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Danville Braves Pitcher Scores Big With Two Randolph County Bucks

This rising MLB pitcher found more time to hunt and fish during the COVID pandemic.

Jordan Davis | December 4, 2020

Tyler Owens, 19, of Ocala, Fla., will spend the month of December shooting does after tagging out on two really nice Randolph County bucks.

You might recognize Tyler’s name from being drafted as a pitcher in June 2019. He’s currently assigned to the Single A Danville Braves, a farm team of the Atlanta Braves.

“My older brother was always good, but of course, being the little brother, I wanted to be better,” said Tyler about his baseball path.

In the months leading up to the Major League Baseball draft, several coaches and team representatives from professional teams visited Tyler and his family in Ocala. On the night of June 5, 2019, right before the draft, Tyler received the call of a lifetime. He had been drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 13th round.

Tyler Owens is currently a pitcher with the Danville Braves, a farm team of the Atlanta Braves.

“I was so happy, especially being a Braves fan growing up,” said Tyler.

Tyler played several games throughout their season in 2019, but due to COVID, his team only made it a few weeks into spring training before everything came to a halt.

If there is a silver lining in the COVID cloud for an upcoming baseball star, Tyler has found plenty of time to hunt and fish. Tyler, along with family and friends, hunt about 2,600 acres in Randolph County.

He decided to make the trek from Ocala to their hunting property by himself on Sept. 15 in hopes of catching the deer moving after Hurricane Sally passed through. He was correct. Tyler was able to check something off his bucket list on the evening of Sept. 17 by killing a south Georgia buck still in velvet with his crossbow.

“I was thinking to myself, the minute it stops raining, I’m going to sit,” said Tyler.

Tyler grabbed his Bear X Intense crossbow around 5:30 p.m. and made his way to a box blind settled between a creek and planted pines.

Over the next several hours, Tyler saw a number of deer moving after the big storm. Just before dark, the velvet 8-pointer stepped out in a bachelor group with a few other bucks, but just out of crossbow range.

“Then he came in really close, like 10 yards, but another buck saw me, and they went back about 35 yards,” said Tyler.

This allowed Tyler time to get his crossbow up and make the perfect shot on the brute. He ran about 50 yards before tumbling to the ground.

“It’s not easy loading a big buck by yourself, but I was really excited, so it wasn’t that bad,” said Tyler, “I’ve never even seen a buck in velvet before this one.”

Tyler with his velvet 8-pointer, the first buck he’d ever seen in velvet while hunting.

Just when Tyler thought his Georgia hunting season couldn’t get any better, he was proven wrong.

In 2019, the family’s first year of hunting this tract of land, everyone had their mind on a huge, near perfect 12-pointer that was only seen from nighttime trail-camera photos. The buck had never been seen in person.

“We had nothing of him this year, no pictures or sightings,” said Tyler.

Right after the first cold front of the season, Tyler decided to go hunt near the area the monster was thought to be bedding in last year.

On Nov. 19 at around 6:20 a.m., Tyler was in his Millennium ladder stand that faced a woods road that separated a swamp and an area of pines.

“I noticed a doe come running across the road like she was scared, then almost immediately behind her, I saw a huge buck shaking a good-sized pine tree,” said Tyler.

The monster 12-pointer continued to follow the doe.

“As soon as he started to cross the road, I whistled, and he stopped,” said Tyler.

That ended up being a fatal mistake for the buck. At 75 yards, Tyler dropped him in his tracks with his .300 Win Mag.

“I was so excited, so pumped up,” said Tyler, “I immediately called my dad (Eric) to brag a little.”

Tyler’s Randolph County gun kill was rough scored at a total of about 165 inches. Once it’s officially scored, it will be entered into GON’s Georgia Deer Records.

Both bucks were taken to Taylor’s Outdoor Advantage in Cuthbert for processing and mounting. Tyler plans to have shoulder mounts done on both bucks.

While no one has put a tape on the 8-pointer, the main-frame 12-pointer has been green scored at 165 total inches. After the 60-day drying period, Tyler plans to have them both officially scored and entered into GON’s Georgia Deer Records.

 

Randolph County Best Bucks Of All-Time

Rank Score Name Year County Method Photo
1 176 1/8 Jeff Hill 1991 Randolph Gun View 
2 172 4/8 Bob Bell 1979 Randolph Gun
3 154 5/8 Timothy Walker 2013 Randolph Gun View 
4 153 Karen Simmons 2014 Randolph Gun View 
5 150 7/8 Tim Goodin 2012 Randolph Gun View 
6 147 Graham Lovett 2017 Randolph Bow View 
7 146 7/8 Dean Wiley 2017 Randolph Gun View 
8 145 6/8 Jody Akin 2000 Randolph Gun
9 143 7/8 Ray Vonnoh 2006 Randolph Gun View 
10 165 (NT) Ricky Bantz 2020 Randolph Bow View 

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