Greenville's Alan Harris has traveled far and wide in pursuit of trophy deer: from Illinois to Alabama, from Missouri to Montana.

Little did he know that his buck of a lifetime was waiting for him at home in South Carolina.

Harris's date with fate came on Oct. 25, on a 2,800-acre tract of leased land in rural Abbeville County. He was perched in a tree stand on the edge of a clearcut just before dark when he saw one side of an impressive set of antlers about 100 yards away.

"I saw five points with my naked eye," Harris said. "Then he disappeared. I was frantic. I knew I'd just seen the biggest deer of my life and was afraid I might not see him again."

But Harris calmed himself and promptly began a series of bleats and grunts in an effort to bring the big buck out into the open again. Several minutes later, his work paid off - the buck reappeared, rubbing a tree about 60 yards away.

"When he threw up his antlers and looked toward me, I squeezed the trigger," Harris said.

Harris was confident that he'd made a good shot, but the buck disappeared. He made a mental note of a cedar tree near where he'd seen the buck last, then made his way through the rugged, 7-year-old clearcut.

"I walked directly to him," said Harris, who found his buck less than 10 yards from the cedar.

That's when excitement set in.

Harris quickly called his father, Bill, on his cell phone.

"He was out of breath," Bill Harris said. "He said, 'Daddy, I've got a monster.'''

The "monster" indeed left the younger Harris gasping.

"I knew he was a good buck, but I had no idea he was of this caliber," Harris said. "To me it looked like one of those majestic South Texas bucks. It just wasn't one of those normal South Carolina racks."

It wasn't a normal rack - regardless of location.

The rack had a 20½-inch inside spread, with 11 points towering above the main beams. It has been gross-scored at 154 points. Even after deductions for a forked G-2 tine and mandatory 60-day drying period, the buck will easily qualify for South Carolina's all-time record book.

The rack also is likely to rank among the state's best of the 2008 season and among the top racks ever in Abbeville County.

The buck weighed a modest 162 pounds, but Harris attributed its massive antlers to the trophy deer management program in place on the property. The 14 hunters in his club, which is located near Lake Russell, have planted food plots, managed clearcuts for bedding areas and regularly passed up bucks that have fewer than eight points or less than a 16-inch spread.

Harris, 35, who owns a Greenville carpet cleaning company, also admits that deer hunting is his passion, which explains why his father wasn't surprised when he found out about his son's trophy buck.

"He works harder at it than most of us do," Bill Harris said.

Harris does a lot of scouting, is a stickler for hunting in areas only when the wind direction is perfect, and is a big proponent of scents - spreading those that will attract bucks and eliminate his own.

Those factors all likely had a hand in Harris's trophy.

"It was the first time I'd hunted from that stand this season, because I was waiting for the wind to be right," he said.

"I've been everywhere and killed some pretty big bucks, but this one is special. It's like killing a 180 (point) anywhere else. There just aren't many bucks over 150 killed in South Carolina every year. I can't wait to get him mounted."