Red Oak hunter drops Edgecombe County 11-point swamp donkey

11-point swamp donkey

180-pound buck green-scored 152 inches

Paul Wade of Red Oak, N.C. dropped a 180-pound, 11-point Edgecombe County swamp donkey on Nov. 3, 2021. He shot the buck with a Savage .270.

The Battleboro buck’s antler rack totaled 152 gross Boone-and-Crockett inches, and sported a 22-inch wide spread. Wade first saw the beast on Sept. 11 on one of his trail cameras.

Wade credits determination for the kill. He took off several weeks from work to hunt the rut.

“I sat in a stand 15 feet off the ground every day, but it was worth it,” he said.

He used a series of trail cameras set 500 yards apart to observe the deer. Initially, these cameras caught the deer’s image from 2 to 3 a.m. He came up with a plan to lure it out during shooting hours.

“Every day, I stayed until 10 a.m. or noon, then I’d leave for lunch, come back by 2 p.m. and sit until dark,” he said.

Wade decided to play the wind to lure the buck into range during daylight. To cover his scent and hopefully trigger the 11-point swamp donkey’s curiosity, he used two deer attractants — Code Blue Tarsal Gland and Tink’s Smokin’ Sticks — and set them so their aromas would drift into the swamp.

“I bought the tarsal gland to attract a dominant buck. And I like the smokin’ sticks because they burn a couple of hours,” he said. “I just wanted to cross the nose of a deer that was far away and pull him into the open before zero dark thirty.”

The plan worked

At 5:30 p.m. on the eighth day of his wait, Wade’s plan came together.

“The deer came out of the swamp, but stayed in the shadows at the end of one of the shooting lanes,” he said. “I believe he crossed the swamp to check out that scent.”

But standing more than 100 yards away from Wade and hidden in shadow, the deer didn’t reveal its headgear.

“I thought at first it was a big doe,” he said.

However, when the hunter leveled his Hawke 3-12×56 scope, he saw sunlight glint off antlers.

“I don’t like to take head-on shots. But that’s all I had,” he said. “I could tell he wasn’t going to be there long. I don’t normally take that shot, but I didn’t have a choice.”

The bullet struck the deer’s chest and dropped the animal in its tracks. It beat Wade’s previous largest deer — a 120-inch buck, which is more normal for eastern N.C.

“The bases of this one’s antlers were 7 1/2 inches, and the main beams and tines had plenty of mass,” he said. “I consider it my deer of a lifetime.”


Congratulations to Wade, 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 Craig Holt 1382 Articles
Craig Holt of Snow Camp has been an outdoor writer for almost 40 years, working for several newspapers, then serving as managing editor for North Carolina Sportsman and South Carolina Sportsman before becoming a full-time free-lancer in 2009.

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