150-class buck is Halloween treat for Rockingham County muzzleloader

With his .50-caliber muzzleloader, Bud Long took down this Rockingham County trophy on Halloween.

205-pound, 8-point mainframe had 14 scoreable points

When Bud Long from Rockingham County realized he was only seeing a particular buck on trail cams that were overlooking an area with a salt block and Deer Cane, it didn’t take him long to decide that is where he would be spending a lot of his hunting time. It paid off for him big, with a mainframe 8-point, 150-class buck on Halloween.

“I first noticed that particular deer on trail-cam photos about six weeks earlier. He was walking with three other real nice deer, but I never saw them on any cams other than ones at my salt block, and I had a mixture of Deer Cane close by too. They love that stuff,” said Long.

“I saw that one particular deer several times, and I hunted him at that salt block probably a dozen times, but up until the day I killed him, I only saw small bucks, a few decent 120-class deer, and does. I let them all walk. I saw the same thing throughout the hunt on Halloween, and again, I let all of them walk,” said Long.

Long did see one buck that he would have liked to get a shot at later in the evening, but it was too far for him to comfortably take a shot. “This deer was even bigger than the one I ended up killing, but he was probably 175-yards away, and I just didn’t feel comfortable taking that shot. I know that’s not far to some people, but I don’t like to shoot at anything that far away personally,” he said.

After that sighting, it started to get dark, so Long was preparing to head to his truck. “My grandson was hunting with me, so I called him and told him we’d be leaving in about 10-minutes. I gathered up my binoculars and other things and was about to get up when I saw what I thought was a doe about 80-yards away. I put my scope on it just to get a better look, and when I did, the deer raised its head, and I just thought whoa! that’s my deer,” said Long.

Long noticed a problem though. The deer was facing directly away from him, so he didn’t have a good shot. “But just then, a doe in the clearing snorted, and the buck turned to the left and gave me a good shot. Well, other than having to shoot with my left-hand,” said Long, who is right-handed.

“I pulled the trigger on my Knight muzzleloader, and the buck jumped and ran straight into a thicket,” said Long, who found a little blood and hair when he inspected the shooting area. “It started drizzling rain then, and I knew with it getting dark, and raining, we’d have a hard time finding that deer,” he said.

The next morning, Long and some family and friends went back to search for the deer. “We just started circling the cutover, and soon I saw what I thought was a log, but I knew I better check it out. The closer I got to it, the more it looked like a log, but once I got right up on it, I could tell it was my deer,” he said.

The 8-point mainframe buck had 14 scorable points. The rack had 9-inch browtines, a 21 1/2-inch spread, and measured over 150-inches. The deer weighed over 200-pounds. 

Long said he’s been using Deer Cane for years, and that the deer on his property can’t get enough of it. “I use two bags of it per year, and the deer dig an absolute hole in the dirt, year-after-year,” he said.

Click here to read about other big North Carolina bucks.

Click here to find out why Rockingham County is such a hot-spot for big bucks.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1480 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. 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.