15-point buck makes late birthday present for hunter

15-point buck

He followed the deer on trail cams for 4 years

James Cox, Jr. of Stem, N.C. killed a 15-point buck on, Nov. 21, one day after his birthday. It’s a deer he’d been pursuing hard all season. He shot the buck during an evening hunt from 18 yards away with his Ruger American .308.

The buck has been green-scored at 153 inches. Cox has had trail camera photos of this buck for 4 years. But Nov. 21 was the first time he had ever seen the deer in the flesh. He gives partial credit to his Tactacam trail camera.

“On my birthday, Nov. 20, I hunted that morning, seeing five bucks. He showed up on my Tactacam trail camera that evening at 5:10. I was at my birthday party with friends and family.

The next morning I had to work for a little while, but got pictures of him tending a doe on the trail camera. I knew my chance would be that day. So I got in the stand at 1:45. At 2, a spike showed up followed by a young doe which was chased off by a young buck,” said Cox.

He was feeling good about his chances of finally bagging the 15-point buck after such a long pursuit. And a couple of hours later, he got his wish.

The 15-point buck was trailing a doe

“At 4:30, I saw a doe coming from my left. It looked like the one I had gotten pictures of that morning,” he said.

The doe made it to the corn and began eating. Cox glanced back to the direction the doe had come from.

“When she got in the corn and started eating, I looked back the way she came. And there he was, watching every move the doe made,” he said.

After years of trail camera photos and countless hours in his stand, Cox finally laid eyes on the big buck for the first time. And he was ready.

“I turned the safety off and started aiming. Just as soon as he gave me a good shot, I pulled the trigger. He fell in his tracks. All I could do was think about how the good Lord answered my prayers and gave me the opportunity at this amazing deer,” he said.

The hunt made all his efforts worth it, he said.

“The excitement that went through my mind was like no other because I had hunted 5+ days a week all season for this deer,” said Cox.

Of the 15 points on the deer’s headgear, Cox said 12 were scoreable. The antlers had solid mass throughout.

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About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@carolinasportsman.com.

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