Alton Powell’s 1982 Cohutta WMA Buck

Reader Contributed | January 15, 2019

By Alton Powell

The story on my 1982 buck from Fannin County on Cohutta WMA… my wife and I drove our pickup camper up there and hunted early morning. The buck came along about 9.45 on a steep hilltop where he had scraped in several places. We were both up separate trees about 150 yards apart, and during the morning another hunter came and set up between us. When he saw us on both sides of him, he left. I was discouraged and about to come down when the buck showed up exactly where the hunter was before.

It was a broadside shot at about 75 yards, and I was shaking so hard at the sight of the rack I missed the first shot. The wise old buck knew he was in a bad spot, so he froze with his head in a thick bush, but his body was exposed. I got him with the second shot broadside with my .44 mag. Carbine.

Alton Powell, of Palmetto, with his 1982 buck from Cohutta WMA. The buck had 23-inch beams and a 22-inch inside spread and scored 134 5/8. It’s the No. 6 buck of all-time from Cohutta, and it ranks No. 14 all-time from Fannin County.

He dived down the steep hill about 50 yards, and it was all we could do to pull him back and down the mountain to the truck. We had a slide-in camper and had to tilt his head to get him into the floor of the camper. Then when we got to the check-in station the adventure continued…. a ranger was training a new guy and he asked if he could search my truck, so I said sure, but what are you searching for? He said illegal game like birds and out of season small game. I said sure, and he showed the new guy how to search and found nothing. I had already removed the big buck to check him in. Then they told me to go field dress him, so we drove to the nearest creek and back to the check in station.

They measured him and the ranger told me he was an old buck with missing and worn teeth and one backward point, plus a grey muzzle. Each main beam was over 23 inches, and it measured 22 inches inside spread. In all these years I always wondered how big he was in previous years. The ranger looked at him and said “Yep, there are still a few of those old wall-hangers around.”

This buck was a once in a lifetime trophy.


Cohutta WMA All-Time Buck Rankings

1160 5/8 Gary Hall1976MurrayGunView 
2150 6/8 William Prather1981FanninGun
3148 3/8 Max Falls1973FanninGunView 
4144 1/8 Jason Osgatharp2019GilmerGunView 
5140 1/8 Terry Fowler2007GilmerGunView 
6139 4/8 Estle Clayton2006GilmerGunView 
7135 2/8 Matthew Pickelsimer2008FanninGunView 
8134 6/8 Chuck Sizemore2007MurrayGun
9134 5/8 Alton Powell1982FanninGunView 
10134 Steve Bradley2007FanninGun

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