Alex Brenner of Charleston and his hunting companions are true believers in high-quality food plots, and they practice strict quality deer management, only harvesting mature bucks and big does on their hunting land, including a 250-acre sea-island paradise on Johns Island.

"If you don't let them get old, they will never get big. We only shoot the old deer, letting the younger ones walk," Brenner said.

Everything Brenner has worked for came true six minutes after daybreak last Friday (Aug. 18) when he nailed a huge buck from a stand high in a palmetto tree.

Dan Pernell at Pernell's Taxidermy estimated the monster buck, which had a heavy, full-velvet, main-frame 10-point rack with a 17 1/4-inch spread at 5 1/2 years old.

The buck was travelling to a four-acre soybean field down a well-traveled trail nestled in a mature hardwood forest peppered with some of South Carolina's finest palmetto trees. It met its maker shortly after venturing within range of Brenner's new Mathews Extreme Z7 bow at 27 yards.

Brenner almost got a shot at his trophy the evening before when the big buck was traveling down the trail with a smaller 5-pointer. But the smaller buck acted very nervous and scampered around, alerting the mature buck and causing them both to retreat into the protected bottomlands.

But at that point, Brenner thought it was just an average 10-pointer.

"It was dark that afternoon when I saw that deer, and it was a little hard to see with the deer bolting around," he said. "I could definitely see the extra points the next day, but there was no question it was the same deer."

The next morning, Brenner slipped back up his palmetto before daylight and nocked an arrow. Within minutes, he heard a disturbance down the trail in the darkness.

"I could hear deer in the bottom before light, and as soon as I could see, the buck was there at 45 yards with his head down and slowly walking down the trail towards me," he said.

Probably with soybeans on the brain, the mature buck approached slowly, completely without fear in the dim morning light.

Brenner drew back his arrow and paused just long enough to get the perfect quartering shot. Almost-instantly after the release, Brenner's razor-sharp broadhead punched completely though the animal's chest cavity and into the soil beneath. The perfectly-placed shot penetrated both lungs and the heart, sealing the deer's fate.

"After the shot, the deer kicked real hard and practically did a hand stand; then bolted away until piling up at 25 yards," he said.

Brenner's 10-pointer sported five sticker points protruding from several places on the rack. It weighed 195 pounds and had "ridiculous, Coke can-mass."

The buck's antlers have a green gross score of approximately 145 1/8 Pope & Young, topping anything Brenner has ever killed with any weapon to date.