It's never too late for deer hunting success as Noah Matthews of Florence discovered when everything came together for him on New Year's Day. That last day of deer season saw the 12-year-old youth harvest his first-ever buck that turned out to be a 10-point with a 19 7/8-inch spread.

Matthews' father Allen leases some deer-hunting land near Kingstree in Williamsburg County where he is an avid bowhunter. With the buck on trail-cam photos throughout the season, the elder Matthews knew of its existence but never crossed paths with the buck.

Then, on the final day of the season, he put his son in his bow stand 28-feet up a tree, and the rest is history.

"Dad put me in the stand about 2:45, and I didn't see any deer until the 10-point buck came out of nowhere at 5:35 and began rubbing his antlers against a tree," Matthews said. "He disappeared from view for a moment, and then came to a corn pile just 30-yards from the stand and stood diagonal to me."

Armed with the same Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun that his father had used to dispatch his first buck (a 5-pointer) when he was 15 years old, Noah Matthews said he began to shake with excitement. He picked up the gun loaded with Winchester Supreme 3-inch 00 buckshot and the pump shotgun shucked once, much to the surprise of Matthews.

"That buck looked right at me when I made that noise, but somehow I was able to move the gun into position," Matthews said.

One shot into the neck of the buck made for a clean kill shot and the buck never moved again.

"I texted my father, who was in another stand, and told him that I had his monster buck with me," the younger Matthews said.

Matthews had instructions from his father that this particular buck was the only deer he had permission to shoot that day as part of his education about growing quality bucks. His father came right away and helped his son out of the stand.

"Holy Smokes that's a big buck for South Carolina," said Matthews, whose father was elated that his son had taken the buck that had eluded him all deer season.

The buck weighed 147-pounds and was aged at 4 1/2 years old. Interestingly, the 2010 trail cam photos had the deer closer to an estimated 200-pounds, and that the rutting season had taken its toll on the breeder buck.

More photos of the deer can be viewed on the deer hunting forum.

The main beams measured 22 inches and the G2s measured 10 inches, pushing the rack to an unofficial green score of 135 7/8 inches.