Moore County hunter drills trophy 9-point buck

9-point buck

9-point buck was shedding velvet

North Carolina’s opening day of the 2023 archery season was a big success for Chesney Luck of Seagrove, NC. She killed a big Moore County 9-point buck that’s been green-scored at 135 2/8 inches.

The buck was shedding its velvet, and the antlers were pink and still wet with blood.

It was a deer she was targeting, and she didn’t have to wait long for it to show up.

“I hadn’t seen this deer in person before, but he first appeared on the trail camera on Aug. 19. He disappeared for a few weeks, then started coming in to the corn pile every morning during the week leading up to opening day,” she said.

With the weatherman calling for a mid-day storm on Sept. 9, Luck was pretty sure this buck would stay on pattern.

“I knew the chances were pretty high of seeing him that morning, especially since there was supposed to be a storm coming in mid day. I knew he would be wanting to continue his pattern and get food before the storm hit,” she said.

She shot the buck with a Mathews Stoke compound bow at 6:45 a.m., 15 minutes after shooting light. Luck was using Beman arrows with Magnus broadheads with a total arrow weight of 500 grains.

Her husband was hunting close by

Luck was hunting from a hang-on treestand overlooking a wooded creek bottom. Her husband was set up nearby with his tree saddle.

“My husband Tyler wanted to be close by, so he could be ready to come help me track and get the buck out if I did get an opportunity,” she said.

And as darkness gave way to morning, the opportunity came fast.

“I got in the stand about 45 minutes before shooting light. My heart was already pounding just from thinking about how bad buck fever was gonna hit me when he walks out, because I just knew he would show up,” she said.

But she was unsure if she’d get a clean shot at the buck or not.

“I prayed that I would either get a good, ethical shot, or no chance at all,” she said.

And then suddenly, it was happening.

“I heard something walking beside me, and it ended up getting less than 10 yards under my tree. But I couldn’t see what it was because too many branches were blocking my view,” she said.

Then she saw antlers, and knew it was her target buck.

“I caught a glimpse of his rack and knew it was him. So I quickly began ranging the open area where he was headed. He stepped out in view a little more than 15 yards, almost broadside. So I drew my bow back and shot him,” she said.

Perfect shot. Or was it?

“It looked like a perfect shot. So I was excited at first. But I feared that it could have hit his shoulder bone, because I thought I saw a lot of my arrow sticking out as he ran off, which is any bowhunter’s nightmare, especially shooting a low poundage like I am,” she said.

With no cell service in the area, Luck climbed out of her stand and walked the 400 yards to her husband’s location. Telling him what happened, the two went looking for the deer.

“After my description of the shot, we both knew the odds were 50/50 of the deer being down.

They found an obvious blood trail, then found her arrow.

“We found where my arrow had broken off and fell out. Then we looked up about 60 or 70 yards from where I shot him and saw that white belly. We realized I’d actually made a perfect shot, hitting the lungs and the heart. My arrow only stopped because it hit and broke the shoulder on the opposite side of the deer,” she said.

Luck said arrowing the 9-point buck was a great start to the 2023 deer hunting season.

“It had been a goal of mine for a while to get a good one with my compound bow. And to have that happen opening day on a buck that I believe will make Pope and Young is a dream come true,” she said.

To see more of Chesney and Tyler Luck’s outdoor experiences, click here to follow them on Facebook.

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Bag A Buck Contest

Congratulations to Luck, 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.

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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