Joshua Cooper, a 20-year-old deer hunter from Florence, S.C., was rewarded for his patience twice in late October.
Last fall, he passed on a nice 8-point pie-bald buck that he’d nicknamed “Calico” when he first saw him as a cowhorn two years ago, hoping he’d survive the 2015 season and grow a little.
Did he ever.
On Oct. 21, Cooper dropped the buck, now a trophy class 9-pointer, from a stand in Williamsburg County, S.C.
He entered the buck in Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest, and on Oct. 31, he was drawn as the winner of October’s monthly contest.
Each monthly winner receives a prize package that includes a $25 gift certificate to the online Sportsman Outdoor Store and a free one-year Carolina Sportsman magazine subscription.
The grand-prize winner, drawn from all entries and announced in the February 2017 issue of Carolina Sportsman magazine, will receive a hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield, S.C., a 3-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman and a $50 gift certificate to the Sportsman Outdoor Store.
Cooper, who goes by the username “joshc08” on CarolinaSportsman.com, said when he saw trail-camera photos of the buck in velvet this past summer, he knew he’d made the correct decision last year. On Oct. 21, he sat in a newly constructed stand, and within 25 minutes of climbing in, he saw the buck at 72 yards.
“He came out in a food plot, and I picked up my binoculars and saw he was a good buck,” Cooper said. “I picked up my rifle, and he turned, and I saw the white spots and recognized he was Calilco, but he ran off. Then, this doe came running across the food plot and stopped right under my tree — I could have spit on her. But when she came out, he came out at about 150 yards and I shot him.”
The buck, shot through both lungs, went 20 yards and fell.