Then his wife killed a nice buck with a crossbow, as did his young daughter. That sort of ate up his taxidermy budget in a hurry.
But don't shed any tears for him, because a 9-point, 175-pound buck he killed on Oct. 15 earned him a new bow, muzzleloader and scope, a rangefinder and a hunt.
Thompson, a 42-year-old tree cutter, entered that 20-inch 9-point buck in South Carolina Sportsman's Bag-A-Buck contest, and his entry was drawn as the grand-prize winner from among all entrants in the 4 1/2-month-long contest.
Thompson will receive a CVA muzzleloader from Nichols Store in Rock Hill, a Nikon Pro Staff scope, a Leupold rangefinder, a bow from Irby Street Sporting Goods in Florence and Anglers Choice Sporting Goods in Moncks Corner, and a 2-day deer-hunt with Cherokee Run Outfitters.
Thompson had been hunting the big buck for the better part of two years. Oct. 15 was the first day he's sneaked into a relatively small tract of land to hunt the buck, setting his climbing stand 20 feet up in a tree close to a thicket.
That afternoon, around 6:30, he began grunting, and very quickly, the buck emerged from the thicket, walked in to 23 yards and took a single arrow tipped with a Swacker broadhead from Thompson's Parker Bow through the vitals.
"I slipped in and climbed up, and when I grunted, he walked out of that thick stuff," Thompson said.
Thompson will receive his prizes at the Palmetto Sportsman's Classic in Columbia the last weekend of March.
"I had a really good season this year," he said. "I shot several nice deer. I was gonna take three of them to the taxidermist, but then my wife killed a nice deer with her crossbow, and then my 7-year-old daughter, she got to where she could shoot the crossbow real well, and we took her and she killed a nice 8-pointer we're going to mount."
See more than 100 bucks killed during the 2011 hunting season in the Bag-a-Buck Contest photo gallery.
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