North Carolina’s traditional deer season ended on January 1st. But for hunters that just cannot get enough quality time in the deer stand, the urban archery season cranked up on January 9th. And for Jeremy Carpenter of Morganton, the urban archery season couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time. At 5:44pm on January 28th, Carpenter arrowed an impressive eight pointer, his biggest buck to date, on a small, seven-acre woodlot in Morganton’s highly-populated suburbs.
“I had taken over 40 pictures of this deer since September,” says Carpenter. “I waited all year long for the urban archery season to arrive and I have hunted him hard ever since it came in. Every day I have been off, I have been in the stand hoping that buck would come trotting down the trail.”
Not only was Carpenter seeing the buck on camera, many of the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods had reported seeing a big buck devouring flower gardens and totally clearing out bird feeders. The buck was hungry and looking for a solid food source anywhere he could get it. Carpenter had a pile of sweet apples and corn right in this deer’s backyard. The buck would show up soon and Carpenter was ready for him.
Last week, Carpenter finally saw the buck in the stand the day before the snow came in when it was cold and windy.
“He came out towards my stand that day and circled me, but he quickly disappeared. I believe he saw me and got out of there. My father told me I just had to get smarter than him because you still have to fool him in his own house. So, I made a change the next day,” he says.
Carpenter moved his stand down the ridge toward the way he came that day in hopes the deer would make another trip down that trail to the apples and corn. Since this deer was already accustomed to people and little woodlands to maneuver in, Carpenter knew he would have one more opportunity. All he needed was one more chance.
On the afternoon of January 28th, it was another cold and windy day in the foothills of North Carolina. Carpenter was sitting tight in his tree stand and two smaller bucks came in down the trail. One was a spike and the other was a decent six-pointer, and both were well within bow range.
“The six-point was a nice deer. I was thinking about shooting him until I caught a glimpse of another deer coming down the trail and I could see horns everywhere. It was him,” he said.
The buck walked nearly the same steps as the week before and began to make that same circle that had led to the buck’s departure on that hunt. But this time, Carpenter was prepared.
“When he came around on my left side, I was standing up and ready to take the shot,” he said.
At 15-yards, Carpenter fired his arrow into the engine room and the two-bladed Rage Hypodermic broadhead did its duty. The buck ran 50-yards down the hill and collapsed.
“I was about ready to jump out of the deer stand I was so excited. It was awesome,” he said about knocking down the largest buck of his life with a bow.
Not everybody gets a second chance in the deer woods. But this time of year when the rut is over and food is scarce, bucks are vulnerable. Not only did Carpenter take the largest buck of his life, the neighborhood resident’s flowers will get a second chance too.
The urban archery season began on January 9th and will continue for 3 ½ weeks until February 13th in North Carolina. Right now, there are over 50 municipalities participating in the urban archery season that will provide an excellent opportunity for Tarheel hunters to get a shot at a true trophy buck literally right in their backyards.