Bobby Davidson Buck: 169-Inch North Carolina Hoss

bobby_davidson_fHunter: Bobby Davidson

Location: Sanford, North Carolina

Gear Used: Mathews Drenalin LD, Carbon Express Maxima Red, Trophy Ridge React 5-Pin, Rage 2-Blade Hypodermic, Millenium M100

Score: 169 1/8 (green)

Some hunters will go to great lengths in hopes of killing a dream buck. Their journey may take them all over the country from big buck state to big buck state. But sometimes the buck of a lifetime is hiding right in your own backyard, in a state that is slowly building it's big buck reputation.

For Sanford, N.C. resident Bobby Davidson, this is as true as it gets. Having hunted in the prime buckbelt states like Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Montana, his dream buck was killed on his parents 320-acre farm just outside of Sanford. It only took Davidson, a professional archer for Mathews, a 15-yard shot to kill the 169 1/8-inch non-typical on his first hunt of the season. By far the biggest he has ever killed, the mainframe 4x4 sported split G-2 tines on each antler, and 12 ½-inch G2's, 5 ¼-inch bases, an 18 ¼-inch inside spread and 24-inch main beams.

But his story with this buck began well before the hunt.

Davidson had come to know this buck pretty well. After all, he first found out about him two years ago and has been following and patterning him through trail cameras spread throughout his properties ever since. He watched the buck grow from the 120-inch rack when he first found the sheds in February 2012, to at least a 150-inch buck by the summer of 2013 when he found the left shed.

Last season he thought about trying to take the 4x4, as he sets goals not to shoot anything under 130 inches, but the buck disappeared late in the season. Fearing the buck had been shot by another hunter or worse, that he had been killed by coyotes, Davidson kept checking his cameras in hopes of him making a return.

In early December Davidson checked his trail cameras and to his surprise he found that the big eight-pointer had come back, but with an alarming problem. The buck was photographed with distinct marks on his back left quarter, just above the leg. Davidson figured the buck had either been gored by another buck or had an encounter with a coyote that took a few chunks of flesh — the latter being the most likely scenario.

For the rest of 2013 and into 2014, Davidson received photos of the eight-pointer that continued to look better with each appearance. Davidson just hoped this buck could make it to this season without any more worries than usual.

On his first hunt of the season he was able to make the kill. Hunting from his Millenium M100 treestand, he setup between two food plots planted with 30 acres of corn, soybeans, oats and Biologic's Winter Peas, and the day began with lots of action.

Shortly after settling in, a couple of does and small bucks grazed their way through to the food plots. One of the bucks — a small 7-pointer — slowly made its way through but was chased out when the neighbors dog came into the area looking to stir up trouble.

Although he feared the day may have been lost, thankfully for Davidson the neighbors' call to the dog was enough to persuade the pup to return home. Fifteen minutes later a nine-pointer that had just shed its velvet made its way to within 16 yards. Davidson recognized the buck as one he'd seen on trail camera photos the previous two to three weeks with the big eight-pointer.

After the nine-pointer got out to 50 or 60 yards, Davidson heard branches cracking in the woods behind him. At first he only saw a small six-pointer coming through the woods. But the cracking continued even after the six-pointer stopped, and Davidson turned farther behind him to see the eight-pointer coming his way. It wasn't long before the eight-pointer made it's way to exactly where the nine-pointer had just been — a mere 16 yards away.

Drawing his Mathews Drenalin LD with a Trophy Ridge React 5-Pin sight, Davidson nocked a Carbon Express Maxima Red arrow tipped with a Rage 2-Blade Hypodermic broadhead, and his aim was pure. The buck was sent into the woods about 50 to 60 yards. The all familiar crash of the buck followed about three to four seconds later.

Davidson's buck green scored 169 7/8 and is his largest buck to date by far. Sometimes the journey for the buck will take you many places, but it's the familiarity of home that may yield the best results.

Kyle Heuerman

Any serious whitetail hunter knows that it'™s not often that we get a second chance on the buck of a lifetime, or even a first chance for that matter. But luck was on the side of Kyle Heuerman and his girlfriend Jennifer Weaver when they put an arrow through this 196-inch Illinois brute.

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Joe Franz

We estimate he was 7 1/2 years old. That'™s based on photos from 2010, when he clearly wasn'™t over 3 1/2. When I got him he weighed over 300 pounds on the hoof, as suspected. Official B&C measurer Glen Salow came up with a 'œgreen' gross score of 258 7/8 inches. After the 60-day drying period, he again taped the rack. This time he got a gross non-typical score of 261 3/8, with a net of 230 7/8. The gross score evidently makes this the highest-scoring wild whitetail ever harvested on professional video.

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Jon Massie

Jon'™s no stranger to free-ranging whitetails across the central plains, having guided a number of clients to trophies and harvesting many big ones himself. In fact, going into 2013 he'™d shot two net Boone & Crocketts: one a non-typical scoring over 200, the other a typical from public land. With such success behind him, Jon felt all of his hunting dreams already had come true. At least, he did until a buck he'™d never seen showed up on one of his trail cameras.

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Tom Boyer

Knowing I couldn'™t even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o'™clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn'™t figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering 'œfire in the hole' while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view.

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Teddy\'s Buck

With a whopping 40 inches of non-typical growth, he has a gross Boone & Crockett score of 215 3/8. The rack'™s 21 6/8-inch inside spread certainly helps to show off its unique character. He was just a special deer, and very much a result of patience in both management and hunting.

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Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan was only 19 when, during the 2013 season, he arrowed an Arkansas buck of gigantic proportions. Like many of his fellow Arkansans, Ryan is a deer and duck fanatic. For several years, however, he gave up most of his duck season to lock horns with the world-class buck.

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Junior Key

Junior'™s outstanding whitetail is the biggest ever recorded from Monroe County, and he ranks as one of the Bluegrass State'™s top bucks from the 2013-14 season. This great non-typical also is the latest member of Kentucky'™s all-time Top 30 list.

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Mikell Fries

At 16 yards, Mikell took aim at the giant and released his arrow. In an instant, the shaft had passed through him. The deer instantly whirled and ran out of sight . . . but then, within seconds the archer heard him crash to the ground. 'œI remained in the stand for several minutes to gather my thoughts and calm down,' Mikell says. 'œI'™m sure the entire encounter only took a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity.'

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Bill Robinson

Three double-digit tines of 10 2/8 to 13 5/8 inches, plus 7 1/8- and 9 3/8-inch brows and a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, add plenty to this regal crown. Put everything together and you have a gross 9-point frame score of 193 6/8. That'™s as big as it sounds.

Typical asymmetry and 11 6/8 inches of abnormal points total 25 1/8 inches of deductions, so as a typical, the deer nets 'œonly' 168 5/8. But the 8×5 rack'™s total gross score of 205 4/8 is much more reflective of its stunning size. Regardless of score, the Robinson buck is clearly a marvel of nature.

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Nick Drake

The action was fast and furious right from the get-go. At daybreak a doe busted through the cedar thicket with an eight-point suitor following close behind. The doe, however, wanted nothing to do with her pursuer and jumped into a nearby pond in an attempt to flee the buck. This, however, wasn'™t the last of the action. Nick continued to watch several bucks harass does throughout the morning, but chose not to take a shot at them.

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