Oak Ridge crossbow hunter kills trophy 10-pointer

10-pointer

Rockingham County 10-pointer green-scored 141 2/8 inches

Hunter Pegg of Oak Ridge, NC downed a Rockingham County 10-pointer he called “Crab Claw” the third day of North Carolina’s 2020 archery season.

It was the 23-year-old’s third-best buck. Last season he downed a 152-inch buck after drilling a 147-inch whitetail in 2015.

“I had him on camera last year and passed (on a shot),” he said. “He was an eight-pointer then, but (its antlers) had the same shape. We called him ‘Crab Claw’ because his right side (fourth tine) and main-beam tip curved toward each other. This year he was bigger and had two kicker points.”

The buck’s rack, a main-frame 4×4, has been green-scored at 141 2/8 inches. Pegg’s trail cameras had taken photos of the buck for two years.

“His rack last year (2019) probably would have scored 120,” the McNeely Pest Control employee said. “So he was a four-year-old buck (in 2020).”

Pegg placed his Loc-On stand 23 feet high in a beech tree at the side of a hardwood ridge topped by a pine thicket.

“I got in my stand at 5 p.m.,” he said. “I had to work a little late. The good news was less time to get eaten by mosquitoes. I wore ASAT camouflage, but I don’t like a face mask when it’s hot. I wore face paint, and mosquitoes buzzed my head.”

Pegg had been placing corn on the ground almost daily.

“I also put Wright Minerals on top (of the corn) and sprayed Happy Herd Coat All on it before I climbed into the stand that day,” he said.

10-pointer came in during last light of day

Hunter’s older brother, Tory Pegg, used those same attractants during early September 2019 to lure N.C.’s record non-typical bow buck to a Guilford County bait pile. That buck’s rack grossed 214 0/8 and 197 4/8 net inches.

But Tory’s younger brother was concerned because deer had been ignoring his bait pile.

“Tons of acorns had fell and dropped when I was in the stand,” Hunter said. “Deer were eating acorns and ignoring bait. Before the acorns started dropping, they were making 50 pounds of corn disappear each night, about to break my bank.”

In fact, the big 10-pointer was chowing down on acorns.

“It was probably around 7 p.m. and last light of the day,” he said. “I could hear him crunching acorns 10 yards behind me. But I couldn’t see him. Then he circled the corn at 30 yards, ate more acorns, then walked in front of me at 15 yards.”

The big buck had three 1½-year-old bucks in tow. But Pegg said once he saw the big one, he ignored them.

“Everything just came together”

“The wind had switched, too, and (the four bucks) were downwind but didn’t spook,” he said. “I have to credit Mitchell Johnson’s Dead End Game Calls Odor Zone Spray for that. I also wash my clothes and use his body soap before I hunt.”

The buck entered a shooting lane from the right of Pegg’s perch.

“He was quartering away slightly,” he said.

Pegg centered the crossbow sight’s crosshairs below the buck’s back straps. The bolt, tipped with a NAP FOC two-blade expandable Spitfire broadhead with a 3-inch cut, entered below the deer’s back, sliced through both lungs and made a large exit hole behind it’s left foreleg.

“He kicked, then ran about 75 or 100 yards,” Pegg said. “I could tell he was hurt, then I heard him crash. That broadhead left a wide blood trail.”

“This was a short hunt, but everything just came together,” Pegg said.

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Congratulations to Pegg, who is now entered in our Bag-A-Buck contest, making him eligible for a number of great prizes, including the grand prize which includes a 2-day, two-man hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge. Click here to view the Bag-A-Buck gallery or to enter the contest yourself.

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Craig Holt
About Craig Holt 1330 Articles
Craig Holt of Snow Camp has been an outdoor writer for almost 40 years, working for several newspapers, then serving as managing editor for North Carolina Sportsman and South Carolina Sportsman before becoming a full-time free-lancer in 2009.

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