Forbush hunter kills 235-pound Yadkin trophy buck

Yadkin trophy buck
Colton Hanes killed this big-bodied buck in Yadkin County on Nov. 12, 2019.

Hunter’s second ever buck green-scored 147 inches

Eighteen-year-old Colton Hanes killed a Yadkin County trophy buck that weighed 235 pounds and has been gross green-scored at 147 inches. It’s only the second buck he’s ever killed.

Hanes was a 4-year member of the Forbush High School hunter-education-safety team that qualified for the Youth Hunter Education Challenge high school national championship in Raton, N.M. They won the team title in 2015.

He put his outdoor skills to use by patterning a monster mountain buck’s movements enough to drop it on Nov. 11.

“He popped up Nov. 2 (on trail camera) and was the first deer I ever saw on a trail camera,” Hanes said. “I’d thrown out corn two weeks before all over a field. I had a 50-pound bag, but I didn’t put out that much.”

Hanes was hunting from a 12-foot-tall box stand in woods adjacent to a hayfield where he and his father mowed summer hay to feed cows. And he had some competition on a nearby property.

“A friend also was hunting him. He’d showed me some trail-cam pictures,” Hanes said. “The buck usually came (into the field) from 2 to 4 a.m. My friend sent me only three pictures, but he’d been watching the deer for three years. He guessed it was probably 5-years-old.”

He saw the deer before legal shooting light

Because of Veterans Day, the young hunter had the day off from work and school. So he arose early enough to reach his stand before daylight.

“The stand is on some of my land, so I drove my truck, parked, and only had a 100-yard walk,” he said.

When the sun melted away the fog that morning, Hanes spied a lone deer.

“He was the first deer I saw that morning,” he said. “It didn’t get light until 6 a.m. I could see him, but I couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe.”

With legal shooting time not until 6:30 a.m., Hanes had to sit for excruciatingly long minutes while waiting for the sun to burn off the mist.

“He finally turned, and I could see part of one antler,” he said. “Then a sun’s ray hit his brow tine, and I could see with my scope it was split. He had a big body.”

Hanes had loaded his Accura .50-calliber inline muzzleloader with 100 grains of Pyrodex. He seated a QT 250-grain sabot bullet down the muzzle.

Hanes had to get help dragging the big deer

“It’s an old gun, the same one I used in Hunter Safety competitions. So I felt comfortable with it,” he said.

Once it was light enough, Hanes stared through the Vortex 4-12×44 Crossfire scope at the buck.

“I didn’t know how long he’d stay in the field. So I put the crosshairs behind his shoulder at 100 yards and squeezed the trigger,” he said.

The buck mule-kicked, then extended its head while running 25 yards to the woods.

“It was pretty dry, so I could her him fall,” the young hunter said.

Hanes didn’t wait long until climbing down from his stand.

“It was a big field that drops off to a creek,” he said. “I could track where he’d stumbled in the leaves. He didn’t bleed at all.”

Hanes called his dad and friend Jordan Dinkins. They helped drag the buck to the field.

“I needed their help,” Hanes said. “He weighed 235 pounds.”

Click here to read about a massive Buncombe County buck killed recently.

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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