Rex Blackburn wins Bag-A-Buck Grand Prize

Rex Blackburn was selected by our panel of judges as the 2023 Bag-A-Buck Grand Prize winner.

NC hunter wins subscription and hunting trip for Bag-A-Buck win

Our panel of judges have chosen Rex Blackburn as our Bag-A-Buck Grand Prize winner for the 2023-24 hunting season. With more than 500 submissions this season, it was not an easy decision. Blackburn submitted two entries early in North Carolina’s season, and both submissions caught the attention of our judges.

Blackburn’s first submission was for the Guilford County buck he killed on Sept. 20. It was a buck he’d been observing through trail cam photos for 3 years.

“I hunted the buck that afternoon particularly because of a favorable wind. However, just before he came in, the wind shifted and started blowing over my back. Some of the does that were already in front of me started throwing their noses up in the air, and I could tell they were getting my wind,” said Blackburn, of Oak Ridge, NC.

Just a few moments later, his target buck showed up. But it too, was acting wary, and caught a glimpse of the hunter reaching for his bow.

Blackburn’s second buck of the season was this oddly-racked deer.

“He probably stared at me for about 20 seconds. My heart was beating so hard, and I thought for sure I was busted,” he said.

The buck eventually turned and started walking away, so Blackburn drew back and released his arrow from 25 yards away. The back crashed for good moments later.

He followed that kill up in short order, tagging out on Oct. 7 with another big buck. This one had a very unique set of antlers. Like his first trophy of the season, Blackburn arrowed this one with his Hoyt RX-3 bow.

“This is a deer that I had on camera last year. He was strange last year, but he blew up this year and was surprisingly bigger,” he said. “I had a stiff wind blowing in the right direction, so he came in with plenty of daylight left and gave me a good shot at 15 yards. I double-lunged him and he crashed in just a couple of seconds,”

While many hunters find it a bit of a letdown when they tag out so early in the season, it was a blessing for Blackburn.

“With a pregnant wife and two kids, I gotta say I’m grateful to have my buck tags filled in early October,” he said.

For his win, Blackburn is awarded a free 3-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine,  and a 2-day, two-person hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield County, SC. 

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. 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. You can reach him at brianc@carolinasportsman.com.

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