Story Of “Big Red,” A Jasper County Boone & Crockett Buck

This giant buck killed in 1967 by Glenn Owens wasn't officially scored until 2003.

Brad Gill | December 1, 2003

Jasper County strikes again. Now when you look at GON‘s County-by-County listings each October you’ll see that the best five Jasper County deer listed are Boone & Crocketts! That’s getting right up there with the south Georgia powerhouses like Macon and Worth counties.

However, these Jasper County Booners are all from the 1950s and 1960s — but they are still newsworthy in the eyes of GON. The new No. 5 Jasper County Booner was scored at the Atlanta Buckarama last August and was killed by Glenn Owens in 1967. The typical-racked 10-pointer scored 170 1/8, just barely making the minimum of 170 inches for a typical deer.

Glenn Owens was born and raised in Atlanta and moved to Mableton when he married. He had a son, Butch, who is our eyewitness to this latest Jasper County monster. Glenn passed away in 1998.

“Dad started hunting at an early age— mostly rabbit and bird hunting,” said Butch. “When he first started hunting deer he hunted up in north Georgia, and back then the deer were very scarce. He hunted up there for about 10 years and never got a deer. He rarely even got a glimpse of a deer.”

Glenn Owens, of Mableton, smiles with Big Red, the Jasper County Booner that he killed in November 1967.

After a decade of not having grilled venison tenderloin, Glenn’s luck was about to change. He met a lady through work one day, and they started talking about deer hunting.

“She invited him to go hunting with her brother,” said Butch. “She said he killed deer all the time. This was in 1960. Her brother’s name was Barron Campbell. The first time dad went down there was just to meet Barron, but he just happened to throw his 12-gauge pump shotgun in the truck. He hadn’t even planned on hunting. He introduced himself, and they said come on. Barron and some of his family were fixing to make a deer drive. Barron put him out at a spot, and they drove a deer right to him. He hadn’t been in the woods for an hour, and he killed his first deer.”

Butch Owens holds up the mount of his fatherʼs Booner, along with the sheds that were found the year before. Notice the buck had a few abnormal inches during 1966, including a long one at the base and a split G2.

This started a great friendship between Glenn and Barron and all of Barron’s brothers and relatives. Barron had just 200 acres to himself that was seven miles north of Monticello between Highways 11 and 212, but he and Glenn had access to several thousand acres of land around Jasper County. Barron allowed Glenn to park a trailer on his 200 acres for when he needed a place to stay overnight.

“Back then you didn’t have all these hunting clubs,” said Butch. “Dad and Barron knew everybody in the county. You could hunt somewhere different every day and never hunt the same spot.”

Toward the mid 1960s, Glenn began seeing a big buck around some of the fields. A few of the sightings were in the summer, so one time the buck had a real red coat. Glenn nicknamed the buck “Big Red.” The first time Glenn saw Big Red while he had a gun in is hand was during the 1966 hunting season.

“I remember dad was out stalking and came to this field,” said Butch. “Big Red was running across that field. He knew it was Big Red because there wasn’t another buck in that area with  a rack that big. He shot at him with his Marlin .30/30 rifle and hit him in the foot and split his hoof.

“After deer season dad would go rabbit hunting, and I think it was on one of those trips when he found the first half the buck’s sheds. He kept going back, and it was two weeks after that that he found the other half.”

Here is Butch Owens when he was just 12 years old. Butch said if he hadnʼt laid his gun down, he would have had a shot at Big Red, the legendary buck that put his dad’s name in the record books.

The next year Glenn had Big Red on his mind, and Butch said his dad would make trips down there specifically to hunt that buck.

“As a kid he used to take me and set me in his lap, but I was 12 years old before I carried a gun,” said Butch.

The year Butch turned 12 was 1967, one deer season after his dad’s first hunting encounter with Big Red.

It was November. Butch, on one of his first trips with a gun, was fixing to get the hunt we all dream about but usually never get.

“After the morning hunt a bunch of us decided to make a deer drive behind the camper on Barron’s property,” said Butch. “Barron told us to spread out along a branch and him and few of his boys were coming through there. If there were any deer in the area, they’d come out of that branch. We were covering maybe 50 acres.

“They made the drive, and we didn’t see anything. We walked back up from the branch to the truck parked on an old woods road. When we got to the truck dad wanted to show me a spot where bucks had been fighting.  I had a single-barrel shotgun he bought me, and I laid it over in the back of the truck and walked out there where he showed me all that stuff. To this day I have never seen another spot with that big an area where they fight and tear up the ground. It looked like you had been in there with a Rototiller.”

This buck-fight zone was on a flat part of a hill. There were a few pine saplings around, but for the most part it was an open area where they had been fighting.

“Dad walked back toward the truck, and I started following deer prints that had crossed that fight area. When I got over to the end, there was a thicket on the edge of the hillside. Big Red was just bedded down there in the brier patch, and it jumped up 10 feet from me. It scared the heck out of me. It took off running down the hill. I turned around and hollered at my dad,  He got down to the branch and told me the deer was still standing up. He pulled up to shoot, and the deer fell over right there.”

How many times do you get a crack at the same Booner? Glenn got his, and as a result Big Red’s rack was getting passed from one set of hands to another in the back of a pickup. And Butch’s reaction to getting his young hands on such a monster?

“I said, ‘Well, if I hadn’t put my shotgun in the back of the truck I would have got a shot of him.’”

The deer is a typical-racked 5X5 with only two tines better than 10 inches. The long beams, heavy mass and lack of deductions carry the symmetrical 10-pointer into the Boone & Crocket category. Glenn’s buck won “Best In Show” at the 2003 Atlanta Buckarama.

John Bowers, the official B&C scorer who measured the deer, also looked at the matching pair of shed antlers that Glenn picked up early in 1967. By looking at Big Red’s head and estimating the spread, John came up with a net score of 173 0/8 inches. If that is an accurate score, then if Glenn had connected in 1966, he would have had the No. 4 Jasper County buck, not the No. 5.

Today, Butch hunts several tracts in Jasper County, but he doesn’t hunt Barron’s place. Although Barron has passed, he still has some kin that enjoy the old Campbell property and spend several mornings each year sitting around that old buck-fight zone looking down that hill.

“I still keep in touch with the Campbells — they’re like family,” said Butch.

GON’s Official Jasper County Deer Records

1179 Hubert Moody1957JasperGun
2199 5/8 (NT)Hugh Barber1959JasperGunView 
3196 (NT)Frank Pritchard1968JasperGunView 
4170 5/8 Wade Cown1961JasperGunView 
5170 1/8 Glenn Owens1967JasperGunView 
6164 2/8 Tom Dean1972JasperGun
7188 (NT)David Coppenger1985JasperGunView 
8163 3/8 James Bevil1960JasperGun
9159 7/8 Sammy Larman1963JasperGun
10158 7/8 Kim Reed2008JasperGunView 

If you’ve got a monster buck, old or new, that needs scoring, call us at (800) 438-4663. We’d like to hear about it, and we can find the closest Boone and Crockett scorer to your home.

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