Rosalyn Ballam wins August Bag A Buck Contest

Roasalyn Ballam’s 2023 opening-day trophy buck was the third she’s killed on an opening day in South Carolina.

Opening-day trophy is a tradition for Ballam

Rosalyn Ballam of Awendaw, SC killed an 8-point buck in full velvet on Aug. 15, 2023. It’s not the first time she’s done that on opening day.

“This is the third velvet buck I’ve killed on opening day, and the fourth during opening week. All were trophies,” she said.

She thought she’d missed her chance less than 2 hours before she shot this buck.

“I saw him as I was grabbing my gear to get into the stand. He stepped out in front of my car and we stared at each other for a minute or two,” she said.

“I’d been watching him on trail cameras since May,” she said.

Afraid she’d spooked the deer, Ballam got into the stand anyway. What else does a hunter do in that situation?

Hoping for a better outcome with a second sighting of the buck, Ballam was relieved to see it heading her way.

“I watched him for a couple of minutes, then let him come out some more. Then I shot him in the shoulder,” she said.

The 8-point buck took off into the woods, then she heard it crash.

“Once my dad got there, I got down and went to search for him. My dad walked 50 yards into the woods and saw him lying there, then whistled for me and told me he had him, and that it was a nice velvet buck,” she said.

Bagging another trophy velvet buck was certainly special to Ballam, but having her dad involved in the search was even more meaningful to her.

“Every deer season, my dad will come help me look for my bucks, and it’s always the best feeling when we find them together,” she said.

Ballam won a 1-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine, an 18-ounce Yeti Rambler, and a Mini Maglite. She’s also eligible, with all other entrants, for the Grand Prize, which includes a 2-day, two-person deer/hog hunt at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield, SC.

About Brian Cope 2745 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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