Marion hunter kills McDowell County 14-point buck

14-point buck
Ervin Smith of Marion, N.C. killed this brute in McDowell County on Thanksgiving morning, 2019.

Big buck weighed more than 200 pounds

Ervin Smith of Marion, N.C. killed a McDowell County trophy buck on Thanksgiving morning. The 14-point buck was big in the body too. It’s the biggest deer he’s ever killed.

Smith killed the buck on private land, and was feeling a little bit down about putting in a lot of hours in the stand without success up to that point.

“I got in the stand real early. Probably a good hour before daylight. I was feeling a little disheartened because I’d had some slow days. I’d seen a photo of that deer on one of my trail cameras a week before, and it was a daylight photo. So that helped motivate me to get in the stand before Thanksgiving dinner,” he said.

Smith had another deer showing up more regularly on his trail cam. That buck, a 7-pointer, is really what Smith was hoping and expecting to see that morning. This one was on his hit list, and it’s one he knew he had the best chance at seeing.

When he got in the stand, he heard a lot of typical noise that squirrels and birds make. He said they were all around him. So he never heard the buck when it came in to shooting range.

Smith did not realize it was the 14-point buck at first

Once Smith saw antlers, he switched to focusing on where to shoot the deer. At that point, he thought he was looking at the 7-point buck. Once the deer stopped walking, he had a good shot on its shoulder at about 60 yards. Smith pulled the trigger on his Savage .270 and the deer went down.

“When he fell, and the whole time I was walking to him, I was still thinking it was the 7-pointer. So once I got to him and got my hands on him, I was really happy to see it was the 14. The buck weighed well over 200 pounds. I got some help dragging him out. He was a really big deer. Once I got back to my house, I had a good crowd of people there to see him. It was a blessed Thanksgiving for me,” he said.

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Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1617 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of 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. He can be reached at

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