195-Inch DeKalb County Buck Runs Out Of Luck

Mike Bolton | October 4, 2023

Michael Fortner with a DeKalb County buck that grosses 195 total inches. It beats his previous best buck by more than 50 inches.

Michael Fortner is a mixed martial arts fighter. He understands the importance of being patient and waiting for the perfect opening to get in his best shot. He applied that same thinking to his bowhunting recently, and the result was a bruiser.

Michael’s big DeKalb County buck had 23 scoreable points and grossed 196 inches. It surpassed his biggest buck ever by almost 50 inches.

“I was hunting on my grandma’s property,” the 29-year-old from Loganville said. “That property has been hunted by our family for years. Back in 2019, I shot a 148-inch 8-pointer, and the big buck I took was his running mate. Later that year, I shot the deer, and it was a high shoulder hit. He survived. That’s why I nicknamed him Lucky. I got him on camera later that year, and I knew he was going to be fine.”

Michael had a few encounters with the buck in 2021 and 2022, but by then he could see the buck had real potential, so het let him walk.

“I knew this was a buck I had patterned, so I was patient,” he said. “I knew his every move. I knew where his bedroom was.

“In July, I got my first pictures of him of this year. He had a half-rack already and all the other bucks had nubs. I knew he was going to be special.”

Michael got close to the buck on opening day, but it was getting dark, so he decided to not risk a shot.

“I went in there and made a mock scrape and that really made him mad,” he said. “That brought him out in the daylight. On Sept. 13, I caught him quartered about 36 yards away. I shot him with my Bear Kuma, and he ran off about 60 yards before he piled up.”

Michael knew the buck was bigger than the 148-inch 8-pointer that was his previous best buck, but he didn’t know how big he was until they began putting the tape measure on him at the taxidermist.

“The inches just kept going up and up,” he said. “He had a bit of palmation, and there was six points coming off just that. He’s impressive just looking at him from the side, but you really have to look at him from directly above to get a true picture. His rack forms a crown and there’s points everywhere.”

Michael’s buck is a main-frame 10-pointer with 13 abnormal points.

DeKalb County Best Bow Bucks Of All-Time

1177 1/8 Manny Kaloyannides2018DeKalbBowView 
2195 2/8 (NT)Kevin Carnes2015DeKalbBowView 
3165 2/8 Adam Lomax2021DeKalbBowView 
4164 Austin Hill2023DeKalbBowView 
5187 4/8 (NT)Rusty Osborne2008DeKalbBowView 
6161 Jason Lancaster2001DeKalbBow
7157 3/8 Robert Taylor2012DeKalbBowView 
8155 4/8 Jason White2022DeKalbBowView 
9155 1/8 W. Justin2021DeKalbBowView 
10174 7/8 (NT)Taylor McCann2004DeKalbBowView 


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