Jake Shields of Guilford County was getting ready for bow season in early October when he realized his crossbow string was broken. It got worse when he realized it also had a broken cam. Instead of fixing it, he spent his money on a muzzleloader and prepared for muzzleloader season. The decision paid off for him more than a month later when a trophy buck presented Shields a broadside shot at 100-yards. The buck was net-scored at 142-inches, and weighed 180-pounds. He had never seen the deer until that day.

“After a long period of rain, Lady Luck decided to pay me a visit on Nov. 10. I left work and went straight to my stand and was settled in by 4:15. I sprayed a little Buck Bomb doe estrus and bleated my Primos Original Can twice and waited. Within 15-minutes, I heard leaves crunching from behind me and a nice 6-pointer came in,” said Shields.

But Shields was after something a little bigger, so he didn’t raise his gun at the 6-pointer, and watched it eventually walk away. A little while later, Shields hit his bleat call again.

“Within 3-minutes, I suddenly had the biggest buck I had ever seen appear 100-yards from me, looking straight in my direction. I brought my range finder to my eye to double-check that I wasn’t seeing things and to be sure he was a shooter, and a shooter he was!” said Shields, who set his rangefinder down and picked up his CVA Buckhorn Magnum.

As the buck looked to his right, Shields shouldered the non-scoped gun, put the iron sights on the deer, and watched the buck turn broadside. He let it take a few steps to clear some small brush. Once the deer was clear, Shields let out a “meeeep!” which halted the buck.

“He stopped perfectly and before his head could turn fully, I had already pulled the trigger. An eternity passed before my firing pin struck the primer, igniting my two white hot pellets and launching the 245-grain bullet,” he said.

Shields peered around the muzzleloader’s smoke, seeing the deer run. It appeared wounded to him, and he quickly got out of the stand to begin searching for it. Once he arrived at the spot the deer stood when he shot it, his heart sank. He saw no blood, no hair, no evidence that he’d hit the deer.

After calling his cousin to help him search, Shields began questioning why he hadn’t put a scope on the gun, and started believing he’d missed the deer entirely. Thankfully, after a few minutes of searching, they found the deer. Shields was ecstatic.

“What an amazing feeling it was to get to harvest this beautiful animal and have so many things go my way,” he said. 

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