Two small Rockingham County sisters pulled off the rare feat of bagging bucks on back-to-back days last weekend.
Laurel League, a 9-year-old 4th-grade student at Summerfield Elementary School, dropped a heavy-racked 8-pointer Nov. 10, 2018, while hunting from a box blind with her grandfather, Art “Pops” League.
The next day her sister Lila, a 7-year-old second-grader at the same school, popped a 10-pointer while hunting with her dad, Eric League.
“They compete against each other,” their father said. “When Lila got her 10-pointer, she was so proud. Laurel wanted to go right back out and shoot an 11-pointer.
“They were fussin’ about whose deer was best. I had to tell them we couldn’t shoot all the good bucks in that area.”
“Laurel – her nickname is ‘Sniper’ -- was hunting with Pops from (an elevated) box blind,” her dad said. “It was about 5:10 p.m. She’d been practice aiming with her bolt-action .223 out the window when several small bucks and does came into a cut hay field.
“The big buck came out, tending a doe, and Laurel said, ‘Oh, look, Pops, a big one.’ The buck and doe ran in circles then she ran out of the field. The buck started to follow but stopped at 110 yards. Pops told her to take him, and Laurel dropped him in his tracks.”
This was her second buck. She downed an 11-pointer when she was six-years-old.
“I’ve got two mounted bucks and a turkey fan in my room,” she said.
The 179-pound 8-pointer had G1 tines of 2 6/8 inches, G2s of 10 inches and G3s of 10 6/8 inches with 23-inch main beams and a 16 4/8 inches inside spread with 5-inch circumferences at the beams’ bases. The gross score totaled 140 inches.
The next day, Nov. 11, while hunting at a different cut hay field and from a box blind, little sister Lila and her father waited three hours before a 10-pointer emerged at 5:35 p.m. When it reached 45 yards, Lila dropped it with her .223 rifle.
“I knew it was a 10-pointer, but I didn’t tell her; I didn’t want to make her more excited,” he said. “Once we got down and walked to the deer, she jumped up and down and said ‘I killed a big one!’
Lila’s buck weighed 180 pounds, but deductions dropped the rack’s score to 125 gross inches.
For sisters so young to complete such a feat on consecutive days is rare, but they get it honestly. Tar Heel state deer hunters may remember Eric League for his Rockingham County archery buck taken in 2013. It ranks seventh all-time in Dixie Deer Classic typical-rack bow records at 162 4/8 net inches (172 2/8 gross).