Hunting with his father has always been a tradition, and this day was no different with both hunters taking a doe during the morning still hunt.
Getting back in the deer stand right after lunch kept Brown sharp, and with the running buck passing in front of him, Brown was able to make the best shot of his life to tame the Cowden Plantation 14-pointer.
"This was the best shot of my life because he was on the move, and I grunted to him and he broke his full stride and did what I call a half-step, and that's when I shot him," Brown said. "I had a good reaction time when I saw the big buck because I had already handled the gun that morning when I shot a doe. I've had good luck shooting Winchester super max ballistic tip bullets."
Brown took his first deer at age 9 with the same rifle that he took down the drop-tine buck. The Sauer 7 mm rifle, which is a German-made, was inherited from his father and is outfitted with a Pentax Light Seeker 4 X 16 scope.
"I've been hunting hard all my life and we just don't see deer like this, so I'm really in a daze about this South Carolina buck," said Brown, who grew up hunting in the Sumter National Forest.
Brown's father is a member at the 10,000-acre Cowden Plantation in Aiken County, and C.J. had accompanied him there over the years for both deer and turkey outings.
"There are extensive corn and soybean fields on the property, and I have nothing but good things to say about the wildlife management there," said Brown, who harvested what might be the largest buck ever taken at the hunt club in Jackson, S.C.
A brief debate ensued at lunch that day about whether Brown and his father should go home after they both harvested does that morning. College football, chores, yard work and even Christmas shopping were all temptations. A commitment to spend more time in the outdoors ruled the day, though, and Brown was back in a deer stand by 1 p.m.
And by 2:30 he was texting his father to get out of his deer stand and come see what he just shot.
Hunting where he had found an unusually large scrape a month earlier, Brown was sitting over a field of oats next to planted pines. Right around 2:30 a truck went down a nearby dirt road, which was likely another hunter heading to a deer stand, and the 14-point broke cover and ran into Brown's comfortable shooting zone. A shot rang out, scoring a double-lung hit at 125-yards, and the deer ran back into the pines with his tail tucked.
"I found the buck just 25-yards from where I shot him, and I found he had a 19-inch spread and the G-2 tines were both around 11-inches," said Brown. "I think I may finally make the S.C. record book with this one." Brown sent cell phone pictures to his father, who promptly came from his deer stand to load up the deer and take him to the skinning shed at Cowden Plantation. A crowd of hunters gathered all afternoon and Brown got to show off his drop-tine buck again and again.
To see more photos of this fine buck on the SouthCarolinaSportsman.com deer hunting forum click here.