Newsoms hunter bags biggest deer of season

Published 6:27 am Saturday, October 1, 2011

COURTLAND—During Derrick Ledbetter’s 20 years of hunting on Bruce Phillips’ Capron farm, he’s taken 30 to 40 deer, but never one as big as last year’s harvest.

Derrick Ledbetter poses with his deer, which was the largest buck in his class taken in Virginia in 2010-11. The deer was taken in the Capron area. -- SUBMITTED

During last weekend’s 72nd Eastern Regional and State Championship Big Game Contest at the Southampton County Fairgrounds, Ledbetter’s 14-point was recognized as the largest taken in the state during the 2010-2011 season. He entered the deer in a class for deer that are 12-point and larger taken with a gun.

“I was very excited,” the Newsoms man said. “This is a once in a life deal for sure. I never imagined it would win in the state.”

The deer scored a 235 using the Virginia scoring system. He entered the deer in another competition in Harrisonburg, where the Boone and Crockett scoring system was used. The deer took third in the non-typical class and second in typical.

Hunting alone one late November morning on Phillips’ property, which is known as Raccoon Creek Sports Outfitters, Ledbetter wasn’t seeing much from his tree stand so he took a walk.

“I decided to move around a little and saw him from 80 to 100 yards away,” he said.

The 32-year-old said he waited for the deer. When the monster buck didn’t come his way, Ledbetter slowly walked toward it.

“I eased up, trying to stop when he moved, and when he looked away, (I moved),” he said. “The closer I got to him, the bigger he was getting.”

Ledbetter was 40 to 50 yards away from the deer when he shot it twice with his 12-gauge shotgun.

“He was certainly a nice deer,” he said. “I was totally amazed at the size he was.”

A cardiac monitor technician at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk, Ledbetter had another bit of good news this week. He and his wife, Holly, had their first child on Wednesday. They named their daughter Makenzie Kathleen.