Giving son first choice of stands pays off for Upstate man
Preston Scott picked up a 192-pound consolation prize last Oct. 11 for letting his 17-year-old son, Will, choose which deer stand he wanted to sit in on opening day of gun season in South Carolina’s Spartanburg County. And this led to him winning Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck grand prize.
“I gave him the choice. And Will wanted to sit in the deer stand that I would have sat in,” said the financial advisor from Simpsonville, S.C. “I wound up walking back in the woods to a stand I hadn’t even visited since the year before.”
Around a half-hour after he climbed into the tripod stand located next to several white oak trees, he was standing over a 9-point, 192-pound buck.
And the best was yet to come. Scott entered the buck in Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest. And on Feb. 1, his entry was drawn as the grand-prize winner. During the four-month contest, 186 hunters entered their own big buck stories.
Scott’s grand-prize package includes a free, three-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman and a $50 gift certificate to the online Sportsman Store. He also won a two-day, deer-hog combo hunt for two people at Cherokee Run hunting Lodge in Chesterfield County, S.C. Topping off his prize package was an Energy Elite bow.
Scott had trail-camera photos of the buck, but he’d never seen it up close. The stand he sat in that morning needed some repairs. But he had not been by to fix things up. He had also not cleared out the three shooting lanes, one directly in front of it and one to each side.
His stand wasn’t in the best of shape
“I hadn’t trimmed any of the branches, and when I got up in the stand and it got light, I could tell the shooting lanes were a lot tighter,” Scott said. “I probably got up in the stand at 6:45. Daylight was about 7:30.
“At about 7:15, I looked to my right and saw a big-horned deer. I saw him move, and I saw him for a couple of seconds in the lane before he got into the woods.”
Scott feared that the buck was going to sneak behind the stand, where he couldn’t get a shot and could barely see because of the thick undergrowth. His only chance, he said, was if the buck circled behind and crossed the shooting lane to his left. So he swiveled his seat in that direction and got ready.
“I got my gun up, but it was sort of damp that morning, and he wasn’t making a lot of noise,” he said. “The next thing I knew, I saw him about 15 yards in front of me. (He was) in the shooting lane, with his head down, eating acorns. He never looked up.”
Scott put the crosshairs on the buck’s boiler room and drilled him with a single shot from his Remington .30-06. The Bag-A-Buck grand prize deer stumbled off 20 feet before crashing to the ground.
“I was going to work later that morning, and I was checking my emails about 3 minutes before he showed up,” Scott said. “I had even told my son that I wasn’t gonna pull the trigger unless it was a really nice deer. So when I shot, he texted me right away: “Heck yeah!”
With help from a neighboring landowner, Scott and his son got the buck out of the woods, and he was at work by 10 a.m.