Hunters don’t have to travel too far to find a trophy buck in South Carolina. D.W. Eggleston of Lake Monticello dropped a heavy-horned 11-point buck in his tracks on Nov. 5 only minutes from Columbia in Fairfield County. 

Proving there are great bucks living in the outskirts of suburbia, Eggleston, a retired Lake Murray striper guide now in his 80s, killed the buck, which will score better than 140 inches, only seconds after blowing a grunt call with a 160-yard, straight-on shot.

Thirteen years ago, Eggleston traded in his fishing rods for a .270 and began pursuing a different kind of target. Originally from Illinois, he realized that the number of deer available these days is much different than when he was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s.

“It’s the nicest buck I have ever killed,” Eggleston said, “but he could have gotten away from me if I didn’t decide to shoot when I did.”

The morning he killed the big buck, Eggleston was watching a narrow shooting lane – no more than 15 to 20 feet wide – planted with a mixture of wheat, rape, and clover. He had hunted the stand two other times but had seen only two deer.

Obviously, the third time was the charm.

Around 9 a.m., he blew his grunt call a few times, hoping to shake something up, and within minutes the buck stepped out into the lane.

“He was looking directly at me, acting nervous, and that was making me nervous,” Eggleston said. “I didn’t know if the buck was ready to fight or flee, but I didn’t waste any time. I raised my rifle and quickly took a head-on shot at his neck, and he dropped.”

Eggleston’s buck weighed 174 pounds and carried a main-frame 8-point rack with three sticker points and a whopping 19-inch inside spread. He expects the buck to score in the 140s.

Eggleston and the other 24 members of his hunt club have seen a rise in mature deer on their hunting club over the past couple of years. Coincidentally, the club’s has amped up its food-plot program, improving the number and quality of its plots.

“Our revamped food-plot program has really enhanced our club (and) is bringing some nice deer to our property,” says Eggleston.