The August heat didn’t keep Fairview’s Daphnie Hallman from going deer hunting on opening week. And the second day of the 2017 season ended victoriously for the Lexington County native with a fine eight-point buck with an 18-inch inside spread. But, her missing bag of critical gear almost kept her out of the action.
Hallman was making the switch from the nightshift to the dayshift at her job with Michelin, and she had one opportunity to fit in an afternoon of deer hunting. But she couldn’t find her hunting bag.
“I was aggravated because I couldn’t find my stuff and I almost didn’t go,” Hallman said. “But, then I found everything. My son, Russ, had my bag. That left me just enough time to get in the stand that afternoon.”
Hallman was excited to say the least. Her sister, Lacey Sightler, had just killed a whopper eight the night before on the opening day of the deer season in Lexington County.
The summer heat sure didn’t make it feel like the type of weather that most hunters are accustomed to. But, it’s South Carolina and the early velvet season isn’t for the fainthearted.
“It was so hot that day. I felt like I was crazy to be sitting in that heat. I was a sweaty mess,” she said.
After a short sit in her two-man stand overlooking an overgrown hayfield, Hallman caught movement and in no time, the field was full of deer. She watched three does, two fawns, and a couple bucks enter into her sights at around 200 yards from her stand. Both of the first two bucks were immature and she waited for something else to come out. Within minutes another buck walked into the field that had a nice set of antlers.
“I started to shoot him and then I saw the huge eight pointer walk out. I could hardly breathe,” she said.
Buck fever set in and Hallman did everything she could to calm herself down while the buck slowly made his way across the hay field through two patches of trees.
“My nerves were shot,” she said.
But after several minutes, she got it under control and squeezed off a 100-yard shot from her .270 rifle sending her trophy to his death.
“He didn’t even make it to the corn pile,” she said.
It is the biggest deer of her life weighing in at 180 pounds and a true reward for braving South Carolina’s summer heat in the tree stand.
“I sure am glad that I went that day. He is going on the wall!” Hallman said.