In Brad Bailey’s Desk Drawer…

Brad Gill | August 21, 2020

You won’t believe what I found in former Editor Brad Bailey’s desk drawer this week…. give me a minute.

In the upcoming September issue of GON, you’ll find the one-of-a-kind hunt story of Keith Almand’s 2019 Morgan County bow buck that scores 177 5/8-inch non-typical inches. B&C scorer Bill Cooper wrote the story and did a marvelous job of putting readers right in the stand with Keith as he takes his first—and second—shots at the giant buck. It’s the kind of story that will have you ready to hit the woods for the Sept. 12 bow opener.

If you think about it, no two deer hunting stories are alike. In the 33 years that GON magazine has been around, we’ve learned that people like to read hunting stories. Hunt stories never get old because no story is the same.

One of the really, really cool things about GON‘s recent historic release of the online Georgia Deer Records is that Keith’s hunt story will forever be a published part of Georgia’s very rich deer hunting history.

Brad Bailey was one of the original editors of GON who helped begin the process of compiling GON’s Georgia Deer Records.

Back to Brad Bailey’s desk drawer.

Before Bailey retired, he was in charge of recording and filing away all the bow-killed buck information that came into GON headquarters. Most of that filing was in the form of 35 mm photos and handwritten hunt stories. It was before digital, email or even the Internet was used in day-to-day operations. Things came in the mail. With an envelope. And a stamp.

In Brad’s lower right-hand drawer, I discovered about 20 old file folders. I pulled one out, blew the dust off and began to look through old photos, letters and in some cases handwritten hunt stories from Pope & Young bucks that were two decades old. Jackpot!

These folders have been stored away in darkness for years, and now we’re in the process of bringing each folder out one at a time and exposing them to the light of the Georgia Deer Records for all to see, forever.

The very first hunt story I put my hands on was the hunt for a 142-inch Gwinnett County Pope & Young taken by Jeff Crowell, of Norcross, in 1997. Jeff was a part of the GON Truck-Buck deer contest that year, so we’ve had his score in the Georgia Deer Records since 1998, but that photo and his hunt story were buried in a desk drawer. Not any more! Read Jeff’s great hunt story and see his photo from 22 years ago.

If you have an old buck on the Georgia Deer Records, and you want to tell your hunt story, or maybe just send us a picture of your buck, email me at [email protected]. Or if you’d like to do it the way the old timers did, feel free to drop it in the mail to GON Deer Records, 4331 Seven Islands Road, Madison, GA 30650.

Then you and your buck will be a permanent part of Georgia’s hunting history.

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