Many times, especially early in the season, deer hunters pull the trigger too soon and never even know it. This happens when a decent buck walks into range and looks nervously into the woods, either in the direction where it came from or in another direction. Often, hunters get the feeling the deer is on the verge of bolting, so they put the crosshairs on the deer and pull the trigger. No problem they’ve got meat on the ground. But, what if they’d waited?

Anna Elaine Sanders had just this scenario happen to her on opening day in her hometown of Hampton. But, she waited instead of pulling the trigger, and it paid off big time.

“I got in the stand around 6:45 p.m., and around 7:20, four does and a young eight-point walked out in front of the stand. They walked around and kept staring at the woods to my right,” said Sanders.

But instead of thinking these deer were looking at something that had them on edge, she got her rifle ready, believing these deer were keeping an eye out for other deer. She was right.

“I picked up my 7mm08 to go ahead and be prepared for anything else to come out. About five minutes passed and another doe with a 6-point stepped out. They all were there until about 7:35 whenever the doe with the 6-point got spooked and ran off. A few minutes later, a large 9-point came running out from my right toward the four does and small 8-point,” she said.

As the big buck stood about 200 yards away, Sanders put her crosshairs on it and thought of how she’d never killed a deer on opening day before. And how she’d never killed a deer in velvet. She pulled the trigger and checked both off her hunting bucket list.

“I had never killed a deer on opening day or in velvet, but this opening day was the day!” she said.

Sanders was the first hunter to submit her photo and story to our 2017-18 Bag-a-Buck contest. Monthly winners will receive a one-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine and a $25 gift certificate to the Sportsman Outdoor Store. And at the end of the season, a grand-prize winner will be picked and receive a two-day deer/hog combo hunt for two people at Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield, S.C., a three-year subscription to Carolina Sportsman Magazine, and a $50 gift certificate to the Sportsman Outdoor Store.

Click here to enter your photo and story in the 2017-18 Bag-a-Buck contest.