side of the 30-acre tract. It was a good move.
Changing stands led to Pegg shooting a big 8-pointer that gross green-scored 147 6/8-inches. It was a deer he’d seen on trail cameras earlier in the season, but thought was gone for good after it had not shown up since Sept. 10.
“We had pictures of him in full velvet back in August, but after the end of August, he only showed up one time on camera on Sept. 10. I thought the deer was long gone by now,” said Pegg.
The stand Pegg moved to was a 15-foot ladder stand mounted to a poplar tree that was overlooking a cutover. He had a corn pile in the cutover about 200-yards away from the stand. Once he saw the buck, he knew it was a shooter, but didn’t realize it was the buck he’d last seen on trail cameras in early September.
“I got in that stand around 4:30 in the afternoon, and around 5:35 I saw the deer at the corn pile. I put my scope on him and saw that it was a big-bodied deer, but his head was down and I couldn’t see the size of his rack. I grunted a few times but the deer didn’t hear me, so I just waited. I knew he’d eventually pick his head up, which he did. Even then, I knew it was a good deer, but still couldn’t tell it was the one from the earlier trail-cam photos,” he said.
At 210-yards, Pegg felt comfortable with the shot. Looking through his Nikon scope a little more than a minute after first seeing the deer, Pegg pulled the trigger on his Thompson Center Encore .308, and the buck dropped.
Pegg’s buck had an 18 1/8-inch spread and 25- and 26-inch main beams. It’s the biggest buck Pegg has ever killed, and he said he was surprised it was still around since he had not seen it on his trail camera in so long.
“After I posted pictures on Facebook, one of my friends asked where I’d killed it. When I told him, he sent me photos from his trail cameras that are about 3-miles away from where I killed him, and it was the same deer. It’s hard to believe they travel so much, but that helps explain why he hadn’t shown up at my place in so long,” said Pegg.
Allen Watson is taking care of taxidermy duties for Pegg.
Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.