Other deer almost spoiled the hunt
John Lasher of Bahama, N.C. killed a trophy Durham County buck on Nov. 14 with a 70-yard shot from a CVA muzzleloader. It’s a buck he’d never seen on the hoof. But he had been observing it on trail cameras since mid-October.
The buck has been green-scored at 145 inches gross, and 140 inches net.
“I didn’t put any cams out until mid-October, and he was on it the first time I checked it. I hunted with my dad and brother that same afternoon. But we never saw him. I hunted it a couple of more times both morning and afternoon a week later. I still didn’t see him,” said Lasher.
Lasher continued hunting the deer hard over the next week, but did not catch a glimpse of the buck. Then, the hunter made a fateful move to a different stand.
“On that day, I changed locations. He showed himself about 30 minutes before dark. After watching him for a couple of minutes, I was able to get a clean shot at him from about 75 yards away. He dropped in his tracks,” he said.
Durham County buck showed up not long before dark
But the hunt wasn’t as easy as it sounds. While Lasher was hooking up his climbing stand around 3:30 p.m., a spike came within 20 feet of him. Once it saw the hunter, the deer blew at him non-stop for 10 minutes. When the hunter finally got into the stand and the woods had settled down, he grunted a couple of times. A deer began blowing at him from about 100 yards away, and continued to blow for 10 minutes.
“I thought my hunt was for sure over by then. Thirty minutes later though, and about 30 minutes before dark, I saw movement coming out of an overgrown cutover about 80 yards in front of me. Within a minute, I could see the chocolate rack with long tines and knew it was him. He came out about 10 yards and then started walking to the right in some semi-open hardwoods,” he said.
When the buck stepped into a small hole of a clearing, Lasher grunted with his mouth call, causing the buck to freeze.
“As soon as I shot, I squeezed the trigger and couldn’t see anything for about four seconds because of all the smoke. When the smoke cleared, I could see he had dropped in his tracks,” he said.