April 17, 2023
By Clifford Neames
Karen Nielsen got into deer hunting to spend time with her children, and in less than 10 years, she has taken the largest buck off their property. It is a North Carolina giant!
Karen is a grandmother and has become an avid deer hunter. She quickly realized a deer stand is her “happy place.” She loves to sit out in the woods enjoying the peace and quiet that it offers.
In October 2022, an unusually large buck showed up on trail cameras on the property Karen and her husband own in Alamance County. The buck had a wide frame and a huge, symmetrical rack. A deer of those proportions is nearly unheard of in most of the state, so it caused a real stir. And the whole family was excited about the possibility of taking it.
Karen’s grandkids had been staying with her, and she needed a break when she headed to her tree stand at 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2022. It was windy and warm that day, maybe not the best day to hunt. Despite the weather, she settled in to watch a corn pile a few yards across a creek, hoping that a buck would show up.
About 15 minutes before dusk, near the end of what she calls the “witching hour,” Karen heard something stirring nearby. It was not coming out in the open, however. She had heard the same thing on two previous occasions and suspected that it might be a buck that was smelling her and was reluctant to show itself.
“I glanced at a hunting app on my phone for a bit,” Karen says. “And when I looked, up there was a deer on the corn! Then I saw a rack!”
She couldn’t see enough to tell much more than the buck was a shooter, so she raised her muzzleloader and prepared to shoot. Once she got the crosshairs settled, she squeezed the trigger.
The giant buck was gone in a flash, and smoke from her muzzleloader completely obscured his exit. Almost immediately, her phone blew up as family members wanted to know what she had shot. And when she told them “A buck,” they all headed her way. After a short wait, her husband, son and grandchildren were all at the bottom of her ladder stand.
They spread out and began searching. Shortly afterward, Karen heard, “There’s your deer. You got the big one!”
Karen’s trophy is a tremendous 10-point. Long beams and evenly matched tines give the rack a very balanced appearance, and it will not have many deductions!