Justin Faircloth of Alamance County killed his first buck, a 7-pointer, on Nov. 24. On Thanksgiving day two days later, he killed his second one, and that one was a doozy. The 9-point buck had a rack that measured 142 3/8-inches, and is a buck his brother had been after for about three years.
Faircloth admits that he’s not as much of a deer hunter as his brother is, so he feels very fortunate to have been the one to harvest this deer, which they kept tabs on through trail camera photos up until this season.
“The buck showed up on trail cameras for the past three years, but this year, we never saw any photos of him. My brother thought he didn’t make it through the off-season because he just didn’t show up this year until that day. We thought maybe he’d gotten hit by a car or something, or killed on someone else’s property, so it came as a surprise when he showed up,” Faircloth said.
On the occasions Faircloth has hunted, it’s almost always been in the evening, but on this hunt, he was in the stand by 6 a.m. He wasn’t sure how long he should hunt.
“I texted my brother, asking him how long I should stay in the stand on a morning hunt. He replied at least until 9,” he said.
Faircloth didn’t have to wait that long. The buck showed up around 7:45. From his 20-foot tall ladder stand located on the edge of a big field, he saw the big buck chasing a doe. Both deer were very close to his stand. He didn’t have much time to react, so he took aim with his AR15 and pulled the trigger, sending a .223 round at his second buck in two days.
“It was about a 10-yard shot,” he said.
The buck looked pretty beat up according to Fairlcloth.
“It looked like it had been attacked by coyotes or something, and had a nasty hole in its back leg,” he said.
Murphy’s Taxidermy in Graham is handling the mounting duties.
Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.