Pender County hunter downs 200-pound trophy buck

trophy buck

Trophy buck green-scored 157+ inches

This deer popped up a couple of years ago when I wasn’t planning on hunting much due to building a new house from the flood of Hurricane Florence. I wasn’t prepared and he made a fool of me!
Last year I hunted him real hard but never saw him. I took him during the 2023 season on Oct. 18, at 7:42 a.m.
It was a very slow morning with only one doe out feeding. About twenty minutes after she wandered off, another doe came out, but was acting very spooky. I knew it wasn’t me because I was hunting the wind and had not moved. Five minutes after she came out to feed, he stepped out! I knew it was him without even looking through the binoculars.
trophy buck
He came straight in towards me to close in on that doe, but ended up behind a large oak tree. I was calm until that point, but then I could only see his butt and head/antlers. He stayed there for a few minutes smelling that doe with me getting more worked up. When he finally gave me a shot, I killed him using a Browning 1885 .300 Win Mag at 70 yards with my heart beating out of my chest!
After I shot, I called my wife Crystal to bring my daughters out. They helped me retrieve him and shared this amazing experience with me! This is the biggest deer that I have ever taken and that has ever been seen on my ranch! Selective management is certainly paying off! This has sparked a huge interest in growing big deer and I cannot wait to watch my daughters take a big one for their first bucks!
I took this buck on Big Cypress Ranch in Burgaw, NC. It weighed 200 pounds and was green-scored by my taxidermist Fred Gorsky in Currie, NC at 157 3/8 inches. I hope to show him at the Dixie Deer Classic this upcoming year!

–Michael Cooper___________

Bag A Buck Contest

Congratulations to Cooper, 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, a two-pack of Lowcountry Seasonings, 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, or email photo and detailed info to

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