15-year-old had been tracking same deer on trail cam for 3 years
For all of Chase Fraley’s teenage years, the 15-year-old has yearned for a one-on-one with a special Moore County buck. And on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m., the deer of his dreams showed up 65 yards away from his stand chasing a doe.
It was the wrong time of day for this buck to show up on the oak ridge, but it was definitely the right time for Fraley; he was locked and loaded with his Browning .243 rifle in hand.
Fraley is a Native of Carthage, N.C. and he first began collecting trail camera photos of this buck back in 2015 when Fraley was only 12 years old.
“Last year, I got a bunch of photos of him, but he was a ghost,” Fraley said. “This year, everybody in the area on and around our club were getting photos of him. He liked to travel.”
Fraley set up two stands on his club to hopefully encounter this deer and he customarily hunted one of the stands in the morning and the other in the afternoon. On Saturday morning, he saw eight deer with one really nice buck on the morning stand that made him re-think his afternoon plans.
“He was the most active on this stand I hunted that morning and there were lots of deer using it. I had a weird feeling that I needed to hunt that stand again. I don’t usually do that,” he said.
And that afternoon, Fraley got in that same stand early around 2:15 and fell asleep. He awoke 30 minutes later and relaxed while he looked up the hardwood ridge with his Browning A-bolt ready for action.
Then, a doe came running down the hill and to the other ridge. He figured the deer was just anxious to eat corn until the doe ran back up the hill she had just come from and stopped. Fraley kept his eyes on the doe and then two more bucks came into the picture.
“A three-pointer was behind her and another really nice buck was there too. I got my gun up and looked at them through the scope. I dropped down my gun and then saw something out of the corner of my eye,” he said. “As soon as I saw him, I knew it was him!”
At 65 yards, Fraley shot him and the deer took five steps and stopped.
“He started to stagger a little bit, but I wasn’t taking any chances and I shot him again,” he said.
The deer ran five more steps and collapsed. It was the biggest buck he had ever seen and most likely one of the biggest bucks he will ever see in his scope. The buck has been green-scored at 160. It had 15-inch G2s, a 20 ½-inch spread, and thick mass throughout.
JOIN THE CLUB, get unlimited access for $2.99/month
Become the most informed Sportsman you know, with a membership to the Carolina Sportsman Magazine and CarolinaSportsman.com.