A retired Greensboro police officer used a crossbow to bag one of 2016’s biggest bucks last Wednesday in Guilford County.
Tommy Thompson, 69, of Oak Ridge used a PSE Fang crossbow to arrow a wide-racked eight-pointer with velvet starting to peel off its tines.
“The rack totaled 160 2/8 inches gross and 149 6/8 inches net,” said Thompson, who had the deer scored by Scott Miller of God’s Country Taxidermy.
Thompson was familiar with the buck, having seen it in 2015 when it wore a set of antlers not nearly as big as it had last week. He had several trail-cam photos of the buck this fall.
“I was hunting a small plot of land near my home, so I was able to go and watch a lot,” Thompson said.
The day he killed the deer was windy.
“I normally don’t like to hunt in the wind, but I kept getting the deer on the camera. I took a chance and it worked out,” he said.
Thompson was hunting from a ladder stand 40 feet off the ground.
“(The buck) was staying in a swamp, and I didn’t want my scent getting blown down there,” he said. “He’d sleep in the swamp and come out to eat at a soybean field until 1 a.m., then he’d go back into the swamp.”
Thompson scattered a bag of corn near his stand in the swamp to lure deer into the open in daylight hours.
“Three other bucks came (to the corn) at 5:53 p.m., but they kept looking back, and he finally walked out at 6:57,” he said.
Using a rangefinder, Thompson knew he had an 18-yard shot. He aimed behind the buck’s left shoulder and pulled the trigger, sending a Victory bolt tipped with a 100-grain expandable Spitfire broadhead on its way.
“It went through both lungs. He took off, hit something, and the Lumenok came off,” said Thompson, who climbed down and found the 160-pound buck 75 yards from his stand.
“I started dragging him out of the woods, gave out and went to get a four-wheeler, loaded him and rode out,” he said. “I was so excited I left my crossbow in the woods overnight. I went back the next day and got it.”