When Mark Silverthorne of Charlotte saw a trail-cam photo of a huge buck back in late September, he decided to dedicate his entire season to trying to tag the trophy.

"From the first picture I got of that deer, I hunted it straight through October and November," Silverthorne said. "That was the only deer I wanted."

Hunting almost every day – at least a morning or afternoon trip – Silverthorne finally saw the big buck up close and personal at first light the morning of Dec. 2. That's when he dropped it with his Horton Yukon XL crossbow with a 30-yard shot.

If the big buck wasn't a good enough present in early December, Silverthorne got another good present a week or so after Christmas, when his entry of the big buck was drawn as the winner of North Carolina Sportsman's monthly Bag-A-Buck contest for December – the fourth and final monthly contest of the year.

Silverthorne will receive a North Carolina Sportsman T-shirt, a camouflage Sportsman window decal, a copy of Cooking on the Wild Side, a Tink's scent kit, Realtree hats and Monster Buck DVDs, a Plano storage box, a truck bed liner from LINE-X, a $25 gift certificate from Springhill Outfitters in Kenly, sporting apparel from Rivers West and Ammo Grips from God'A Grip.

He will also remain eligible, along with every other person who entered the Bag-A-Buck contest between mid-September and Dec. 31, for a grand-prize package consisting of a CVA blackpowder rifle, a Leupold rangefinder, a Nikon Prostaff scope, a truck bed liner from Rivers West and a 2-day deer hunt from Fourth Generation Outfitters in Northeast North Carolina. The grand prize will be presented at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh in early March.

Silverthorne's big carried a main-frame 4x4 rack with a sticker point on each beam. The rack had a 21-1/2-inch inside spread and was scored at 148 inches gross and 144-1/2 inches net.

"He was chasing a doe – that was the only time I saw a buck chase a doe all year," Silverthorne said. "She was on a cornpile, and she ran off, and he stopped at the cornpile. He was feeding, and I shot over the top of his head and through his shoulders."

Silverthorne was shooting Easton carbon crossbow bolts and 2-bladed Rage broadheads.

"He ran about 25 or 30 yards and fell," he said.

See more than 200 bucks killed this season in the Bag-a-Buck photo gallery.

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