Jordan Abernathy of Cowpens told his father that all he wanted for Christmas was to find a big Cherokee County buck he shot the afternoon of Dec. 21.

Abernathy hit the 12-point buck twice after stumbling on him walking through a pine thicket to his deer stand during a break in a day-long rain. After he shot the buck, the rain started again, wiping out the blood trail and forcing him to come back later with a dog.

The dog did its job, finding the buck about 250 yards from where Abernathy had hit him twice with his .30-06 – once clipping the shoulder with a straight-on shot and once through a lung on a quartering shot with the buck running.

Abernathy was fortunate a second time, on Jan. 1, when his entry into South Carolina Sportsman's fourth and final monthly Bag-a-Buck contest was drawn as the winner.

He will receive a prize package that includes 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.

He 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 two-person, one-day hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge.

"We had seen him last year, but we didn't have any pictures or anything on him this year," said Abernathy, 19, who works at his grandparents' farm-supply store. "He was staying in a pine thicket that was too thick to get in.

"I was walking through it to my stand, going in a little late because it was rainy," he said. "I started in during a little break in the rain. I climbed a fence, and I saw him standing behind some turkeys; I saw his tail.

"I shot him the first time, then he was running straight at me, and he went across this creek and I put a second one in him."

The buck was a main-frame 5x5 with a sticker point on each beam. It had a 17 1/2-inch inside spread and 19-inch outside spread. The longest tines were eight inches.

See more than 100 bucks killed the 2011 deer season in the South Carolina Sportsman Bag-a-Buck Contest photo gallery.

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