Two new N.C. state records set at 2020 Dixie Deer Classic
Officials of the Wake County Wildlife Club handed out plenty of accolades Sunday, March 1 during the 40th Annual Dixie Deer Classic awards ceremony. Numerous high-scoring trophies stood out, including two new North Carolina state record bucks.
Tory Pegg’s Guilford County buck set the new non-typical archery buck for the Old North State. His buck taped out at 197 4/8 inches. Pegg, of Kernersville, N.C. killed the buck in September with a 10-yard shot from his Mathews bow. Officials scored the buck at 197 4/8 inches.
The once-in-a-lifetime buck shattered the previous record by more than 20 inches. Pegg won the N.C. Best by Bow Non-typical Male category, and also won the Best in Show Award.
Tracy McCorkle of Charlotte, N.C. brought the other new record to the scoring table. He killed a Mecklenburg County brute in November during a hunt with his crossbow. The big buck, which officially scored 195 7/8 is the new North Carolina state record crossbow non-typical buck. McCorkle won the N.C. Best by Crossbow Non-typical Male category.
Aside from their 2020 Dixie Deer Classic awards and their spots on the North Carolina record book list, Pegg and McCorkle both also made it into the famed Boone & Crockett Club. That club is reserved for typical bucks which score 170 or higher, and for non-typical bucks that score 190 or better.
Many other hunters killed great bucks in 2019
Drew Hall of Canton, N.C. killed a Granville County buck in November that garnered plenty of attention at the weekend’s show. His non-typical buck scored 183 4/8 inches, just shy of Boone & Crockett status. Hall won the Best by Gun Non-typical Male category.
The Best by Gun Typical Male category winner, John Henderson, lives in Durham, N.C. and killed his buck in Warren County this past October. The deer scored 156 7/8 inches.
Gary Malone of Snow Camp, N.C. won the Best by Muzzleloader Non-typical Male Award with an Alamance County buck that scored 177 7/8 inches. Malone killed the deer in November.
The Best by Muzzleloader Typical Male category winner was Eric League of Summerfield, N.C. He killed a Rockingham County buck in November. The buck measured out at 151 1/8 inches.
Trefyn Carter of Trinity, N.C. took top honors for Best by Bow Typical Male. His Guilford County buck from September scored 167 1/8.
Brandon Johnson of Mt. Airy, N.C.’s Surry County buck scored 150 2/8. The deer earned him the Best by Crossbow Typical Male award. Johnson killed the buck in September.
2020 Dixie Deer Classic youth male award winners
Rocky Mount, N.C.’s Allen Sutton earned the N.C. Best by Gun Typical Youth Male Award with a Halifax County deer he killed in September. Sutton’s buck scored 159 1/8 inches.
Larson Brewer of Oxford, N.C. killed a Granville County buck in November that measured 139 7/8 inches. Brewer won the Best by Muzzleloader Typical Youth Male Award.
Colby Richard took the top spot for Best by Crossbow Typical Youth Male Award. The Butner, N.C. teen hunter killed a Granville County, 125-inch buck in December, one day after killing his first bear. He would have likely won an award at the bear scoring table at the show as well, but he shot the bear in the head, damaging the skull to the point of making it ineligible for scoring.
Female award winners
Tootie Morris of Rougemont, N.C. won the Best by Bow Non-typical Female award with her Granville County buck from September. Her 17-point buck, which was in full velvet, officially scored 147 2/8 inches.
Lacie Maness of Browns Summit, N.C. took the win in the Best by Gun Typical Female category. Her Alamance County buck from December was her second trophy of the season, and taped out at 147 1/8 inches.
Katie Smith of Roseboro, N.C. won the Best by Gun Non-typical Female top spot. After a last-minute change of hunting stands due to a swarm of wasps at her intended spot, Smith killed a Sampson County buck in October that scored 142 0/8 with a 165-yard shot.
A Rockingham County brute scored Erica Patterson of Summerfield, N.C. the win in the Best by Muzzleloader Typical Female category. Patterson killed the buck, which scored 141 5/8 this past November.
Warsaw, N.C.’s Barbara McGee took top honors for Best by Crossbow Typical Female with the Duplin County buck she killed on the sweltering opening day of bow season. The 9-point buck measured 130 4/8 inches.
Female youth awards
Lainey Sparks of Pikeville, N.C. was the smallest award winner at the 2020 Dixie Deer Classic, but she sported one of the biggest smiles when receiving her plaque for Best by Gun Typical Female Youth award. Her Wayne County buck from October scored 113 2/8.
Gracie Michael of Lexington, N.C. took the top spot for Best by Muzzleloader Typical Female Youth. She killed an Iredell County buck in November that taped out to a score of 97 3/8 inches.
South Carolina award
Taylorsville, N.C.’s Brayden Adams, who hunts south of the border won the Best South Carolina award with a Marlboro County giant he shot with a .25 WSM. The 12-point buck, which scored 150 4/8 inches, was an infrequent visitor to his hunting stand, and showed up in December while Adams was expecting to see a slightly smaller 9-point trophy.
Payton Hodgin of Roxboro, N.C. was on his way to work at the Catch the Fever fishing rod company when he hit a deer in Person County this past December. His truck, which suffered no damage in the crash, delivered a fatal blow to the buck, which officially scored 164 7/8 to win the unique Best Non-hunting category.
A few years ago, the Dixie Deer Classic added the bear category to support the great black bear hunting community of North Carolina. Tim Leary of South Mills, N.C. won the N.C. Best Bear Gun Male award for his Camden County bear he killed in November. The bear measured 20 2/16, which puts it on the Boone & Crockett Club’s two-year list.