There’s one beat-up old tree stand on a piece of land on Edisto Island that David Ray of Charleston hunts with friends. It’s just pieces of lumber hammered together to form a platform about 13 feet off the ground.
But the stand has produced four tremendous bucks over the years, and Ray took two of them last season, an 11-pointer on Sept. 27 and an 8-pointer on Dec. 9.
The Dec. 9 buck was special for Ray, who had first seen the deer in a trail-cam photo late in the 2012 season. He never saw the buck last season, except in a trail-cam photo, and he had only trail-cam images of it in 2014 until the buck showed up the morning of Dec. 9 and Ray dropped it at a range of 50 yards.
What made it even better was that Ray entered the buck — which he had nicknamed “Crab Claw” — in South Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest on Dec. 10, and it was drawn on Dec. 31 as the winner of the monthly contest for December.
For winning, Ray will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Sportsman’s online Outdoor Store and a year’s subscription to South Carolina Sportsman. In addition, he and everyone who entered the contest, remains eligible for the grand prize, a one-day hunt for two people at Cherokee Run Outfitters in Chesterfield Co. The grand prize will be awarded at the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic in Columbia in March.
“Every time I sat in that stand, I thought, ‘Is this gonna be the day I see him?’” said Ray, 56, sales manager at Superior Diesel in Charleston. “He came out of the woods in front of me and was running down a ditch. He broke across the ditch and got out in the field, and I hollered ‘Whoa, deer!’ and when he stopped, I pulled the trigger.”
Ray’s nickname for the buck came from a “crab claw” on the end of the buck’s right main beam. The buck has one tine on each beam that measure between 11 and 12 inches.