Avery County bowhunter zaps monster buck

monster buck

Hunter’s wife harvested her own monster buck the day before

Coty Ingraham of Newland, N.C. downed an Avery County monster buck on Sept. 11, 2022, a day after his wife killed her own trophy buck. Ingraham’s buck weighed 205 pounds and he shot it from 17 yards away.

“A lot of guys were after this buck,” Ingraham said. “I had seven hunters on top of me at times. And three were hunting that deer the same evening as me. We knew each other were there.

“It was ridiculous hunting pressure.”

In 2021 Ingraham, a member of the Appalachian Holler Hunters, twice passed up shots at the big deer.

“Last year his rack had only four points on one side and two odd-shaped tines on the other side,” he said.

By Sept. 11, 2022, the antlers had blossomed into a heavy-mass arrangement with a wide inside spread.

His stand was about halfway up the side of a mountain, 30 feet off the ground — typical Avery County terrain.

“I had apples on the ground,” he said. “It’s the only way to hunt deer up here with a bow. There’s not a lot of acorns for them to eat. Most of the tres are spruce, maple and poplar. There’s a few scattered oaks where I hunt. But the entire place is only 11 acres.”

Ingraham’s trail cameras had collected hundreds of images of the buck.

Honeycrisp apples tempted monster buck into stopping by

However, getting a shot wasn’t as simple as the story sounds.

“I was hunting another buck last year from the same stand,” Ingraham said. “There’s only one house in the area, and the buck was bedding behind the house.

“I’m pretty sure he watched me when I walked to my stand, because he’d never come out. So I got off work at 3:30 p.m. and asked my dad to drive me on a four-wheeler to the tree, then leave.”

Ingraham’s father has muscular dystrophy and no longer hunts.

“So I film all my hunts and play them back so my father can watch,” he said.

Around 4 p.m., two shooters showed up. After watching some other deer through his binoculars, Ingraham looked down and saw the big deer eating Honeycrisp apples he had spread on the ground.

Guessing the distance at 23 yards, Ingraham drew back the bowstring on his Hoyt RX-5 compound bow set at 65 pounds, then released an Easton Axis arrow carrying a 200-grain broadhead at its business end.

The only problem was the buck was actually 17 yards away.

“But the arrow hit his spine and dropped him in his tracks,” he said. “I was lucky with that and the wind direction, which was south-southwest. It usually blows a northeast wind and deer will bust you. It also was raining a little. I always have my best luck in the rain.”

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About Craig Holt 1381 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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