Some trophies are measured in more ways than shear size, and sometimes it’s the smaller trophies that are the most memorable. That’s definitely the case for Josh Hyde’s 120-class buck he killed at the end of November in Graham County.

“He is not the biggest deer I’ve ever killed, but for Graham County and the mountains of Western North Carolina, it’s a great deer. It was definitely the most memorable experience being able to kill this deer in a county where so few are actually harvested,” said Hyde.

But that’s not the only part of this hunt that will be forever engrained into Hyde’s memory – or his wife’s. Getting to the spot to kill this deer was a chore. Getting the deer out was a whole new level of chore.

“After a 15-minute boat ride, a hike up a mountain, followed by a mile long walk for the third day in a row, I finally got to lay eyes on the buck I had been waiting for,” said Hyde.

The time-consuming trek to the deer made up the lion’s share of the hunt. Once in place, Hyde’s task of luring in and shooting the deer went relatively smooth.

“At about 8 a.m., I can-called and followed that up with a few short grunts. Right away I could hear this deer coming to me. He finally stepped out of a thicket about 100-yards away. At that point, there were too many limbs in the way to shoot, but the buck finally started to ease my way, presenting me with a quartering shot. I squeezed off the trigger and heard the buck crash within ten seconds,” he said.

With that, the real work started. That long trek Hyde took to get here? Now it was time to make it in reverse, while hauling the dead weight of a trophy buck.

“A huge thanks to my wife for helping me drag this deer out for hours on end. I finally got to start skinning him around 4 p.m. Though it was a lengthy and exhausting process, it was well worth the time put in because it was the very last possible hunt before leaving to go out of the country for a mission trip,” said Hyde. “Deer season for me in Western North Carolina officially ended with a kill that will be remembered for a lifetime.”