First Time Hunter Takes Big Antlers

Judah Bray's very first hunt ended with a buck the size that most grown hunters never get to see.

Craig James | December 3, 2022

Judah Bray, 6, made a great shot on this Forsyth County buck. It was his first time hunting.

When Josh Bray, of Cumming, headed to the Forsyth County woods with his youngest son, Judah, 6, on the afternoon of Nov. 13 he had no idea of the events that would soon unfold.

“Judah is my youngest of five children, and he’s always trying to keep up with his siblings. He was bound and determined to get a deer of his own,” said Josh.

After church that morning, Judah asked his dad if could go hunting. He had practiced and was accurate with a crossbow so it was time for Judah to go on his first hunt.

“I felt he was ready, and truthfully I didn’t really feel like we’d have much action anyway.”

After getting settled in the ground blind, it wasn’t long before two does and a fawn made an appearance. The hunters watched the deer a few minutes before they disappeared into the woods. It wasn’t too long after that when movement caught Josh’s eye in front of the blind. A big buck had come out of nowhere and was closing in quickly.

“We got the bow up on the sticks and once he found the deer in the scope, he told me to click the button (safety). I told him the deer wasn’t fully broadside and asked was he sure about the shot. He told me he was ready, so I flipped the safety.”

Judah squeezed the trigger sending the bolt barreling toward the deer that stood just 21 yards away.

“Once he was hit, the deer took off running. I had been videoing with my phone, and after looking at the footage I felt like the shot might have been a little high. We decided to back out and give the buck a little time,” said Josh.

A few hours later Josh and Judah returned with two more of his siblings to try and locate the deer. After following blood for only 60 yards, they found Judah’s trophy.

Judah’s buck should net in the 130 to 140 range.

“He had hit him good, the buck had only went 60 yards, and he was already stiff. The shot was on, and the buck had expired quickly. Judah was excited, not only had he managed to kill a deer, he’d killed one bigger than any of us.” 

Judah’s typical 10-point is currently at the taxidermist waiting to be mounted, it’s estimated to net in the 130 to 140 range, a more than impressive first buck.

“I’m not gonna lie, when the buck first appeared, I wondered if I should let Judah take the shot, knowing if he missed, we’d probably never see the buck again. But, there was know way I was taking that crossbow from him, and I’m sure glad I didn’t. The Lord made it all go perfectly, and it’s a memory we will both never forget.


Forsyth County Top Crossbow Bucks Of All-Time

1128 2/8 Thomas DeLong2020ForsythCrossbowView 
2144 6/8 (NT)Danny Bennett2015ForsythCrossbowView 
3122 3/8 Danny Bennett2022ForsythCrossbowView 
4120 Robert Pierce2006ForsythCrossbow
5102 5/8 Ashley Sosebee2013ForsythCrossbow

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