NC hunter drills 16-point buck


16-point nontypical green-scored 157 2/8

Austin Busick of Browns Summit, NC drilled a 16-point Guilford County buck on Sept. 15, 2022 with his crossbow. The nontypical deer has been green-scored at 157 2/8 inches. It’s the biggest buck he’s ever killed.

Busick was familiar with this deer, and let it walk throughout the 2021 hunting season. But when it showed up again this year, it was considerably bigger than he expected.

“Last season, he was probably about a 100-inch deer. But this year he just blew up,” said Busick. “I thought maybe he’d be 120 inches this year, but he put on a lot.”

Having seen the buck numerous times last season while in the stand, Busick didn’t see it this season other than trail cam photos until the day he killed it.

In July of this year, the 16-point giant began making regular appearances on his trail cameras. The hunter watched it go into, then out of, the early-season velvet stage.

High protein mix

One reason he attributes to the deer’s antler growth in the past year is the high protein diet he was feeding it. His family sells deer corn, and this year Busick began making a mix of corn, soybeans and sunflowers and placing it on the ground on the edge of the bean field. The deer was regularly chowing down on the mix.

The day of the hunt, Busick got in his lock-on deer stand looking over a bean field around 5:45 p.m. He pulled the trigger on a 25-yard broadside shot with about 15 minutes of shooting light left. The big buck ran about 30 yards, then dropped for good.

“I knew he was still coming around because of the trail cams but I hadn’t laid eyes on him this year until the day of that hunt. I was a little surprised when I saw him because the most recent photos had all been night-time photos,” he said. “Before the season, he showed up in daylight some. But lately he’d gone nocturnal.”

Even though he was surprised, Busick had no doubt it was the deer he’d been hoping to see, thanks in part to its unique rack.

“Right away I saw all those stickers and I knew it was him. He was making a beeline for that feed. I didn’t really have time to get nervous or anything. It might have been 5 minutes from the time I saw him until I shot him, so it happened pretty quick,” he said.

Busick will be bringing the mount of the 16-point nontypical to the 2023 Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh.

Another angle of the big buck.



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

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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 2495 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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