Greg Gentry of Timberlake got his first look at a huge 8-point buck that was tooling around his Person County farm on Sept. 19 — in a trail-camera photo.

He immediately decided to make the buck a full-time obsession. Hunting every day, he saw it once in early October out of bow range, but on Oct. 20, the buck made a fatal mistake and ventured within 30 yards of Gentry and his new Barnett Jackal crossbow.

“I didn’t really know how big he was until I got to him on the ground,” Gentry said. “You talk about a happy fellow when I got my hands on him.”

Gentry was happy on Oct. 31 when he was drawn as the winner of North Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest for October. Gentry will receive a year’s subscription to the magazine and a $25 gift certificate to the Sportsman’s Outdoor Store on LIke anyone who enters the online contest, he remains eligible for the grand prize, a 10-year subscription to the magazine and a $50 gift certificate to the Sportsman’s Outdoor Store. The grand prize will be drawn in time for presentation at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh in March 2016.

Gentry started hunting the buck as soon as he saw the trail-cam photos. He had three stands in a bottomland area, each with a trail cam, but he was getting photos only at one location, so he set up there. He was in his 18-foot Primal Vantage ladder stand well before daylight on Oct. 20, heard deer in the woods all around him.

“I had made a mock scrape, and I’d bought a Primos bleat can. Just after it got light, I rattled a little bit and hit the can, and he came busting out of the bushes,” said Gentry, who shot the deer at 30 yards, the Shockway broadhead taking out its heart. The buck piled up about 30 yards from the spot.

Gentry’s dream buck was a 225-pound beast, a main-frame 8-pointer with 10-inch back tines, a 17 3/4-inch inside spread and a green score of 158 6/8.