NC 8th-grader blasts 139-inch Person County bruiser

Thomas Whitt knew his best shot at this big buck would be on NC's Youth Day, and he took full advantage even though he slept through the morning hunt.

Youth Day gave young hunter first shot at big buck

For 14-year-old Thomas Whitt of Rougemont, North Carolina, Sept. 23 will be quite the memorable day for him and his family. It was North Carolina’s designated youth day. At 7 p.m., Whitt buried a full load of 12-gauge buckshot into a massive Person County nine pointer. It was not only Whitt’s biggest buck ever, it was a monster, scoring 139 inches.

Even at his young age, hunting is true to Whitt’s heart and one of his favorite pastimes. And when he started getting photos of a big buck on his trail camera behind his home back in August, he started doing everything he could to get this deer to stick around until youth day. He found a good spot in the woods and started pouring out the corn.

“I started baiting him and had him coming in for weeks,” Whitt said. “He was coming in right much. Fortunately, he was coming in just before dark.”

Whitt knew the state’s Youth Day would be his first stab at this deer before anybody else could get to him. But, when youth day arrived, Whitt overslept through the morning hunt. So at 4 p.m., Whitt climbed into his tree stand.

That afternoon, the woods were alive with squirrels.

“I had squirrels running all over the place making all kinds of noises,” he said.

But, as night grew near, Whitt detected something walking through the leaves. He heard footsteps.

“I heard something coming that didn’t sound like a squirrel anymore. I looked up and saw him standing there. It was the big buck,” he said.

Whitt didn’t waste any time. He clicked off the safety on his Remington 12-gauge shotgun and shot the deer at 50 yards before the buck could take another step. The blast echoed through the forest and the buck did the 40-yard dash before crumbling to the ground along a four-wheeler trail.

“The Winchester buckshot did the trick. He didn’t run far at all,” he said.

Whitt’s buck, which was his second ever, had a 17 ½ inch inside spread and had a total score of 139.

About Jeff Burleson 1311 Articles
Jeff Burleson is a native of Lumberton, N.C., who lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He graduated from N.C. State University with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences and is a certified biologist and professional forester for Southern Palmetto Environmental Consulting.

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