Durham County hunter kills giant buck

giant buck

Giant buck green-scored 151

JT Coley killed a Durham County, NC giant buck on Sept. 10, 2022 with a 48-yard shot from his Ravin crossbow. It’s a deer Coley was very familiar with thanks to trail camera photos, and personal encounters, of the past several years.

The 12-point giant buck weighed 185 pounds and its massive rack has been green-scored at 151 inches.

Coley focuses his efforts on mature bucks, and has usually had to wait until later in the season to kill one. But he put in a lot of time and sweat during the past year to put himself in a position for early-season success in 2022. 

“It was tough but I put in a lot of work this year. Normally, I don’t get one until about the second weekend in November. I’ll have trail camera pictures all year long, and around Nov. 12 is when it always happens,” said Coley.

He spent about 2 days a week since February on the 150+ acre parcel of the 1500 total acres he leases with his dad, creating new food plots, and clearing new areas for stands. And ever since the summer started, he was cutting brush at least one day a week.

“I also ran cameras starting in July, just keeping an eye on these deer, watching them grow and figuring out which ones are young and which ones are mature. I also looked back at trail cam photos from last year and figured out their patterns and stuff like that,” he said.

Coley identified this deer as a target when it was hanging out with a group of bachelor bucks back in July. He had it patterned so well, he knew how rainstorms impacted its behavior. And that paid off big time on North Carolina’s opening day of archery season.

12-pointer showed up right on time

“Whenever it rained, he’d show up about 15 minutes after the rain stopped. And it poured down rain on Sept. 10. I checked the weather and saw that the rain was supposed to stop around 6:15, 6:30,” he said.

Wanting to get in the stand early and undetected, Coley showed up around 3 p.m., entering his lock-on stand mounted to a white oak 25 feet off the ground. The stand was set up about 150 yards from a bedding area, so Coley was happy for the chance to sneak in as the weather raged.

“There had been some does showing up early on. The rain and the wind perfectly masked my entry so they didn’t hear me at all,” he said.

Once the rain stopped, Coley sent his dad a text.

“I was letting him know the rain had stopped and that I was expecting to see the buck within the next 45 minutes,” he said.

As soon as he looked up from his phone, he saw the first buck of the bachelor group walking in. Coley watched as every few minutes, another buck would come in. Finally, the last deer in the group stepped out. It was his hit-list buck.

“These were all 4 1/2-year-old bucks. A couple of them had bigger bodies, but his rack made him the best overall buck in the group,” he said.

Coley was ready, and pulled the trigger on his Ravin, sending an arrow 48 yards and connecting with the giant buck.

“He ran about 30 yards and I watched him fall at around 6:45 p.m.,” he said.



Congratulations to Coley, who is now entered in our Bag-A-Buck Contest and in the running for these monthly prizes and the Grand Prize package:

Monthly winners will receive:

The Grand Prize winner will receive:

You can be in the running for these prizes too by sharing your story and photo in our Bag-A-Buck gallery.

About Brian Cope 2745 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@sportsmannetwork.com.

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