Jon Shrieves figured that while he delivered the knockout punch, there were a bunch of other bucks that had landed a few haymakers on a big Caswell County buck.

Shrieves dropped the 175-pound buck with a single shot from his 7mm Mag on Nov. 14, opening day of rifle season in Caswell County, at a mere 25 yards. He entered the buck in North Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest under the name “Piedmont Fighter.” 

His entry was drawn in February as the winner of the contest’s grand prize, a free, 10-year subscription to North Carolina Sportsman and a $50 gift certificate to the online Sportsman’s Store, from among 227 entries.

Shrieves, a garage-door distributor from Wendell, was hunting on family land in western Caswell County. He had a few trail-cam photos of a big 8-pointer, during daylight hours, the week before gun season opened. On opening day, he was in a two-man ladder stand with hunting buddy James Whaley well before daylight. The big buck showed up behind the stand at 7:45 a.m., and Shrieves was able to draw a bead on him and drop him. “He ran about 30 feet from where I shot him,” he said.

About 10 minutes later, a 7-point buck showed up on the scene, and Whaley dropped him, ending a short but eventful hunt.

Shrieves said that, upon closer examination, it was obvious that his buck had been involved in some serious territorial battles — and not that far in the past. The buck’s left eye was swollen almost shut from being battered, and it had a scar under its right eye from being gored in a fight that had already scabbed over.

“I asked my taxidermist if he would be able to mount the deer with that scab and with the eye almost shut,” Shrieves said.