Days GON By November 2011

Booner with a bow from Morgan County.

GON Staff | November 1, 2011


Michael Long’s Boone & Crockett bow-kill was on the cover of the November 1991 issue of GON. The Morgan County deer later scored 173 1/8 inches. To date, Michael’s giant buck is still Georgia’s only typical bow-kill buck that nets above the 170-inch Boone & Crockett minimum.

Each month we turn back the clock to see what was being reported in the pages of GON, both 20 and 10 years ago. Here’s what was happening.

20 Years Ago: November 1991

New State Record Bow Buck & Georgia’s First Boone & Crockett with a Bow: Michael Long arrowed a giant Morgan County buck that would later be officially scored at 173 1/8 typical inches. Today, Michael’s buck is still the only Boone & Crockett typical bow-kill ever taken in Georgia. Michael killed the buck on 750 acres of family land in the town of Apalachee.

Sunday morning, Sept. 29, 1991, Michael went hunting. At 9 a.m., Michael, who was hunting on the ground, saw the giant buck cross a logging road 75 yards away. Michael got up and eased down the logging road. He actually got to within 25 yards of the buck, but only the buck’s head was in the open. The rest of the deer was behind a brushpile.

Michael had been practicing with his bow and was confident enough to take the head shot. His arrow stuck the buck between the ear and eye. The buck ended up running off and out of sight.

Michael was a little bit dumb-founded. He stood there five minutes and then began to track the buck. As he followed the blood trail, it became increasingly faint. He went back to get his dad, WR, and his buddy, David Randall.

They quickly learned the buck had turned, almost back-tracking, and was heading for a swamp. Tracking was slow work, but they stayed with it. When they were about 100 yards from the swamp edge, David swept out to their left and moved ahead, down to the rough roadway along the edge hoping to cut the buck’s trail ahead of them.

Suddenly, David called out, “Michael, here’s your buck! And he’s alive!”

Michael and WR went running to David. They popped out at the road about 20 yards behind him. There stood David looking down the road. About 20 yards ahead of David stood the Boone & Crockett buck, facing the swamp, broadside in the middle of the road. His head hung low.

None of the three had a bow.

Slowly, softly, Michael and WR eased up behind David. WR accidentally stepped on a stick. It broke with a sharp crack, and the buck’s head swung up and toward them. They froze. But the buck looked past them and back behind it into the clearcut.

They could see the wound. They began to realize the buck was blind.

WR went back to the truck to get his bow, making the 20-minute trip in less than 10. He handed the bow to Michael, and they eased to within 15 yards of the buck. Michael sent the shaft home, and the buck bolted toward the swamp but at an angle toward them. Suddenly, it stopped, again only about 15 yards away. Michael shot again, and the buck made about three leaps before it fell dead within sight of the hunters.

The Booner was Michael’s first buck with a bow.

Turkey-Hunting Legend Killed in Car Accident: Twenty years ago Ben Rogers Lee was labeled, “The father of modern day turkey hunting and calling.” Ben was killed in an automobile accident Oct. 7, 1991 near his home in Jackson, Ala. He was just 46 years old.

“Ben Lee was an ordinary man who enjoyed hunting and calling animals and did them both well,” said Terry Rohm, longtime friend and employee with Wellington Outdoors.

Ben had five world championship calling titles: 1969, 1970, 1973, 1974 and 1977. After winning his first world championship in 1969, Ben started Ben Lee Calls in 1970. From his kitchen table, he crafted the first of his many turkey and deer calls.

Ben made a big impact on the outdoor world, and it’s still felt today.

10 Years Ago: November 2001

• River Bend WMA Hosts First Disabled Hunt: Ten years ago River Bend WMA’s first-ever disabled hunt was hosted. That hunt still goes on today.

On the first hunt, 15 wheelchair hunters showed up, and they killed seven bucks and one hog, a hunter-success rate of 53 percent.

Hunters were treated to a low country boil Friday night before the hunt. Each hunter was assisted by volunteers from the Dublin-Laurens County Recreation Authority’s Outdoors Section (DLCRA).

“The thing I was most impressed with was the independence of the hunters involved,” said Steve Brown with DLCRA.

• New World-Record Spot: A spotted bass caught by angler Bryan Shishido was recognized by the International Game Fish Association as the new world record. The monster spot was caught April 21, 2001 from Pine Flat Lake, Calif. and weighed 10-lbs., 4-ozs. Today, the bass remains the world record.

Georgia’s state-record spotted bass weighs 8-lbs., 2-ozs. It was caught from Lake Burton by Wayne Holland on Feb. 23, 2005.

• Dawson Forest WMA Adult/Child Hunt Draws 664: Ten years ago, WRD began making a pretty big movement to get some adult/child deer hunts on the calendar. Dawson Forest WMA’s first-ever adult/child hunt drew quite the crowd — 664 hunters. The hunt is still in place today, but it’s not quite as popular as it was on the first hunt. Last season, the hunt drew 269 hunters.

• Hunting Injury: Even in the Days GON By column, we like to keep bringing up old hunt accidents. These scary tales are reminders to be careful as you climb in and out of deer stands.

Steve Allen, 47, of Gainesville, was climbing into his Oconee County ladder stand on the opening afternoon of archery season.

As he came to eye-level with the 16-foot-tall platform, he attempted to swing a stool up on the platform. When he did, his other hand lost its grip, and he fell. When he hit the ground, he heard bones in his right ankle snap and crunch.

Steve fashioned a crutch, using a dried cedar limb and a T-shirt, and hobbled three-quarters of a mile to his truck. The agonizing hike took two hours. He then drove himself 59 miles to his home in Gainesville.

“The hospital in Athens would have been closer, but there was a UGA football game, and there would have been too much traffic,” said Steve.

Steve’s wife drove him to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he required a three-hour surgery to repair shattered bones in his ankle.

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