A potential Pope and Young on opening day is about the best birthday surprise that any diehard hunter could yearn for. And during the first hour of daylight on the opening morning of the North Carolina 2016 Archery Season, Lawrence Green of Wake Forest was in the right place at the right time when a massive 141-inch eight pointer stepped out of the woods and right into Green’s lethal territory just two weeks after his 21st birthday.
For four years, Green kept tabs on an almost perfectly symmetrical-racked buck on his family’s hunting land in Wake County. But this year, the deer had entered into a class of his own.
“My father Larry, Uncle Cole (Rimmer), and I aggressively manage our properties and try to only shoot mature bucks,” He said. “We decided this deer was at his peak and added him to the list.”
All summer long, Green captured this deer on his trail cameras on a regular basis. He could barely wait for the opening day to arrive, but had a scare just 8 days before the season opener.
“After getting pictures of him every week throughout the summer, he disappeared on September 3rd,” he said.
Green was worried and kept checking his camera throughout the week, but still no sign of the deer. He began to contemplate his opening day plan until his father encouraged him to stick to it. Green’s stand was overlooking a transition area between a major bedding area and a ridge of mature oaks that were spitting out acorns all over the forest floor.
“I didn’t think I was going to see anything that day, but my dad reminded me the wind was going to be perfect and the stand would be a great place to sit on opening day,” he said. “The acorn crop had started falling Labor Day weekend and that usually pulls the deer to the acorns this time of year…it’s just like a light switch.”
On opening day, Green slipped into his stand super early to make sure he was set long before daylight. As soon as he got into his stand, he could hear deer coming through the woods before he even pulled his bow to his stand.
“Deer were walking underneath me, but it was still pitch black dark and too dark to see anything,” he said.
Later on, light began to arrive and he could see two does out in front of him browsing on the overgrown brush. As they moved off into the distance, he caught movement out in front.
“A deer stepped out of the wood line and instantly I knew it was him. After watching this deer for months on camera, there was no doubt it was the deer I was after. It was him,” he said.
While Green set his sights on the big 200-pound eight pointer standing over 100 yards away, he heard some commotion from behind him and it was a familiar group of smaller bucks that had been traveling together with the other buck for most of the summer.
“As soon as the bucks showed up from behind me, the big buck looked up and saw them. It was his friends and the big buck started coming right toward them,” he said.
Fortunately for Green, the big buck’s trajectory was right in his shooting lane, allowing him to successfully make an easy 20-yard shot with his Mathews Z-7 Extreme at 6:45am.
“It was like something you see on TV. Everything fell right into place,” he said. “My father, Uncle Cole, and I work hard every year on our hunting land to provide nutritious food plots, good habitat, and we manage both our bucks and does to maintain a healthy ratio. If it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t be in a position to take such a beautiful animal.”