October 01, 2014
Hunter: 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.
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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 Â½-inch G2's, 5 Â¼-inch bases, an 18 Â¼-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 fleshâ€”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 bucksâ€”a small 7-pointerâ€”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 beenâ€”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.