Big Buck… OTG… 15 Yards!

GON Staff | November 17, 2019


The excitement of having a mature, majestic whitetail buck at close range is hard to describe to those who’ve never experienced it. Want to ramp up that adrenaline rush? Try having a big buck 15 yards away while you’re hunting OTG — on the ground.

Hunting on the ground is near and dear to the hunting mind set of the GON crew. Check out this article Deer Hunting OTG from 2006, when the OTG acronym was first coined.

GON member Aaron Fuller, of Watkinsville, had an amazing OTG moment this week while hunting in Oconee County. The area he was hunting had characteristics that made the spot very attractive for a big, mature buck. Those same characteristics made it very difficult to hunt.

“This spot is the thickest area around,” Aaron said. “There is a good-sized tract of some really open hardwoods around it, but those are not really deer woods, more of what I call turkey woods.”

Aaron said the deer, and especially big bucks, just don’t come into those open hardwoods during daylight hours. Instead, he figured a big buck would be hanging out in the thick stuff, so that’s where Aaron hung a trail camera.

“I got a picture of this deer on Oct. 22. First time I had seen him,” Aaron said. “Then on Nov. 9 and 10, I got daylight pics on a scrape on the edge of the thicket.”

Daytime pictures usually mean ‘game on.’ But this buck was going to be challenge to hunt.

“The deer can only enter and exit the thicket from one side along about a 100-yard stretch due to a road, and the wind is usually bad to hunt that corridor,” said Aaron. “I saw a weather change coming and knew the wind would be in my favor for a day or so. I snuck in the day before in the rain and built a ground blind on the edge of the thicket where I could see the scrape he had visited.

“I slipped in with the wind in my face about 3:30 Wednesday afternoon. I saturated the area with Tink’s 69 as I walked in. At 5, two small bucks came in and fought for a moment in front of me. At 5:25 I heard the unmistakable sound of a buck cruising, and it was close. I turned to my left to see him walking by me at about 10 yards. He never stopped, and when he went behind a small privet bush, I raised the gun.

“As soon as his shoulder cleared the bush, I shot, and he dropped right there. Fifteen-yard shot. I still can’t believe it happened.”

The buck is entered in Week 9 of GON’s Truck-Buck Contest.

Aaron said the circumstances of how this buck was taken—OTG on the first sit—is not something new for him. Most of the bucks he has on the wall were killed in the same scenario when he was hunting on the ground, conditions were just right, and it was the first time hunting the spot.

Aaron shared more about his hunt and the buck on an Instagram post (@AGFuller79).

“Over the last 4 years I have worked to make a place to attract and hold deer. It’s 8 acres. Is that nuts? Probably. But I’ve enjoyed every minute of work that I’ve put into this place. The food plots planned, cleared and planted. Three acres of old growth timber removed in a strategic way to create ground cover and browse. Fruit trees planted in just the right spots to put the deer where I wanted them. And it seems like I’m doing all this purely in the name of killing a deer. But it’s not. Don’t get me wrong… big deer are what haunt most hunters. I’m no different. But the satisfaction has come from watching this place go from having a few deer pass through, to holding deer and making somewhere to watch deer (bucks!) on almost every sit. Over the last 4 years I have passed several nice bucks here that most hunters would shoot. I knew if I kept them happy here, it would pay off in time. Yesterday afternoon, the wind was right, and while sitting in a ground blind I fashioned the day before, he passed me at 15 yards. I can’t explain the sense of satisfaction this deer has given me and how much I appreciate these animals. I can’t wait to see what shows up next.”

Aaron Fuller with his Oconee County 9-pointer, taken at 15 yards while hunting OTG — on the ground.


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