The 12-point trophy had an unusually tall rack
Kaleb Justice killed an Alamance County, N.C. high-racked, 12-point trophy buck that’s been green-scored at 145 inches on Dec. 3, 2020. He combined a number of post-rut, late season strategies to bag the big deer.
Justice’s tactics included his awareness that a fast-approaching cold front would have deer on the move, attractive food sources, a well-hidden stand that provided long-range shooting opportunities, and a tack-driving rifle.
The hunter had watched the buck for three years before deciding to take a 276-yard shot at the 12-point trophy.
“I’d been hunting this property for three or four years,” he said. “And I had confidence in my rifle. I knew if a buck came 300 yards or closer, I could make the shot.”
Justice shot the 12-point trophy with a Savage Storm .270
He knew it was likely deer would move on Dec. 2, which was a cold day. He sat that morning along the field’s edge in a buddy style stand that’s well camouflaged with tree limbs from the big cedar tree it’s attached to. He had a shooting bag that fit snugly around a metal arm rest.
“Every year, there’s a little trim work to do,” he said. “A person on a four-wheeler could ride by and never see it.”
As Justice expected, the big deer showed up that morning. But it didn’t walk within range.
“At 7:15 a.m., he came into the field at 375 yards,” he said. “He walked to 335 yards before he went back in the woods.”
The height of the deer’s rack was impressive
He waited a few more minutes, but soon left for his job. He returned that evening, but the buck didn’t appear. The next morning was also a bust, but the hunter came back that afternoon.
At 4:40 p.m., the deer stepped out of the woods and walked to a feeder in the field. Justice watched the buck for 30 minutes. With light fading, he ranged the deer at 276 yards, put his crosshairs at the top of its shoulder and squeezed the trigger.
The 12-point trophy ran 15 yards closer to Justice’s stand. The hunter fired again and the buck fell.
The buck weighed 180 pounds and featured G2s measuring 13 inches. The rack’s asymmetry and the scant inside spread of 13 inches didn’t aid the rack’s total score when taxidermist Craig Hall of Mebane taped it at 145 gross/green inches.
But the rack’s unusual height makes it a visual stunner. From its skull’s crown to the rack’s top totaled 21 inches.
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