A Greer man who killed a unique buck less than 100 yards from the front door of his house is the grand-prize winner in South Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest.

Micah Sepko, a 38-year-old assistant athletics director at North Greenville University in Tigerville, entered his “City Limits Buck” in the contest a day or two after he killed the deer on Nov. 19 with a crossbow. It was drawn as the grand-prize winner in the contest on Feb. 14 from among all entries.

Sepko’s grand-prize package includes a optics package from Leupold – rifle scope, binoculars and rangefinder, plus a blackpowder rifle from Nichols Store in Rock Hill and a 2-person, 1-day deer hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Cherokee County. Sepko will pick up his prizes at the Palmetto Sportsman’s Classic in Columbia March 28-30.

Sepko’s buck was a grizzled old 6-pointer that weighed 204 pounds. Despite being killed in mid-November, the buck’s antlers were still encased in full velvet. When he turned the buck over to field-dress him, Sepko discovered why: the buck had no testicles. From the looks of things, Sepko guessed that the buck had lost them at some point due to an injury, and its antlers had quit growing and velvet was never shed.

The buck was killed inside Greer’s city limits. Sepko said it was in a common area that borders his neighborhood, adjacent to a large, wilderness area that includes a county park and the Enoree River.

“There’s probably four or five square miles in there where nobody can hunt them,” Sepko said. “You can’t use a rifle in the city limits, so I had to use a crossbow.”

A former pro bass fisherman, Sepko got back into hunting in 2011. When he moved to his neighborhood, he found a lot of deer tracks, started investigating and put up a trail camera, which captured photos of plenty of deer, including one big 10-point buck.

“Last Christmas (2012), I asked my parents for a crossbow or a compound bow, and they got me one,” he said. “I scouted it all of last season.”

The morning of Nov. 19, Sepko was hunting close to the dam of a retention pond, sitting on the ground, when a buck approached. He could see it through the scope on his Barnett Ghost 350 crossbow, he drew a bead on it at 30 yards in a shooting lane he’d cut, then sent a Barnett bolt tipped with a Muzzy broadhead flashing its way.

“I heard it hit, and he ran off, crashing all the way down in the woods,” Sepko said. “I called my dad and told him I was gonna sit in my stand and try to double up, and 15 minutes later, I killed a doe.”

Sepko’s taxidermist estimated by jawbone and tooth wear that the buck was an old one, perhaps 8 ½ years old. That’s an unusually old age for a whitetail buck in South Carolina, except that it lived in a protected area.