Brooks Edwards didn't really do anything more than go where somebody wanted him to go - and take care of business once he got there.

But he's sure glad he decided to "fill in" for two other hunters in a popular box blind overlooking a big soybean field in Bamberg County. In the space of 10 minutes, he killed the four biggest bucks of his life.

Edwards has been one of a handful of people hunting on Hallman Sease's plantation near Erhardt. Some of the other regulars have hunted there for 15 years; it was the start of Edwards' third season on Friday, Aug. 17 - the third day of gun season for deer in the Lowcountry.

"I hunt there with my best friend; his dad is kind of in charge of all the hunting on the place we hunt," said Edwards, a 24-year-old carpenter from Lexington.

On his fateful Friday, it was late in the afternoon when the group of hunters - several of whom were helping cook a hog - started to debate where they were going to hunt the last couple of hours of daylight.

"Donnie Walker, he farms and plants food plots on the place we hunt, and he was cooking a hog, so he wanted to hunt closer to the house instead of hunting a stand on what we call the 'Charlie Carter field,'" Edwards said. "Donnie told Dennis Beard that he should hunt there, but it was starting to get a little stormy, and Dennis didn't want to get wet, so he says to me, 'Why don't you go hunt the Charlie Carter field?'

"Well, it had already been raining some; the rain was all around us, and I really didn't want to go, but I figured, 'I've been wet before,' so I put on my snake boots and went over there. It was drizzling some while I was walking to the stand."

Edwards said the stand he was talked into hunting has been a regular producer for hunters on the plantation for years.

"We slaughter 'em out of that stand, but we usually don't kill many big bucks - and we don't shoot bucks unless their antlers are outside their ears," he said.

At about 7 o'clock, Edwards climbed up into the box blind. He got situated, then loaded his Remington 700 bolt-action rifle with five .30-06 cartridges. It didn't take long for things to get crazy.

"I hadn't been there five minutes when I saw a doe come out of the woods into the field about 150 yards away," Edwards said. "I picked my gun up, but before I got her in the scope to look at her, I thought I saw something that looked like little horns. I looked through my scope, and she was really a little 4-point buck. I kept the crosshairs on him and just watched him.

"After two or three minutes, I heard something blow back in the woods where the 4-pointer had come from. And I realized he kept picking his head up from feeding, turning and looking back to where the noise came from. I thought maybe he was looking at something.

"Then here came a deer, starting to come into the field, and he had a monster rack. I sat up with the gun - I already had it on the shooting rest, but I sat back down in my seat. I was shaking so bad. I said to myself, 'Brooks, you've got a chance to kill a big buck, but you're not pulling the trigger until you calm down.'

"While I'm saying that to myself, here comes another one out, right behind the first one, then two more - side-by-side - then another.

"Before I knew it, there were six of them out there, and every single one of them you'd put on the wall in a second. There were six big bucks and this little 4-pointer."

Edwards said all of the bucks were around 120 to 130 yards from his stand, broadside, feeding on the soybeans.

"I was counting points, and since they were broadside, I couldn't really tell how wide the racks were. I was just trying to figure out which one was the biggest," he said. "I decided the first one that came out was probably the biggest, so I got on him and pulled the trigger, and when I did, he jumped straight up. It looked like he was 5 feet off the ground.

"When he came down, he darted into the woods."

Edwards credited his father, Alan Edwards, with the trick that really made the hunt a success.

"I jacked my second bullet in while the sound of the first shot was still going out, and the other deer were running around, moving to the left. My dad taught me to whistle at deer to stop 'em, so I did, and when I whistled, they stopped - and I dropped another. I jacked my third bullet in, and I whistled and stopped them from running around again, and I shot the next one.

"I was just shooting them from right to left. The third one dropped in his tracks, and I whistled and stopped them and shot the fourth one. Then, they were running around, and they didn't stop when I whistled, so I just yelled real loud, 'Hey!' and they stopped.

"By now, they're so far deep in the soybeans, all I can see are their necks. So I decided to shoot the last one in the neck. I figured, if I hit him, I'll kill him, and if not, it will be a clean miss. And I dropped him. I jacked the bolt again, and I pulled the trigger to kill the sixth one, and nothing happened. I was out of bullets.

"So now, I've got four of them laying in the field, and one of them in the woods. I got down out of the stand, and I was telling myself that I couldn't believe it."

Edwards walked back to where he'd parked his truck, and drove back to the house where the hog was cooking, expecting to get help from a handful of guys who he thought would be there. Instead, he found no one. So he climbed back in his truck and headed back to get help from a hunter who was also watching the Charlie Carter field - but from a distant stand, out of sight of Edwards.

"He thought Donnie was going to be in that stand, and I told him I had four down in the field and one in the woods, and he looked at me like I was stupid," Edwards said. "We drove back, and I decided we needed to go to the one that was in the woods - I wanted to find him first, because I knew all the ones in the field were just laying there like rocks. But we never found a single spot of blood. We looked all over, and there was nothing.

"So we went back to the field, and there's the first one, then the second one, then the third one. We dragged 'em out down the rows so we wouldn't hurt the beans. We would take one out, then go back and get the next one. We got three of them out, when we went to the deepest part of the field to get the last one, and the guy with me, he looked up, and the fourth buck was 15 feet in front of him, laying there with his head up. He'd been laying there 30 minutes, and he jumps up and takes off. He pulled up his .30-06 and lets two shots go, but he didn't touch him."

Edwards said there was blood all around the spot where the deer had been jumped, but it was starting to get dark, and neither he nor his hunting buddy had a good flashlight. They dragged the three bucks from the edge of the field to Edwards' truck, then drove back to the house. There, they found Walker and Beard, who came back to help them - armed with much better lights. It didn't take long to find the fourth buck - it had made it about 50 to 60 yards into the woods before piling up.

"There wasn't much blood the first 50 or 60 yards into the woods, but then all of a sudden it's like it's pouring out of him. We went another 50 yards into the woods, and he's piled up. He was shot in the neck, but it hadn't broken his neck. I guess it must have taken him however far he ran to really get the bleeding going again."

With four excellent bucks in hand, Edwards waited until the next morning to go back and search for the first one he'd shot at. But several hours both in the field and in the woods where the buck disappeared proved fruitless. He never found a single drop of blood.

"I thought sure I'd hit him, and the other guys said the same thing because of the way he'd jumped up when I shot," Edwards said. "But I looked all over. When I couldn't find any blood, I even went down in the woods and just looked all over the woods, hoping to find him, but there was nothing. I guess it could have been a clean miss."

Of course, with the bed of his truck filled with big bucks, Edwards was still on Cloud Nine. And Walker and Beard - who both passed up chances to sit in that stand that afternoon - were "sick to their stomach," Edwards said.

"Every one of the bucks was in velvet, and not the first bit had been rubbed off," he said. "All four of them were bigger than any buck I've ever killed, and you'd put any of them on the wall."

The biggest was a big 8-point buck that weighed 200 pounds. The next was a 9-pointer - it actually had 10 points on which you could hang a ring, but one was less than an inch long. Edwards estimated its weight at around 170 pounds. The last two were an 8-pointer and a 7-pointer, both of them about 150 pounds.

"The biggest one, the big 8-pointer, he makes the other ones look small; he's the one I'm going to have mounted," Edwards said. "I haven't really measured him, but he's around 15 inches (inside spread), but he's very, very tall."

Where does Edwards go from here? Obviously, it's all downhill for him the rest of the season.

"I went back out and sat (in a stand) the next afternoon, and I was thinking, 'What am I doing out here?'"