Carolinas’ Deer of the Year

Where were 2019’s big bucks killed in the Carolinas?

Would his big buck stay on schedule?

That had to be the premier thought in the mind of Tory Pegg of Kernersville on Sept. 7, opening day of North Carolina’s statewide archery season.

He had a huge non-typical buck coming to a mineral site in trail-camera photos on Thursday, Sept. 5, and Friday, Sept. 6, at around 7 p.m. Would the buck make it three nights in a row?

Just before dark on Sept. 7, Pegg got his answer. A few minutes later, he was standing over one of the biggest bucks ever killed in North Carolina, a 31-point, non-typical whitetail that wound up breaking a 13-year-old record by more than 20 inches.

Pegg’s enormous Guilford County buck originally scored 199 4/8 points, and after the required 60-day drying period, it scored 197 4/8 — good for the Boone & Crockett Club’s all-time record book and easily big enough to oust Brent Mabry’s 176 7/8-inch Hailfax County buck, taken in 2005 from the top spot.

Pegg’s trophy buck is only the fifth non-typical whitetail from the Tarheel State to qualify for the Boone & Crockett Club. North Carolina has produced 23 typical bucks that have qualified for the record book.

Numerous hunters killed trophy bucks this past year

A handful of bucks taken this past season have a chance to join them. It all depends on how they score after the drying period and how many deductions are part of their tremendous preliminary scores.

Two extremely heavy racked bucks — Jared Troublefield’s 175 3/8-inch Anson County buck, taken Nov. 14, and Patrick Brown’s 172 4/8-inch Jackson County buck, taken Dec. 11 ­— are in the ballpark. North Carolina may have a new state-record for bucks taken by a female hunter with Lacie Layne’s 166 3/8-inch Alamance County monster, tagged Dec. 21.

The two biggest bucks reported from South Carolina last fall were both non-typicals. Lewis Hemingway killed a 181-inch Williamsburg County buck on Oct. 22. And Bryce Hinton’s killed a 181-inch, double-drop tine buck on Nov. 25 in Greenville County. 

Check out all the beautiful bucks taken this season here.

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Dan Kibler
About Dan Kibler 826 Articles
Dan Kibler is managing editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine. If every fish were a redfish and every big-game animal a wild turkey, he wouldn’t ever complain. His writing and photography skills have earned him numerous awards throughout his career.

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