Hunter takes two big bucks in three days

Published 10:42 am Thursday, November 17, 2011

Roby Blankenship stands next to two deer he took within three days during the 2010 season. GWEN ALBERS

FRANKLIN—When the gun deer-hunting season opens Saturday, Nov. 19, in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, Roby Blankenship can only hope for a season as good as last year.

Blankenship harvested an 11-point buck and 13-point within three days while hunting with Franklin Hunt Club in Southampton County.

On. Nov. 17, 2010, the 63-year-old Norfolk man was hunting at about 9 a.m. along a tributary that feeds in the Nottoway River at Diamond Bridge off Riverdale Drive near the North Carolina line.

“I was in a tree stand and there were running dogs,” he said. “The dogs jumped five or six deer. This buck was with them and slipped around and was sneaking out when I saw it about 200 yards away. It just kept sneaking and came within 20 feet of me.”

Using a 12-guage Browning, he took the 175-pound 11-point, which had a 20-inch spread and scored a 179½ using the Virginia scale.

“It was the biggest deer I ever took in my life,” said Blankenship, a Virginia Natural Gas retiree who has been hunting for more than 50 years. “I couldn’t believe how big it was and how massive the horns were.”

Two days later, while hunting about a mile from the spot where he took the 11-point, Blankenship again encountered packs of dogs running deer. He spotted the 13-pointer and killed it.

“It was bigger than the one (I took two days earlier),” Blankenship said.

The deer scored a 205 15/16.

He believes wildfires during the 2010 summer between Franklin and the Franklin Hunt Club drove the deer toward his hunting area.

“The adjoining hunt clubs in the area didn’t get many deer,” Blankenship. “They had at least 20 mounted deer this year (2010) and we had that many by Wednesday (after the start of the season).

He had the two deer mounted in a fighting position, with their antlers locked together.