Rockingham County hunter kills wide-racked 9-point buck

9-point buck

The 9-point buck showed up just before dark

Andrew Neal of Madison, N.C. killed a 9-point buck in Rockingham County on Nov. 22, 2021. It was a deer that Neal had never seen before — not in the flesh or on trail cam photos.

Neal was hunting from a ladder stand overlooking a large hay field with a game feeder. He shot the buck from 80 yards away with a Ruger Mark II .270.

It was a cold, windy day, and Neal wasn’t sure if he’d see anything at all thanks to all the noise caused by the wind.

“It was cold, and the wind was blowing 15 to 20 mph, gusting off and on. I didn’t think I would see anything because of how loud it was. Around 5 p.m., two turkeys walked into the field and started eating corn,” said Neal.

Neal was happy to see that some wildlife was moving, even if it was turkeys at first.

“They hung around for a few minutes and headed back into the woods. I turned around to glass the field behind me which stretched out about 800 yards. As I turned around, I noticed a few does trotting across the field. So that was some relief to see at least something was moving,” he said.

Next, Neal saw a young spike make its way across the field, then run back into the woods. The hunter immediately began glassing the field, hoping some other deer would be following the spike.

The 9-point buck had a 19.5-inch spread

“I glassed the field for about 10 minutes to see if anything followed. Nothing. So I sat back down and thought to myself that despite the weather, it was a good day to have seen wildlife moving,” he said.

But things got even better just before dark.

“About 10 minutes before dark, I decided to glass the field behind me again. I stood up and as soon as my eyes looked through my binoculars, his rack filled my field of view. He was making a B-line right for me. Biggest deer I’ve ever seen in person,” said Neal.

He was having a hard time registering just what was happening. Then he realized it was time to spring into action.

“I’m shocked, frozen in place. My brain completely takes a dump as the deer continues making his way straight toward me. I gathered my thoughts and grabbed my rifle. I prop up beside the tree to get ready for the shot. And it’s like God himself sent that deer.

“The deer walked out into the only opening I could have a chance at, turned perfectly broadside and stopped,” he said.

When Neal pulled the trigger, the deer ran about 30 yards into the woods and dropped.


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About Brian Cope 2800 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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