Cedar Creek WMA’s New No. 1 Buck?
Allen Rudolph of Eatonton eats, breaths and lives for deer hunting. Since moving to Georgia in 1998, he’s spent countless hours on Cedar Creek WMA and the Oconee National Forest. On Friday, Nov. 9, all that hard scouting and hunting effort was rewarded with a 140-class bruiser buck from Cedar Creek WMA.
“Somebody kills a 140-class buck there every year; I just never thought it would be me,” Allen told GON the day after shooting his buck. Allen and his buck appear on the cover of this issue of GON. If Allen has his buck officially scored after the 60-day drying period, it should be the new No. 1 Cedar Creek buck ever officially scored, according to GON’s Triple Digit WMA Bucks list. Allen’s buck grossed 144 inches and should have no problem netting above Johnny Wise’s 133 6/8-inch buck, the current No. 1 deer from Cedar Creek.
Allen’s Cedar Creek buck was his third buck for the season. He tagged out earlier in the season with a pair of nice Putnam County bucks. However, the Nov. 8-10, check-in hunt at Cedar Creek WMA gave Allen the chance for another set of antlers.
On Georgia’s WMA check-in hunts, hunters are allowed to harvest two deer that don’t count against their state limits, and the hunt at Cedar Creek turned out to be a great time to find a mature buck up during daylight hours trying to tend a doe.
“I was hunting a 2- or 3-year-old clearcut,” said Allen. “It’s a spot we found at the end of last year with a lot of good rubs.”
Allen climbed up on the edge of a narrow hardwood drain, looking down into the adjacent clearcut. Directly behind him and across the drain was another thick clearcut.
“I wasn’t in the stand 15 minutes, and I could hear deer running in the cutover behind me,” said Allen.
Two does came out into the hardwoods, and one of them was in heat.
“She had her tail bobbing, and when I saw her I said, ‘Where’s he at?’” Allen said. “The minute he came out I knew it was a good buck. You couldn’t miss those horns. He knew he was coming out into those wide-open hardwoods, and he was really cautious. I couldn’t really see how big he was, just that he was big.”
Allen made a great shot, and the buck went right down.
“I went over there and started looking at him and then realized it was a real good deer,” said Allen. “I roughed him right there in the woods between 130 and 135, but when we got home we really scored him, and he was 144 inches, gross.”
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