Hubert Bowen of Ayden ended an 11-year drought in a big way last fall. He’d had plenty of chances to take deer over since 2002, but he didn’t pull the trigger until Oct. 15, when he killed an 8-pointer. He added another 8-pointer on Nov. 21, then a third 8-pointer on Dec. 27. The last of those three Greene County bucks he entered in North Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest, and his entry was chosen a few days later as the winner of the monthly contest for December.

For winning the monthly contest, Bowen will receive a gift certificate to the online Sportsman’s Outdoor Store and a year’s subscription to North Carolina Sportsman magazine. Along with everyone who enters the contest, he will be eligible for a drawing for the grand prize: a Leupold optics package that includes a rangefinder, binoculars and rifle scope. It will be presented at the Dixie Deer Classic next March in Raleigh.

Bowen was watching shooting lanes in the middle of stand of pines on his family farm for all three bucks. The last one appeared the afternoon of Dec. 27, while he had his 7mm Magnum rifle up, looking at a doe.

“The doe had come out the side of the path, but he came out at the far end,” Bowen said. “He was walking down the path. I thought he was a great big ol’ wide 6-pointer with a messed up rack. I already had the rifle up, looking at the doe, and I didn’t even look at his rack; I just put it on his chest. When he turned broadside, I shot him.”

The deer dropped in his tracks at 70 yards – just like the two previous ones he’d killed with hand-loaded 140-grain Nosler partition bullets.