Gary King’s Opening Week Worth County Bow-Buck

Roy Kellett | July 1, 2005

Gary King, of Oakfield, has killed some nice bucks during his hunting career. And because he lives on the 4,600-acre tract of Worth County land he hunts, he understands deer better than most. But when Gary climbed into his stand on a hot, humid afternoon in September, he couldn’t have imagined his hunt would produce his biggest bow-killed deer to date.

“I can’t say for sure, but I think I had seen this buck before the season started,” Gary recalled.

Gary had been watching as deer used a patch of peas during the hot summer months. He was particularly happy about the fact that he was seeing several large bucks come and go from the food plot.

When it was time to pick a spot to hunt, Gary used an area near the pea field. A creek on the property made a sharp turn behind where Gary elected to sit, putting him on a point where he had a good view of the upland pines in front of him, and the creek bottom. Three heavily-used trails intersected near the point and near a white-oak tree.

Week 1 winner Gary King dropped this monster buck in Worth County. The buck scored 153 1/8, placing it among four 20 Pope & Young Record Book entries from the Peach State last season. Because Gary’s daughter Samantha Linhart was the Ladies Wild-Card winner, she will represent the family at the 2005 Truck-Buck Shoot-Out in August.

“I found a spot on that point where the hurricanes blew down a bunch of white-oak acorns,” Gary said. “I knew the deer would come there to feed, but I had to wait for a west wind to hunt there.”

On September 17, the wind was in Gary’s favor as he carried a climbing stand to his spot. He climbed 18 to 20 feet up a tree and sat down to cool off in the hot afternoon. The leaves of other trees behind Gary helped break up his outline. Less than 10 minutes passed before an 8-pointer in full velvet and two 10-pointers began working their way toward the white-oak tree.

Gary was nervous as he realized what he was about to accomplish.

“My goal was to kill a Pope & Young buck,” Gary said. “I knew he was 10 points, and through all the shaking, I was able to judge he was at least 125 inches.

“I had a perfect shot at the big 10-point, so I took it,” Gary said.

When he went to look for the deer, he immediately found blood, and trailed the deer for a few minutes before deciding to enlist the help of a trailing dog named Susie.

“We searched for about two hours,” Gary said. “It was getting dark, and Susie kept going to the creek, so we called off the search until the next morning.”

After agonizing all night about what he knew was a very good buck, Gary went back to the woods the next morning with his wife, his two daughters, and Susie.

Gary went to the last spot he found blood, marked it, and crossed the creek. After two hours of searching, Gary was starting to get anxious.

“I knew I had made a good shot, and I was starting to get nervous,” Gary said. “My oldest daughter and I crossed the creek again just to check. After walking about 100 feet, I was looking in the creek and just saw him.”

Gary and his two daughters jumped in the creek to retrieve the deer, setting off quite a celebration.

“I was so excited. I have never killed a deer this big, much less with my bow,” Gary said. “We all stood in the creek laughing, whooping, hollering and celebrating. It was the proudest, most fulfilling hunting moment I have ever experienced, and I’m glad I got to share it with my family.”

Gary’s buck scored 153 1/8 inches, including main beams that each eclipsed the 24-inch mark. The deer sported G2s that were 10 4/8 and 11 4/8 inches, and G3s that were 11-plus and nine-plus inches.

Gary works hard to keep the deer herd on his property healthy. The property has been intensively managed for 10 years and more than one 150-class buck came off the tract last season.

One was killed by Ladies Wild-Card winner Samantha Linhart, Gary’s daughter, who missed winning her week last year by a scant 3/8 of an inch. A Truck-Buck rule that has never been invoked before this year only allows one family member to participate in the Shoot-Out, so Gary elected to let Samantha shoot.

“She’s a really good shot, and she handles pressure better than I do,” Gary laughed.

Click here to read Samantha’s story.

2004-05 Truck-Contest Weekly Winner Hunt Stories
Week 1: Marshall Compton’s Rockdale County Non-typical Earns Shoot-Out Spot
Week 2: Taylor McCann’s DeKalb County Bow-Buck Nets 174 7/8 Inches!
Week 3: Forgotten Lock Key Leads To New Hunting Spot And Coweta Winner For John Lewis
Week 4: DeKalb County Pope & Young Puts Brian Mitchell In Shoot-Out
Week 5: Phillip Harper’s 145-Inch Muzzleloader Buck From Meriwether County
Ladies Wildcard: 15-year-old Samantha Linhart’s 150-Inch Worth County Buck

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