Hunter watched the buck for 3 years on trail cams
Ryan Iglehart of Roxboro killed a 6-point buck on Oct. 6. And while 6-point bucks aren’t generally considered trophy deer, this one was. The wide-rack six has been green scored at 135 inches by Durham taxidermist Mike Renn. And it didn’t even have brow tines.
Persistence was a key for Iglehart. He had monitored this buck through trail camera photos for three years. But he hadn’t hunted or put out corn in more than a week. He returned from a cruise with his wife on Oct. 5, eager to see what was happening at his hunting stand that sat at a funnel between two hay fields. So on Oct. 6, he headed to the stand.
“I wanted to see what was there. I didn’t have high hopes (of shooting a buck),” he said.
But bachelor groups of bucks already had fractured, and doe deer were apparently drawing seem interest.
Iglehart’s Viper tree stand was 20-feet high in an oak. His corn pile was 30 yards from the tree’s base. He climbed up about 4 p.m.
“I’d watched the buck for three years on trail cameras. At first I didn’t think too much of him because he didn’t have brow tines. The following year, he got bigger but still no brow tines. But this summer (2019), he blew up (in body and rack size). He’d also grown a little nub on his right main beam base (where a G1 tine normally would be). I don’t know if it measured an inch,” he said.
Around 5:30, Iglehart saw a bunch of does and a buck that the big 6-pointer often ran around with. Then just before dark, he noticed the does looking behind them.
Hunter finally gets a shot at the big 6
“I saw him easing up through the woods. It’s thick, he came from my right, and I didn’t see him good until he was 20 yards from me,” he said.
The hunter didn’t have a clear shooting lane, but the buck finally stepped into an opening at 15 yards and presented a left-side quartering shot.
At 6:50 p.m., Iglehart raised the Barnett crossbow, put the sight pin on the buck’s left shoulder, and squeezed the trigger. Then he waited 20 minutes.
“The bolt hit him near his left shoulder but didn’t come out the other side,” he said.
With the Rage 2 broadhead buried in an opposite rib, no blood seeped from the wound. That presented some anxious moments. But Iglehart found the deer after following the buck’s exit direction for 50 yards.
“I’d heard him crash,” he said. “The Rage 2 tore up both lungs pretty bad, so he couldn’t go far.”
He called his friend Ricky Nix, who hauled a Bad Boy buggy from Rougemont to their hunting area. They loaded the deer.
Iglehart credits selective harvesting with the buck’s growth
“I didn’t weigh him. But we struggled to pick him up,” Iglehart said.
“Ricky and I made an agreement we wouldn’t shoot anything we wouldn’t mount. So that’s allowed the bucks where we hunt to get bigger and grow bigger racks.”
The deer’s headgear had an inside spread of 20 inches, and an outside spread of 22 inches. The two main beams taped 24 and 22 inches and measured 6 inches in circumference around the bases. The left G2 and G3 tines measured 9 inches, and the right side G2 and G3 were 8 inches long.
The buck had a 3-inch asymmetrical deduction for main beam differences, and a 1-inch loss caused by one brow tine. So the rack lost only 5 inches in total score.
Iglehart hopes to pass on the hunting tradition to his 2-year-old son, whose first spoken word was “deer.”
Click here to read about the unusually-tall-racked buck killed by Jonathan Phillips in Chatham County earlier this season.