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Booner Opens 2002 Georgia Deer Season!

Lauren Atwell scored big time when he shot “Big Moe,” this giant Harris County monster that appeared in GONʼs Spy-Cam section last month.

GON Staff | November 1, 2002

For those of you who have called or written e-mails over the last month on the whereabouts of “Big Moe,” we now have an answer for you. At presstime, Big Moe was hanging in a cooler. The lucky hunter was Lauren Atwell of Jacksonville, Fla.

Big Moe is the giant Harris County buck that appeared in the Georgia Spy-Cam feature of last month’s GON sent in by Glenn Garner from Rocky Branch Plantation. The Boone & Crockett-class whitetail had been estimated to just make the record book.

The only questions remaining were, “would anybody kill him,” and then “what would the deer actually score?” Lauren, on a guided hunt at Rocky Branch Plantation, answered the first question on the afternoon of October 24.

Rank Score Name Year County Method Photo
1 204 6/8 (NT) Lauren Atwell 2002 Harris Gun View 
2 199 6/8 (NT) Ken Brown 1974 Harris Gun
3 170 6/8 Gorman Riley 1983 Harris Gun View 
4 170 2/8 Jeff Foxworthy 2018 Harris Bow View 
5 168 4/8 Gary Mailhot 1983 Harris Gun
6 192 1/8 (NT) Cory Croft 2021 Harris Gun View 
7 166 4/8 Charles Minton 1969 Harris Gun
8 188 7/8 (NT) Earl Williamson 1974 Harris Gun
9 162 1/8 Glenn Jackson 2014 Harris Gun View 
10 161 7/8 Glenn Garner 2017 Harris Bow View 

At 4:30 p.m., Glenn took Lauren to the edge of a food plot that he would be hunting over. Glenn spoke with Lauren briefly and began to leave. Lauren headed toward his stand, peered over a crest in the food plot and got the shock of a lifetime. There was Big Moe—he had been standing just out of sight only 50 yards away.

“We hadn’t seen him,” said Lauren. “When I started walking, he started running. He ran out of the food plot. I called Glenn back over and told him how big he was. Glenn told me to calm down and get to my stand, and keep my fingers crossed that he would come back out.”

Lauren did just what he was told, and by 6 p.m. he was watching deer feeding in the food plot.

“The does started coming into the food plot,” said Lauren. “Next came a 3-pointer, then a 4-pointer. I saw two eights, and two 10s. I was actually seriously thinking about shooting one of the 10-pointers that would have  probably gone 125 or 130 inches. I was watching him in my scope, and out of the corner of my eye Big Moe came trotting out into the food plot 175 yards away. 

“A doe had come out at that same spot three or four minutes before he came out and actually crossed the food plot and was now gone. I said ‘before I shoot this one, I need to check out this other deer.’ 

“I put the scope on him, and I could tell immediately he was a big deer. I had no idea it was Big Moe, I just knew it was a big deer. I fired my first shot and missed. He started running parallel down the food plot. I bolted another shell in, and when I tried to get back on him he stopped. The second shot hit him in the neck, and he dropped right there.”

Big Moe lay on the edge of a food plot, nearly 3 miles from where the trail-camera pictures were taken on Sept. 2.

Glenn scored the deer and came up with an overall gross score of 216 inches! Big Moe is an 11-pointer whose main frame antlers score 184 inches. With nearly 20 inches of abnormal inches, Big Moe will score better as a non-typical deer at nearly 205 inches. The Boone & Crockett minimum for non-typical is 195 inches, and Lauren will have to wait the minimum 60-day drying period before he has the deer officially scored.

Is Lauren a GON subscriber? No, he’s not, so keep those Truck-Buck entries coming in.

Lauren Atwell with his Harris County B&C shot opening day of the 2002 rifle season.

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