Staci Walker had never been hunting before this year’s opening day, and she backed herself into a corner by telling her guy pals that she wasn’t going to shoot “just any deer. It’s going to be a buck worth showing off.” She came through on her promise, killing a 9-point buck with a drop tine. With an 18 1/2-inch inside spread on its rack, this buck was definitely worthy of showing off, especially for someone who’d never taken a shot at a deer before.

Walker had chances to shoot other deer during this hunt, but she passed them up without giving them a second thought, remembering her words before the hunt.

“We got in the stand a little before 7 p.m., and I pulled the trigger around 8:30, but we saw a lot of other deer before that one showed up. First, several does came out and we watched them for a while. Then a big group of bucks showed up. I was looking at them all, and just thinking ‘no, that’s not big enough,’” said Walker, who lives in Beaufort.

"Once that big group left, the big buck came out by himself almost right away. I could tell it was bigger in the body and in the rack. It looked a lot different than the ones in the group. I looked at it through the scope, and my friend that was in the stand with me grunted. The deer froze then. It was standing in some shoulder-high brush, and I pulled the trigger with the scope aimed right at his shoulder. I watched it flip backwards, then fall. We waited a few minutes before climbing out of the stand to go get it,” she said.

Walker shot the deer with her dad’s Remington 700 .270 with a Kahles 3x12x56 scope while hunting in Scotia, a small community in Hampton County, from a box stand 10 feet off the ground. The stand was backed up to the woods and overlooking a clearing with a trail nearby.

Jason Stanfield Taxidermy is doing a mount for Walker, and Breland Deer Processing is taking care of the processing duties for her.

“It’s a big deal that I was able to shoot this deer with my dad’s rifle. That means a lot to me,” Walker said.