And that was great this past August, when he Dubois took a pair of mature bucks with a single shot, the bigger one being a real Goliath..
Dubois's personal-best buck, taken Aug. 17 in an Orangeburg Co. peanut field - along with another 8-pointer - has a green score of around 150 points.
Dubois began hunting deer after he moved from his native Greenville Co. to Summerville in 1979. He was lucky enough to make friends with Jimmy Westbrook, who belonged to an exclusive hunting club in adjacent Orangeburg Co.
Located in a fertile agricultural region, Orangeburg has been one of South Carolina's top deer counties, not just in terms of harvest numbers, but also in the number of aesthetically-pleasing bucks that are taken. Much of the land in the county tied up clubs and leases that are participating in quality whitetail management programs, with focuses on providing supplemental nutrition in flood plots, extending the age structure, and population reduction from prescribed doe and inferior buck harvests.
Westbrook's club covers 1,200 acres of intensely managed land, with club members limited to bucks with six or more points and does, with intentions of raising the bar in future seasons.
While many crops are planted for wildlife on club acreage, a majority of the open land is planted with protein-rich peanuts, which are highly favored by whitetail deer. One of the larger peanut fields, covered with deer tracks, quickly attracted Dubois interest for a Sunday afternoon hunt the third day of the season. Despite having a roomy box stand on the edge of the field, Dubois chose to use a a climbing tree stand just inside the woodline to conceal his presence.
"I don't like box stands," Dubois said. "Deer will hone in on box stands and will be wary of them. They just don't look very natural."
Dubois climbed into his stand around 6 p.m. A short time later, he noticed movement and could see several deer making their way into the field. He raised his binoculars and counted 11 does and fawns feeding on peanuts. The group of deer continued to feed and move to different parts of the field as the sun fell below the tree line and darkness approached.
Dubois caught more movement from the far side of the field - almost as far as he could see.
"I could see a large set of antlers with my naked eye that immediately caught my attention. If I could see antlers without the binoculars at 300 yards, it must be a shooter buck," Dubois said.
His binoculars confirmed 10 more deer browsing on the edge of the field, including two bucks. One was an 8-pointer that was being trailed by a super buck of at least 10 to 12 points.
Dubois quickly raised his Remington Model 700 rifle and dialed into his Leopold 6.5x20 scope up to 20 power. The two bucks were traveling side-by-side about 300 yards away. Dubois clicked off his rifle's safety and waited for the bucks to separate enough to make a clean shot on the bigger buck.
As minutes passed, the deer would separate only for brief moments, then go back to their side-by-side feeding. Daylight was slipping away, and Dubois knew his opportunity was diminishing quickly.
"I placed the crosshairs on the super buck's chest, and as soon as the 8-pointer appeared to be out of the way, I squeezed the trigger," he said.
The deer scattered, leaving Dubois hopeful of a clean and fatal shot. He waited a few minutes and headed across the field, just as Westbrook showed up to start the search effort. As he got to the place the deer had been standing, he saw a large amount of blood covering the ground, but in two distinctive splatter patterns. He had hit both deer!
He followed the strongest blood trail, and it led to a respectable 8-point buck, 100 yards back in the woods, with a fatal neck wound. Dubois and Westbrook dragged that buck to the field and went back in the woods to complete the "single-shot double."
The second buck took a different path out of the field, leaving Westbrook and Dubois mystified as the blood trail diminished. They called it a night and returned the next morning to find the bigger buck a little further down the trail.
Dubois's bigger buck weighed in at 185 pounds with 15 scorable points covered in velvet. It had a 19-inch outside spread and 17-inch inside spread, with 5¼-inch bases and tines measuring as much as eight inches long. Dubois buck rough-scored the deer at 150 gross Boone and Crockett points.