Record high temperatures may have deterred a lot of hunters from preparing for the early deer season in the Lowcountry, but not Drew Evans of Cameron.

Evans bagged the buck of a lifetime in the sweltering heat on Aug. 16, the second day of the season in Game Zone 6.

The buck was one of six bucks - and quite a few does - that were dining on a field of sweet browntop millet, looting a crop that was intentionally planted for a Labor Day weekend dove hunt.

Evans, who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in agriculture economics at Clemson, slipped out of a monotonous session of summer school in early August to head east to his family's 115-acre farm in Calhoun County. He planned to set up a couple of deer stands, with one on a fresh crop of millet.

There was not any particular buck sign around, but the millet was being ravaged by deer, and with deer season just around the corner, it appeared to be a perfect set-up.

Evans is a die-hard bow hunter, but he will bring his rifle along when the situation doesn't allow an archery set-up. The short trip from school and sweltering heat only allowed enough energy and time to set up rifle stands, eliminating the opportunities for a bow shot on opening day.

Evans set up a tripod stand at the millet field to hunt the opening week of the deer season.

Void of any substantial hunting pressure - it hadn't been hunted for deer for 5 years - the family farm looked like a sure homestead for a mature buck. Calhoun County and surrounding counties are fertile grounds with prime genetics and nutrition available to grow trophy bucks.

That fit perfectly with Evans' personal plans.

"I only kill bucks that I want to mount," says Evans.

On opening day, Evans slipped into the tripod early in the afternoon. He sweated off 5 pounds and counted 20 deer that afternoon, mostly does and a few immature bucks. Encour-aged by the activity, he decided to set back in the same stand the next afternoon.

Evans grabbed his video camera to get some footage of the deer munching on the millet. After he settled into the stand, a few does moved into the edge of the field at approximately 7:20 p.m. The does picked around and moved across the field, filling their bellies with millet.

At 8 p.m, Evans wiped the sweat from his brow and noticed another group of deer - with headgear showing -moving into the edge of the field .

"A bachelor group covered in velvet moved into the field, and I started filming. The bachelor group was made of several bucks of different age classes: a young deformed-racked deer, one 4-pointer, two 6-pointers, and two nice 8-pointers. The 8's has approximately 16-inch spreads with decent G-2's," he said.

Evans put away the camera as light began to diminish, and just as he stowed it, he noticed one of the 8-pointers slip back into the woods. After several minutes, he noticed the buck moving back into the field. Evans raised his rifle and peered through his Swarovski scope to get a better look at the buck's rack.

To his amazement, it wasn't the same 8-pointer he had been watching. It was a much larger buck a little over 100 yards away from his stand.

Bigger than any buck he had killed in a decade of hunting, Evans aimed carefully and squeezed the trigger on his Jarrett .280. The rifle's blast sent the big buck and the rest of the deer scattering into the woods.

A few minutes later, hunting partner Rhett Smith met up with Evans to track the deer.

"There was no blood to be found anywhere. I was starting to get worried, until Rhett saw the deer approximately 50 yards from where I had made the shot."

The massive buck's antlers were in full velvet. They had 8 scorable points, with a combined green Boone & Crockett club score of 150 gross and 144 net.

Evans anticipates that the deer will continue to score in the 140s after the drying process is complete.

After analyzing the teeth and other growth characteristics, Evans believes the deer, which weighed 188 pounds, was approximately 4 1/2 years old. Evans' trophy buck will be mounted by John Mellis of Great Outdoors Taxidermy in Bowman, South Carolina.