Days GON By: September 2018
Each month we turn back the clock to see what was being reported in the pages of GON—30, 20 and 10 years ago. Here’s a look back at stories that appeared in GON.
30 Years Ago: Sept. 1988
Harvest Record Shattered: Deer hit the ground big time in 1987. It was estimated that hunters shot 280,536 whitetails, up 80,000 from the 1986 season. Why the dramatic increase in harvest? Doe days tell the story, with 50 percent more opportunity for either-sex hunting in 1987.
Here’s the top-3 counties and number of deer killed per region: Ridge & Valley—Floyd (2,121), Walker (1,796) and Bartow (1,745); Mountains—Gilmer (432), Union (402) and Fannin (389); Piedmont—Hancock (6,159), Oglethorpe (5,660) and Wilkes (5,279); Upper Coastal Plain—Washington (3,742), Emanuel (3,580) and Laurens (3,475); Lower Coastal Plain—Ware (3,107, Clinch (3,016) and Charlton (2,969).
Hancock County Top Dog: With 6,159 deer, Hancock County hunters had the highest overall deer harvest during the record-shattering season. With 418 square miles of forested land, Hancock’s record deer harvest comes out to 14.73 deer killed per square mile.
Marvin “Deerslayer” Milton, of Cumming, said on their 3,500-acre Harper Valley Gun Club, they kill an average of 100 deer per year.
The county’s fame had been attracting hunters in droves. Sgt. Bentley with DNR reported, “There are more hunters in the woods on opening day of archery season than I used to see the entire deer season.”
The article stated that tracts of land were hard to find, and waiting lists were common. Hunters had to pay “top dollar,” to get on a club, often paying between $5 to $6.50 an acre. Land to purchase in Hancock County was going between $350 to $475 per acre.
20 Years Ago: Sept. 1998
York Does It Again: For the second time in three years, York Carter, of Thomasville, won the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out. In fact, at the time, York was the only contestant to make the Shoot-Out twice.
“Really the truck wasn’t the main reason I wanted to win it again,” York said. “I wanted to win more so I could say no else had ever done it twice—and let everyone know the first one wasn’t a mistake.”
York was remembered for taking his time before making a shot.
“Yeah, I took my time,” said York. “A lot of guys, as the pressure increased in the later rounds, seemed like they started shooting faster. When I brought the gun back down (on his final shot), it just didn’t feel right. It was there, I was on it, but I didn’t have the consistent anchor like the other times. I just dropped back down and regrouped.
“I just try to stay focused, take the rounds one-by-one, take each step one-by-one. First off, you have to get up out of your chair. Then you have to walk over to the table and get your pellet, then you have to get up on the stage and then shoot.”
York’s success led to GON instituting a rule that grand prize truck winners must wait 10 years before being in the Shoot-Out again. We were thinking York might win it every year!