Samantha Brown of Salisbury really had no idea what she’d shot when she squeezed the trigger on a Stanly County buck late on the afternoon of Dec. 29.

Sitting in a ground blind with her husband, Lewis, she saw a buck come out just after 5 p.m., 30 minutes behind a doe. When the buck finally turned broadside and gave her a shot, she ran a .270 slug from her Remington Model 700 rifle through its heart. It bounded away about 20 yards, tried to jump over a small creek and landed smack-dab in the water, never to rise again.

Two days later, Samantha Brown entered her buck in North Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest, and a day or two later, it was drawn as the winner of the monthly contest for December.

Brown’s monthly prize package includes a year’s subscription to North Carolina Sportsman and a $25 gift certificate to the Sportsman’s online Outdoor Store. In addition, she remains eligible¬† — along with every other contest entrant — for the grand prize, a one-day hunt for two people at Rockingham County’s Willow Oaks Plantation. The grand prize will be presented at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh in March.

The buck was special long before Brown’s entry won the contest. It was dark when they found the deer, so it was a little while before they got a great look at the lopsided trophy. The buck has four normal points on its 23-inch left beam, but the scrawny right beam has just two “normal” points and an 11-inch drop tine that still had some velvet.

“When I shot the deer, I had no idea he looked like that,” Brown said. “When it was lying in the creek, my husband said it looked like the other horn was broken off. Then, dragging it in the dark, something hit his hand. We stopped and saw the drop tine. When we looked at him, we saw his left-rear hoof was sort of broken off.”¬†¬†