WNC hunter downs giant Cleveland County buck

Cleveland County buck
Cole Miller was hunting from a climbing stand on Thanksgiving Day when he killed this Cleveland County buck.

Late Thanksgiving hunt pays off for Belwood hunter

Cole Miller of Belwood, N.C. killed a giant 10-point Cleveland County buck on Thanksgiving Day. After celebrating the holiday with family, he decided to give it a try. It paid off big time.

The buck’s rack taped out to 157 inches when green-scored.

“I’d been at Thanksgiving at my Grandma’s, and it was getting late, so I decided to take a climbing stand and set up on the edge of the hardwoods. Some does came in, and they flushed the buck out. I could see his antlers moving in the grass from left to right,” said Miller.

When the buck stepped to the top of the terrace, Miller got a good look at the deer. But it took off running almost immediately. Fortunately for the hunter, the deer slowed down soon after.

“Luckily, he slowed down right before he went into another section of woods, and that’s when I was able to get the shot off,” he said. “I was very fortunate to get him.”

Miller shot the buck at 130 yards with a 7mm-08.

For about a month leading up to that day, the deer showed up on Miller’s trail cameras, but only at night.

This buck did his share of night-time traveling

“He was always coming in around midnight until the rut got going, and then he started showing up earlier and earlier, but still not during the daytime,” he said.

The buck was apparently sleeping the days away, then staying up all night. Miller had two trail cameras set up more than 1/2-mile away from each other. The buck often showed up on both cameras in the same night.

The Cleveland County buck, which Miller said looked super-big on his SpyPoint trail cameras, weighed 198 pounds.

“I thought he was a good bit bigger than that in the body just by looking at the trail cam photos. His body looked bigger, but his rack looked smaller on camera than it actually is in person. Photos can be deceiving, and it was for this deer,” he said.

Miller had a couple of other big shooters on his trail cameras early this season, but hasn’t seen any trace of those in some time. He’s hoping they’ll step back in to fill the void now that he’s killed this one.

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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