9-year-old’s second buck ever


Braelon Mister’s second buck was a wide-racked one

Monday Sept. 11, 2023, the third day of the NC bow season, Braelon Mister and his dad loaded up the truck to head into the woods to get into their Ameristep blind for their third consecutive afternoon hunt. The two nights before they had seen one of the two bucks they had decided would be good bucks to harvest, as Braelon wanted to get a wall hanger to put on the wall like many of his dad’s.

Due to some misfortune the night before, Braelon had already taken a shot at the buck and grazed his back, but that didn’t discourage Braelon from sticking with it and continuing to hunt hard like his dad taught him. After getting in the blind and setting up everything, it took about thirty minutes before the first deer started to trickle in. A few does started to come in at first, then some smaller bucks. There seemed to be deer hanging around in front of them almost the entire time that afternoon.

Reminding Braelon to be patient, his dad continuously glassed the woods with his Vortex Diamondback binoculars. With about 15 minutes of shooting light left, Braelon’s dad spotted a couple of bucks about 80 yards out back in the woods, through his binoculars, one of which he knew was the other shooter buck they had watched all summer on their trail cam. He quickly told Braelon, “Buddy the wide nine is coming in and he’s coming quick. Let’s get the crossbow up and get you ready.”

Within a minute or two, the wide nine along with a couple of other smaller bucks worked their way in, but there was a problem. Not only was the wide nine taking his time coming all the way in, one of the other bucks had worked it’s way between them and the wide nine. Braelon’s dad continued to coach Braelon to stay calm and wait for a good shot right behind the shoulder and to squeeze the trigger until it surprised him going off.

As time dwindled and the last few minutes of light were approaching, the younger buck that was in the way took a couple of steps forward and Braelon was finally able to see the wide nine’s front shoulder. Braelon’s dad said, “Ok Buddy this is it, put the top dot right behind his shoulder and squeeze the trigger.”

They didn’t hear the deer crash

Braelon did just as his dad instructed and let the Lumenok arrow with the orange lighted Lumenok, tipped with a G5 Mega Meat broadhead fly from his Wicked Ridge crossbow. As his dad watched the flight of the arrow, he heard a loud swack and the deer all scattered. They sat listening to hear if they heard a crash, which they didn’t. As they sat there his dad realized the crossbow bolt was sticking perfectly in a tree about 10 yards behind where the deer were standing when Braelon took the shot.

The worry began to set in because he did not expect the arrow to be stuck into a tree that perfectly if it hit the deer where it needed too. Braelon’s dad decided it would be best to back out and ride home for a bit to allow the deer time to expire, had Braelon made a good shot. After about an hour they loaded back up in the truck and headed to the spot to see if they could find blood and determine if it appeared to be indicative of a good shot.

The first blood his dad found looked like it may have had some gut matter, however, the next blood he located looked really good like lung blood based on the tint and bubbles in the blood. His dad continued trailing the blood with Braelon by his side when he saw blood sprayed on a tree. That’s when his dad really knew Braelon had hit at least one lung.

They continued following the blood trail, which his dad said a blind man could have followed due to the devastation the G5 Mega Meat delivered. They tracked about 60 to 70 yards up in the woods when his dad shined his flashlight up ahead and there the wide nine laid with the greater majority of his rack still covered in velvet. It was at that moment his dad said, “Boy go get your big deer.”

Braelon went up to the deer in shock and picked his head up in shock at the size and admiration as well.

Proud dad moment

“Nothing more could have made me more proud of my boy than that moment. I was so happy, you would have thought I shot the deer. I gave him a huge hug and told him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him,” said Braelon’s dad.

After further review, the shot could not have been more perfect given the buck was just slightly quartering to them. Braelon put that broadhead right in the armpit striking at least one lung and where it exited quite possibly catching the back end of the other lung along with liver. His dad gladly drug the deer out of the woods, and on the way out collected the arrow and broadhead from the tree it was stuck in.

His dad stated, “There’s some luck in that ol Lumenok arrow because that’s probably the third deer he has killed with that same arrow. For that to only be his second buck he showed such great patience and poise to seal the deal on that buck and I am so proud and impressed with him because he’s only 9-years-old. I told him he better hold his head high because that’s a buck of a lifetime for NC. And he’s in velvet on top of that. I made sure he knew there are folks out there that have hunted many years to kill a deer like that and he was blessed to be able to harvest such a remarkable deer.”

The score has not yet been determined in the deer, but both Braelon’s dad and their taxidermist David King of Buckhorn Taxidermy and Deer Processing estimate the gross score to be around 125 to 130. Braelon looks forward to bringing his buck to the Dixie Deer Classic this year to show off his big Durham County buck.


Bag A Buck Contest

Congratulations to Braelon, who is now in the running for our monthly prize of a free 1-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine, a Mini Maglite, an 18-ounce Yeti Rambler, and other prizes, as well as our Grand Prize, which includes a 3-year-subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine, a 2-day two-person hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield, SC, and other prizes to be determined.

See all the bucks entered so far, and upload yours at carolinasportsman.com/bag-a-buck-2023, or email photo and detailed info to images@carolinasportsman.com.

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