Boiling Springs hunter kills massive 14-point buck

14-point buck

14-point buck offered hunter a close, broadside shot

Zeke Houser of Boiling Springs, NC killed his biggest deer yet — a trophy 14-point buck — during a morning hunt in Cleveland County on Sept. 12, 2021. The buck had a unique set of horns, with shards of velvet still clinging to it.

He shot the buck around 7:15 a.m. with a TenPoint crossbow from 20 yards away. He was in an elevated stand overlooking the corner of a bean field. It was a much closer shot than he expected he’d get.

“He walked in and I shot him broadside from 20 yards away,” Houser said.

Houser had a pretty long history with this deer. He watched over several years, passing on shots numerous times, allowing the deer to spread its genes and reach its full potential. He said the hunt itself was fairly basic. But that was thanks to the time he spent patterning the buck.

“I’d watched this deer for quite some time. For at least three years, I found out a lot about him. I knew where he was bedding and where he was spending a lot of his time,” he said. “I expected it to be much more difficult to kill him this year. But the biggest part of the story is being patient, letting him go and grow, and getting a feel for his habits.

The wind was another factor

“Playing the wind was another big part to it. I paid close attention to the wind and chose my stand carefully based on that,” he said.

He also kept the deer close. The bean fields kept the deer well-fed. Houser supplemented the naturally available food with 4S Draw from Advanced Wildlife.

“That’s how I got most of my data on that deer. He really liked that stuff, and it kept him on the property. He never did seem to leave,” he said.

It was actually last season when Houser first decided to shoot the deer. But he changed his mind due to circumstances beyond his control.

“I planned on shooting him last year. But before the season started, he broke the entire right side of his antlers off. It happened right after he lost his velvet,” he said.

So as the bucks in the area began growing their antlers this year, Houser was happy to see this buck’s headgear came back strong. And on Sept. 11, he checked the wind before heading to the stand. That’s when all his preparation came together, resulting in the quick hunt.


Congratulations to Houser, who is now entered in our Bag-A-Buck contest. Click here to enter your buck in the Carolina Sportsman Bag-A-Buck contest. We’re giving away some great monthly prizes, as well as a Grand Prize that includes a Millennium M25 hang-on deer stand and a 2-man, 2-day hunt for deer and hogs at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield, S.C.

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

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