Sands Williamson did not like the view from the deer stand into which he had climbed late on the afternoon of Oct. 15, so he climbed down and walked a couple of hundred yards down the edge of the pasture on a Lee County farm and sat on an old pine tree that had been cut down. 

“I had sat on this old tree about five times in the past,” said Williamson, who lives in Charleston. “There was a ridge to the left with some older pines growing on it. To my right was a beautiful bottom where we have killed most of our turkeys, and in front was a funnel leading into a big thick swamp.”

As he sat on the log, Williamson said he caught some movement on the ridge out of the corner of his left eye. 

“I saw a big, square body moving very slowly. There was still about an hour of daylight left, and the deer were not rutting yet, so I thought it was a cow.”

He pulled his binoculars up to check out the movement, and all he saw was antlers.

“I had never seen a buck of that caliber with that much daylight left, just creeping along like he did not have a worry in the world. When I saw that body and it was shaped like a cow, I knew he was an old deer.”

Williamson raised his Sako .270 Short Mag rifle, found the big buck in the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. 

The antlers had an inside spread of slightly less than 20 inches and an outside spread of slightly under 22 inches. The tallest tines were 8 and 9 inches, and he estimated the buck at more than 200 pounds. 

“We had just got new scales, and when we weighed him, his head was still on the ground. He weighed 190 pounds without being fully suspended.”

Williamson believes this buck will score appreciably higher than one he killed three years ago that scored in the high 120.

“The other buck’s antlers may be a little more symmetrical, but as far as length they were not close,” he said. “This buck is not the best one to come off the property, but he is close.”

And, he said, he shot the first buck that scored while sitting on the ground about 300 yards from where he shot this buck. 

“I think there is a good lesson there,” he said. “Climbing a tree, a lot of times you can’t see very well because of the canopy and I have found a lot of deer skirting stands. I think it’s smart to move over a little bit sometimes.”