One buck green-scored 169 1/8 inches, the other 161
Chad Gaines of Siler City, N.C. killed two October giants, making his case as one of the state’s top archery hunters of 2021.
Gaines drilled two tremendous bucks less than two weeks apart. One of them had a rack which measured 169 1/8 typical net inches — just two inches shy of the state’s No. 1 bow typical. He arrowed a second trophy deer 11 days later. This one had a 5×4 rack measuring 161 gross inches.
“I was hunting Oct. 11 in Chatham County at the edge of a field with a creek bottom below it where deer bed,” said Gaines.
He was sitting inside a ground blind at the edge of a 3/4-acre clover patch with shell corn scattered at the opposite end when a nearly perfect-tined 10-point typical walked out of the cutover.
The hunter had the perfect ambush site between two paths leading to the clover.
“Deer had two trails, one at 40 yards (from his blind) and another about half that distance,” he said. “I saw him when he was 55 or 60 yards. A doe and little buck already were in the field. When the big buck saw them, he bristled, walked to the smaller buck and started side-bumping him.”
Gaines shot the buck at 21 yards
“It was legal shooting light, and he was 21 yards from me,” he said.
His arrows hit behind the buck’s left shoulder and passed through its body.
“He flinched when the arrow hit, bolted, then jumped over an old fence line,” Gaines said. “He made it 15 yards inside a thicket, maybe 50 yards from me. He got caught in some vines, then he crashed and I heard him kicking,” he said.
Second October giant came on the hunter’s birthday
Gaines shot his second buck of the month on Oct. 22, his birthday. He was 1 mile away from his first successful hunt.
“I had a Tactacam set up. It took his picture at 4:13 a.m. the morning before I shot him,” he said.
Reaching the spot at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, five does soon walked near Gaines’ blind in a hardwoods forest.
“They came down an oak ridge a little before 5 p.m.,” he said. “I was watching them when I heard a grunt on the ridge top. He came down the path 20 yards to my right. They took off, and he spun to go after them,” he said.
Gaines tried to stop the deer with a grunt at 40 yards.
“He slowed to a walk and was quartering away when I took the shot. The arrow went in behind his last rib, got a lot of penetration, and he took off.
“But I wasn’t sure I’d hit him and didn’t want to push him. The next day I went back and found him. The arrow had hit both lungs,” he said.
Both racks were impressive
His first buck’s 5×5 rack had zero abnormal points. It had an inside spread of only 16 3/8 inches, but perfectly matched circumference totals and only 3 2/8 asymmetry inches. Its rack was stunning, with right and left beams totaling 79 7/8 and 76 3/8 inches, respectively.
The tines had small differences. The brow tines weren’t unusually long (5 0/8 and 4 7/8 inches), while the G2s were 9 2/8 and 8 7/8 inches. But the G3s were eye-popping at 12 0/8 and 11 1/8, and the G4s were 9 1/8 and 8 3/8 inches.
Circumference totals matched exactly at 5 2/8, 4 2/8, 4 4/8 and 4 0/8 inches. The rack’s gross score taped 172 5/8 inches. If not for a missing point, Gaines’ Oct. 22 buck’s header nearly would have matched his earlier prize.
That deer’s main beams taped 24 7/8 and 23 7/8 inches. It inside spread was 19 4/8 inches.
Although its brow tines weren’t exceptional, the G2s were a stunning 13 0/8 and 14 0/8 inches. The G3s were 10 1/8 and 9 6/8 inches. But the rack only had one G4 for a 4 1/8-inch deduction. Total rack asymmetry chopped minus 8 3/8 inches from its score.
“I’ve been a bowhunter for 21 years and shot a lot of young bucks,” Gaines said. “Now I want to let them get older. I saw both bucks last year and had chances to take them, but I decided to wait.”
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