A nurse who works three 12-hour shifts a week, on the morning of Nov. 9 Lewis found herself with no one to take her hunting. Her husband was working a 12-hour shift at an area paper mill, so she headed to the woods herself.
"Since I work three days a week, I have more time off to hunt," she said.
It turned out to be a great decision. Around 9 a.m., she put a single bullet from her .243 Browning into the boiler room of a 10-point, 175-pound buck.
The decision looked even better when she was drawn as the winner for South Carolina Sportsman's monthly Bag-A-Buck contest for November.
Lewis will receive a prize package that includes apparel from Rivers West, a South Carolina Sportsman T-shirt, a camouflage Sportsman window decal, a copy of Cooking on the Wild Side, a Tink's scent kit, Realtree hats and Monster Buck DVDs, a Plano storage box and ammo grips from GOD'A Grip.
She remains eligible for the grand prize; the winner will be drawn from all contest entries and awarded at the Palmetto Sportsman's Classic in Columbia this March. The winner will receive a Leupold rangefinder, a compound bow donated by Irby Street Sporting Goods in Florence and Anglers Sporting Goods in Monck's Corner, a Nikon Prostaff scope, a blackpowder rifle from Nichols Store in Rock Hill and a 2-person, one-day hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge.
Lewis had seen one buck soon after she got into her tower stand in some pines, and she tried to turn him with a grunt call. At around 9 a.m., she saw three does to the left of her stand, but they headed back in the woods and she responded by making a single doe bleat. It was immediately answered by a buck's grunt.
"I heard a grunt; he was probably 75 yards away, and he was walking straight to me," she said. "Lord, I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. He was walking straight to the scent I had in front of me. When he was bout 50 yards in front of me, he stopped and looked at me.
"All I could see were horns in my scope, and I shot."
The buck stumbled and jumped at the shot, and headed back into the woods. Coached by her husband to pay careful attention to exactly where a deer that had been shot left her sight, she picked out a spot, got down and called her husband. Unable to get off work to help, her husband called a nephew, Trey Starling, who brought her mother-in-law to the stand and helped.
She didn't need that much help. The buck had carried the .243 slug only 25 yards before piling up in some brush.
"I usually shoot a .270, but my husband had just sighted in this .243 we bought last year," Lewis said. "it's lighter and I can handle it better, so I took it."
The buck was a main-frame 5x5 with three small sticker points and a 16 1/2-inch inside spread.
See other bucks killed this year - and enter photos of your own - in the Bag-a-Buck Contest today to be eligible for the final monthly prize!
And remember, everyone who submits a photo is automatically eligible for the grand-prize drawing! So enter today!