After shaking off a case of the Mondays, Shay Munnerlyn of Georgetown, S.C., convinced herself to hunt the afternoon of Oct. 2 with her fiancé, Jordan Cook, of Hemingway, S.C. She wound up taking down a huge Georgetown County buck they’d been watching for three years, a 15-point monster Munnerlyn had thought was a different, big 8-pointer.

Every hunter has been there. Tired after a rough day at work, debating whether it’s worth the effort to sit in a stand — but, Munnerlyn chose to think positively. With Cook, she climbed into a ladder stand nestled in a wooded area on the family farm around 6 o’clock that afternoon — despite putting her shirt on backwards and having to stop and tape her boot together after one’s sole fell off.

“We saw a little yearling come out first,” Munnerlyn said. “It stayed around the corn pile for a little bit and then walked away. Then, I looked straight ahead and saw a buck coming out, so I put the scope on him. It appeared to be just one of the 8-pointers. I wasn’t too excited, but my fiancé said, ‘If you want to shoot it, by all means.’”

Munnerlyn squeezed the trigger on her Ruger .243 and slammed a 100-grain Remington Core-Lokt bullet into the buck’s front-left shoulder as it stood broadside at 75 yards. It collapsed in the corn pile. Cook proceeded to climb down and check the kill, where he found that Munnerlyn’s luck had not only changed once, but twice.

“He started yelling, ‘You just killed the 15-pointer!’” Munnerlyn said. “I didn’t believe it until I got down there and saw it with my own two eyes. That’s when the excitement set in.

“We’ve had him on camera for the last three years. Actually, the last couple years he’s been teasing me by lying in the corn pile when I got his picture. But he’s been coming late at night or early in the morning. Who would have thought he would come out at 7 o’clock to a corn pile?”

Munnerlyn’s buck had a 16-inch inside spread; the longest tines were 7 and 7½ inch G3s and the brow tines were 7 inches. Preliminary measurements of the 150-pound buck put it around 140 inches.

Munnerlyn said taking the buck had another silver lining.

“There was something special about that day,” she said. “My fiancé’s cousin, Anna Grace Cook, was involved in a hunting accident last year, but she loved going hunting with us. We knew she had the biggest smile on her face in heaven after witnessing the big buck we’d been after for years. I think that deer was in memory of her.”