Keith Hiers of Round O wasn’t expecting a lot when he headed into the woods the afternoon of Aug. 15, opening day of gun season in the Lowcountry. 

“I never have done much on opening day, but my brother-in-law had never been deer-hunting and he wanted to go,” Hiers said.

Being nice to an in-law turned out to be a great decision for Hiers, who killed two great bucks that afternoon in full velvet. He entered them in South Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest, and his entry was drawn as the winner in the first of four monthly contests.

As a monthly contest winner, Hiers will receive a year’s subscription to South Carolina Sportsman and a $25 gift certificate to the Sportsman’s Online Store. He remains eligible, along with anyone who enters the contest, for the grand-prize, a two-person, one-day hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield County. The grand-prize will be drawn before the 2016 Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic in Columbia next March.

Hiers and his brother-in-law were in a two-man stand when his brother-in-law — “He’s scared of spiders,” Hiers said — saw a big spider and bolted.

“He wasn’t out of the woods five minutes before these five bucks came running across. I picked out the two biggest and dropped them,” said Hiers, who was shooting a 12-gauge shotgun with 00 buckshot.

Both bucks were in full velvet. The bigger of the two was a 15-point buck that weighed 265 pounds. The “smaller” one was an 8-pointer that weighed 210 pounds.

“I guess I was just lucky,” said Hiers, who estimated that the range at 30 yards when he shot.

-To see last year's grand-prize winner, click here.