Union County hunter arrows huge 9-pointer

Travis Purser arrowed a partially in-velvet nine-pointer that grosses 140 inches Sept. 10 near a Union County persimmon tree.

Once archery season opened, it didn’t take long for Travis Purser of Union County to down his best bow buck.

And it’s certain there’ll be more to come, because he’s in the woods almost every day – although another 140-inch 9-pointer might be hard to come by.

“I hunt a lot, four or five days a week for the entire season,” said Purser, a 40-year-old construction worker. “I usually fill my two buck tags during bow season, then I spend the rest of the time taking my kids and wife and let them do the shooting.”

On the evening of Sept. 10, two days the season opened, Purser was in a lock-on tree stand in a hickory tree when he arrowed a nine-pointer that’s his top archery buck.

He’d carefully scouted private farm he was hunting and had placed his tree stand at a classic ambush spot — a funnel.

“I’ve been hunting this farm for 18 years, and it was a hardwood funnel between a CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) field that had a pond on the other side,” he said. “It was a bottleneck through the hardwoods, and a lot of deer use it.”

Purser was 20 feet off the ground in an area with plenty of oaks and a few scattered persimmon trees.

“It’s between a bedding and feeding area,” he said. “The acorns were falling, but I think the deer were more interested in the persimmons. They’d already had started to fall.

“Some cows and a coyote already had come in that evening and ate some of the persimmons.”

Persimmons ripened early this year; they usually don’t fall until after the first frosts of October. And there’s no doubt deer love persimmons, which apparently are wild candy for them.

“I hadn’t seen this buck previously, but I only put out trail cameras the day before,” Purser said. “I missed a 20-inch, full-velvet 8-pointer on Saturday out of the same stand. Shot over his back.”

He reached his stand at 5 p.m. after finishing work.

“I had gone home, changed clothes and put on a t-shirt, hunter-safety vest and some Mossy Oak pants,” he said. “A lot of times, I hunt in shorts.”

Purser said the breeze was blowing from the bedding area toward him.

“I don’t believe in the “no-scent” products advertised on television,” he said. “First, I don’t usually have time after getting off work to take a bath and spray down my hunting clothes. But it’s all about wind direction anyway. If you watch the TV hunting shows, you’ll see people who use scent-killer saying, ‘There’s a big buck; here he comes, and, whoops, he busted us. He must have smelled us.’

“A deer’s gonna smell you if the wind direction’s in his favor; I don’t care what you use to wash your clothes.”

Thirty-five minutes after a decent 8-pointer walked near his stand, Purser spied the bigger buck walking in the woods to his left about 30 yards away. It had materialized from the bedding thicket.

“It looked like he was going to go by me, then for some reason, he made a 90-degree turn and came right to the stand,” he said. “I think he was going to the persimmons on the ground. The tree was 15 yards in front of my stand.”’

Remaining seated, Purser raised his Bowtech Allegiance compound, set at 63 pounds draw weight, and drew back the string. Shooting an Easton Axis 340 Carbon Express arrow, he put the 20-yard sight pin just below the buck’s right shoulder.

“I hit him where I was aiming, and he took off,” the hunter said. “I had 10 minutes of shooting light left, so if he hadn’t turned and come to me when he did, it’d been too dark for a decent shot.”

The buck ran 40 yards and piled up. Purser had picked up his binoculars to watch the buck flee, but underbrush kept him from seeing it fall.

“He’s got a 9-point rack, with five points on the left side, which is still mostly covered in velvet,” said Purser, who has been a bowhunter for 25 years. “I put a tape on his antlers, and he had an inside spread of 18 5/8 inches with G2s of 10 and 10 1/2 inches and main beams of 22 and 22 1/2 inches. He grosses over 140 inches, and I’m looking at 5 or 6 inches of deductions.”

About Craig Holt 1382 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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