|Rack Report Details|
|Buck:||233 2/8 non-typical (unofficial net score)|
|Time of Year:||October|
|Place:||Worth County, GA|
|Weapon:||Remington 742 Woodsmaster .30-06 Rifle|
Fletcher Culpepper killed a buck on Monday, Oct. 22 that should easily dethrone the record for Worth County, Ga., and be a solid contender for third biggest buck ever taken in Georgia. His story is a great example of how you don't need 1,000 acres in Iowa to shoot a big buck. A small piece of ground in the right spot—and that right spot may be in the Deep South—will work just fine. Above all else, you have to be in the woods.
Fletcher was recovering from surgery just prior to opening weekend of Georgia's gun season, and as luck would have it, that recovery would give him the weekend and the following Monday away from work. He was sharing hunting access to a small parcel of ground in Worth County with his brother, Trevor; his dad, Danny; and their buddy, Zane. It's only a 55-acre tract, and I only got in at the last minute, he says. The area is mostly tall pines and thickets, sort of like a plantation would look. We mowed some lanes with a tractor and made a food plot, but in most places, it's so thick you can't see a deer walking through unless you're up in a stand.
Fletcher, Trevor and Zane all hunted Sunday afternoon. Fletcher didn't see much. Zane was actually hunting a ladder stand that Danny had hung near the food plot, and as he was climbing down, he heard the sounds of two big bucks fighting. To hear him tell it, it was quite a commotion, Fletcher says. My brother texted me and asked if I was going to hunt Monday morning. I told him I was planning on it, and since he couldn't hunt, he offered for me to sit in his stand, since he'd been seeing more deer than me. Zane was planning on hunting that same ladder stand over the food plot.
After settling into his stand the next morning, Fletcher texted Zane to see if he was hunting. To his surprise, Zane was working. Fletcher had the whole farm to himself. I decided to hunt Trevor's stand until about 8:30 or so and then move the short distance to that ladder stand, where Zane had heard the fighting the night before, Fletcher says. I saw a little buck early on but not much else, so at around 8:30, I climbed down and made my move.
It was good timing. As Fletcher climbed into the ladder stand, a doe and yearling stepped out and locked eyes with him. I was just frozen there on the ladder, and then all at once this huge buck steps out behind them, he says. There's was nothing I could do but sit still. They turned and walked away, and I scrambled up the ladder.
For a moment, it seemed the deer had disappeared into the thicket. Fletcher knew the buck was huge—maybe even a big 11-pointer that Trevor had captured on trail camera. But he was about to get a big surprise.
The buck suddenly stepped out into the food plot 100 yards away, he says. At first I could only see his neck, so I waited. When he stepped into the field, I put it on his shoulder and dropped him in his tracks.
The hunter stayed put after the shot. He pulled his phone from his pocket and had a text from his dad, asking if he minded if he came to the farm and put some camouflage netting around the very ladder stand from which Fletcher had just shot the monster whitetail. Fletcher called his dad and filled him in on the story. Before long, the two elated hunters were standing over the monster buck.
I honestly didn't quite realize what I had at first, he says. I mean, you see 200-inch deer in Bass Pro and Cabela's and such, but you never realize how truly huge they are. It really wasn't until I had the rack unofficially scored (by Bill Cooper, a certified measurer) that I realized what I'd done. I should have him officially scored by Christmas. He should shatter the county record, and will likely be the third all-time biggest in the state of Georgia.
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