A visit to Person County on Sept. 14 turned into a once-in-a-lifetime road trip for Carla Inman of Canton, who killed a whopping 175-inch non-typical buck from a ground blind, then arrowed an 8-pointer in full velvet 20 minutes later.

Inman’s husband, Dean, works for Sunburst Trout Farm in Canton. The couple has made regular trips to Person County over the past several years to hunt with Tim Godwin, a friend and enforcement officer with the Commission, who met the duo while working in Haywood County.

Godwin was looking forward to the Inman’s visit as much as they were, because he had a few decent bucks in trail-camera photos, but the first buck Carla Inman killed was definitely a big surprise — as in 14 points, one of them a long, extra beam jutting from the base of its right antler.

The Inmans arrived at Godwin’s home early in the afternoon on Sept. 14 but didn’t get into the woods until almost 6 o’clock. Carla Inman set up with her crossbow in a small ground blind looking down a shooting lane that was 45 yards long and 15 yards wide in the middle of an overgrown cutover. After sitting quietly for 45 minutes and watching a gray fox frolicking around in her shooting lane, she saw movement at the end of the lane.

“A buck stepped out into the lane and started walking right straight to me,” she said, “I made the decision I was going to shoot pretty quick, but he wasn’t giving me the best shot walking right to me.” 

The deer kept coming at a brisk pace closing the gap quickly, and panic began to set in.

“I was afraid he would bust me if he got much closer, so I I took the shot when he was less than 20 yards away from me,” said Inman, who watched her bolt slam into the bucks’ brisket and then watched him storm off into the cutover.

“After he ran off, I heard him crash a few seconds later, and I knew I had him. But I really wasn’t sure how big he actually was. It all happened so fast.”

She reloaded her crossbow and waited. Minutes later, another buck stepped out in her lane, and this one also carried a head full of antlers. She put the crosshairs on him and let fly. Well hit, the deer bolted into the cutover.

Carla Inman waited until her husband and Godwin arrived.

“I waited forever it seemed, but they finally showed back up after a couple of hours and I told them I may have done something I shouldn’t have done. I told them I shot two deer,” she said. 

Inman was worried that taking two bucks might have been a little too much, but she was completely wrong. Her husband and Godwin were delighted that she had quick access to success on the first day of her hunt, and both are excited to see her bucks.

Inman wasn’t sure how big the bucks were, and she gave her husband and Godwin little information on which to build any expectations. They decided to track the first buck, and Godwin quickly found a blood trail. Moments later, he found the deer and freaked out.

“You have got to be kidding me, it is a monster,” Godwin yelled. “Do you realize how big this buck is? This will be one of the biggest bucks to come out of the state this year!”

They quickly found the smaller 8 pointer on the other side of the shooting lane. The next day Curtis Vaughn at Curtis’s Taxidermy put a tape measure on the big buck and came up with a green-gross non-typical score of 175 1/8 inches.