Youth hunter kills massive Iredell County buck

Iredell County buck responded to rattling

I am submitting this for my 14-year-old son, Cooper Hathcock. About a month before youth day, a friend of ours sent us a picture taken from the road of a massive buck in the area that we hunt in Iredell County, NC. After looking at the picture, I was pretty sure it was in the same field that Cooper had a stand on, so that really got him fired up to hunt on youth day.

Cooper was hunting in his Millennium lock on stand next to a green soybean field on the evening of Sept. 23, 2023, which happened to be youth day. So he was hunting with his Savage .270 rifle. About an hour before sunset, he had been watching a few does with yearlings and a couple of small bucks in the field, he decided to rattle to see what would happen.

As he said, it was kind of a blur, because in less than a minute after rattling, this massive buck came running into the soybean field and stopped around 100 yards from him. He got his rifle up and made a great shot with the buck quartered away from him.

Buck green-scored 152 inches

When I met him at the truck after the hunt he said he thought he had shot an elk. So I knew it had to be a nice buck. We were not able to spot the exact location the buck was standing at when he shot, but Cooper did make good mental notes about where the buck had ran. And he had a good idea where the buck turned out of the field into the woods.

We were able to pick up the blood trail where Cooper said the buck ran along the edge of the field, and then spotted the location he turned into the woods. And then we found him about 30 feet into the woods about 150 yards from where we think he was standing. I took these pictures right after we found him and think that they turned out the best. We did a rough gross measurement when we got home and I came up with 152 inches.

–Seth Hathcock


Bag A Buck Contest

Congratulations to Hathcock, 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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