When he heard a deer walking behind him on the last morning of a 3-day hunt near St. Matthews, Brandon Groomes expected to see a doe.

Instead, he found himself looking directly at a huge buck at only 10 yards. Groomes admitted wondering, "How am I going to screw this up?" but in a minute or two, he was able to get a clear, 20-yard shot on the buck, which ran only 15 yards before piling up in a creek.

Groomes was fortunate again when his entry, titled "Big 16" was drawn as the December winner of the South Carolina Sportsman's Bag-A-Buck Contest presented by Leupold.

 

Groomes, whose username on SouthCarolinaSportsman.com is 'bgroomes' will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Sportsman Outdoor Store and a year's subscription to South Carolina Sportsman, and he will remain eligible - along with every other hunter who enters the contest - for the grand-prize: a Leupold optics package (rifle scope, binoculars, rangefinder); a blackpowder rifle from Nichols Store in Rock Hill; and a two-person, one-day hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield. The grand prize will be presented at the 2013 Palmetto Sportsman's Classic.

 

"Once I got down I realized how big he really was and the mass was unbelievable!" he said.

 

Groomes said the buck sports a heavy rack with 16 total points. He plans to have him scored in March during the S.C. Department of Natural Resources scoring sessions.