Duarte’s 11-point buck green-scored 153 inches
Sergio Duarte is a trophy buck hunter, which can be difficult since he hunts in an area where most hunters are less picky about the size of the deer they shoot.
He’s not one to complain about any other hunters. But, if you want to kill big bucks, he said the formula for doing so starts with letting smaller bucks walk.
“If you’re not into trophy hunting, by all means shoot whatever you’d like. But if your goal is to kill a trophy, then you’ve got to pass on a lot of deer,” he said.
Many hunters complain that if they let a buck walk, it’s probably going to get killed by a neighboring hunter. Duarte recognizes the risk, but said the satisfaction of killing a big buck that you could have shot when it was smaller, makes it all worth it.
“You can’t kill a 150-class deer if you shoot it when it’s a 130-class buck,” he said.
Duarte is no stranger to the Dixie Deer Classic, where he brought two Jones County bucks to be officially scored last year. He’ll be there again in 2023, this time with another Jones County buck he killed on Nov. 29.
This is one of those bucks that he’s given a pass to in previous years. The 11-point buck has been green-scored at 153 inches. He had multiple opportunities to shoot it over the past three seasons, but kept letting it pass, hoping it would reach its full potential.
As the 2022 season progressed, Duarte had yet to see any sign of the deer. He moved his trail camera at Thanksgiving, and finally got photos of the buck bedding down.
On Nov. 29, he was in the stand early enough to watch the buck emerge from its bed. He dropped the deer with a 150-yard shot.
Duarte wins a 1-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine and a MAGLITE XL50 LED Spectrum Red Flashlight for being picked as December’s monthly Bag-A-Buck Contest winner.