Sometimes good things happen when you least expect them.

At least that's what David Lowe of Florence is thinking right about now.

Lowe wasn't planning on going deer hunting on Sept. 25. He was busy trying to get his car dealership open, and he admitted that he'd only been deer hunting once this season before that afternoon.

But somehow or other, he wound up with a few hours free, and when he realized that he had his deer rifle in his truck, he figured he'd slip out to a piece of private property he has permission to hunt.

He had no hunting clothes with him, and none of the stuff a serious deer hunter would normally carry to his stand.

When he climbed up in the old tripod stand that overlooks two intersecting logging roads, he was wearing white tennis shoes, blue jeans and a grey USC Gamecocks basketball T-shirt.

All he wound up doing that afternoon was killing the biggest buck of his life.

"You know, I wasn't planning to hunt, but I had my rifle in the truck, and I had some spare time, so I figured I'd go sit in my stand," Lowe said. "I had hunted this place a little bit last year and killed an 8-point buck. Nobody had hunted this place in six or seven years before that, and I planned to hunt it a little bit this year. I'd gone out and put out some corn, but I'd only hunted one time."

Lowe's hunt began on a strange note. Walking in on a logging road, he almost stepped on a 3-foot-long timber rattlesnake, which he subsequently dispatched with a tree limb. He checked to see that the deer had been working on his corn piles and replenished them, then he climbed into his stand.

"I had a couple of does come out in one of the shooting lanes," Lowe said. "They were looking behind themselves, and they looked real scared. They fed for about five minutes, then they ran off. Then they came back about 15 minutes later. Then, I heard another deer back in the woods blowing. I knew it wasn't one of them, and then they took off."

It wasn't long, maybe 15 minutes later, that a buck appeared about 125 yards away, in the other shooting lane. Even though it was around 7:30 p.m. and getting dark, he could see well enough through a pair of binoculars to know the buck was a big one.

"I threw up my Seiko (rifle), put it on him and shot," said Lowe, who was shooting a 7mm Magnum loaded with Winchester ballistic-tip bullets and topped off with a Kahle scope.

Lowe knew he was right on target, but the deer bounded off into the woods between the two shooting lanes, which form a "V" in front of his stand. He waited a little while, then got down and inspected the situation.

The place where the buck had been standing was littered with pieces of pink lung material, so Lowe knew the buck was mortally wounded. But he had only a small flashlight that he had been lucky enough to have in his truck, and having had an encounter with one rattlesnake already, he was not thrilled with the idea of slipping through more thick woods that bordered a swampy area.

Still, he had so much sign it was not difficult to trail the buck. He found the buck 150 yards away, graveyard dead, shot perfectly through the lungs.

"When I found him, I called my buddy, and he came and helped me get the buck out. After the rattlesnake thing, I wanted a better flashlight before I tried to take him out of the woods," Lowe said.

Lowe carried the buck to a skinning shed that belongs to members of his wife's family. He hung the buck up on a hanging scale, which showed the deer to weigh 213 pounds. The headgear was almost as impressive.

"He's what I'd call a 10-pointer, but he's got one point that's not an inch long, so for Boone & Crockett, he's a 9-pointer, a 5-by-4," Lowe said. "He's got a 19-inch outside spread, and his longest tines, his G-2s, are about eight inches long."

Lowe and his buddy put a tape measure to the buck's horns, following B&C instructions, and tried to score the rack. Being very conservative, erring on the side of lower measurements, he came up with a score of 147 points.

"The rack is so massive; it's palmated on one side," Lowe said. "I had killed a 9-pointer last year that I thought was a big deer - but there's no comparison between it and this buck. It's a joke. This buck is so much bigger."

Taking a buck, any buck, under the circumstances - no boots, no camo, no grunt call, nothing - might cause some hunters to think that all the equipment they buy is unnecessary. But in Lowe's case, it actually convinced him that using scents to lure deer really works.

"I used to think that all those scents and stuff were just a bunch of junk, but the last six bucks I've killed, I've had a Tink's Smokin' Stick out," he said.

"I killed my limit of five bucks last year, and all of them came to one of those sticks. And I had one out this time; this buck came out of the woods within 10 feet of the stick."

Lowe said he'd taken a Smokin' Stick and shoved it into the ground in his shooting lane, about 20 yards in front of his corn pile. There's a well-worn trail coming out of the woods that leads directly to the corn, but this buck walked out right on top of the stick.

"They have one king you use during the rut, but I was using the 'all-season' one. And maybe this is a coincidence or just luck," Lowe said.