100-yard shot drops Cleveland County trophy buck

Cleveland County buck
Dustin Jones killed this Cleveland County buck on Nov. 22, 10 days after he missed a shot at the deer.

Buck showed up 10 days after hunter missed it

Dustin Jones killed a 150-class, Cleveland County buck on Nov. 22. Ten days earlier, he missed a shot at the same deer. Jones killed the 10-pointer with a 100-yard shot from his Thompson/Center .50 caliber muzzleloader.

On Nov. 12, the big whitetail showed up with its distinct pattern of odd white patches of pelt on both forelegs. Jones took a shot at the deer, which he sad acted somewhat odd when it ran off. Some buddies helped him look for blood, but they found none. Jones figured he’d seen the last of the buck.

But 10 days later, his luck changed for the better.

‘It was Friday evening, Nov. 22, and I was sitting in a ladder stand on the edge of a cut soybean field,” he said. “Across the field was a hardwoods draw with soybeans on either side. That’s where the deer would come out, about 150 yards from my stand.”

Jones prefers to hunt with archery equipment during muzzleloader season, but this buck’s headgear had filled his dreams and his trail cameras SIM cards. So he took his muzzleloader along on Nov. 9.

10-pointer was late to the party, and never left it

“He’d been showing up on the cams pretty regularly,” Jones said. “I got the first pictures of him July 31. He was in and out of the field, showing up at least once every two days.”

Jones climbed into the stand at 3:45 p.m. And at approximately 5 p.m., 17 whitetails appeared, intent on partying.

“There were three bucks and 14 does, including the first buck, a little spike,” Jones said. “He was pushing the does and grunting soft.

“Then an 8-pointer came out of the woods, and he started running the does. They were having a field day. Then the big buck came out a little farther away.”

Previous to those deer showing up, Jones used his 704 Custom Calls mouth call to mimic buck grunts.

“I grunted a good bit before the deer came out,” he said.

He’d also sprayed his clothing, face mask, and gloves with scent elimination spray.

“I had some corn scattered in the field, but they didn’t pay any attention to it,” Jones said.

The buck finally stopped 100 yards from the hunter’s stand. Jones squeezed the trigger to send the Hog Hammer boat tail zipping at 1300 feet-per-second toward the buck’s side. All of the deer fled the field, including the big boy, who didn’t reach the safety of the woods.

“My previous best buck was a 10-pointer that scored 130 inches,” he said. “This is the biggest buck I’ve ever seen alive. I’m going to mount half of him to show those white forelegs.”

Craig Holt
About Craig Holt 1308 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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