New Georgia Crossbow Record Buck Grosses 194 Inches

Brad Gill | March 7, 2019

Jason Gardner, of McDonough, has put his name on top of GON‘s statewide crossbow rankings list by killing a Henry County 23-pointer that grossed 194 3/8 inches and netted 186 5/8. Jason took the deer in his mom’s backyard in McDonough.

“The first picture we got was June 18, 2018. It showed up in full velvet,” said Jason. “My mom happened to see the deer out the kitchen window and snapped a picture and sent it to me.”

The giant non-typical buck disappeared for three months. It showed up again in his mom’s backyard on Sept. 18.

“It also showed up on the 19th,” said Jason. “I went over there on the 19th and put some corn out. On the 20th, he did not show up. Another buck showed up, a small 3-pointer.”

Jason still hadn’t been able to hunt the buck, but he was off work on Sept. 21 and decided to go to his mom’s house to hunt him before daylight. He’d never archery hunted, so in his planning to try and kill the buck he had to borrow his buddy’s Bear Karnage crossbow.

“At 11:30 in the morning, he stepped out. That was my first time seeing him on the hoof. He was maybe 20 yards on the edge of the yard when I shot him,” said Jason.

Jason later recovered his buck behind his mom’s house, and it had 23 scoreable points. It was a main-frame 10-pointer with 13 kicker points. The buck’s abnormal inches added up to 47 4/8 inches.

“It’s surreal,” said Jason. “I’ve killed a lot of bucks in my life, and I’ve got a couple of decent ones, but I still can’t believe it. I see the rack every day when I go home.”

Jason grew up hunting in Pennsylvania, and he said he really enjoys deer hunting in the South.

“Being down here and being able to kill as many deer as we’re allowed, it’s fun, and the season is a lot longer,” said Jason.

Jason and his son Bubba with the state’s new No. 1 crossbow buck.

Jason doesn’t hunt very much in the south metro Atlanta area where he lives. However, when the giant non-typical buck showed up in his mom’s backyard, he did what most hunters would do. He figured out a way to borrow some archery equipment and hunt the buck.

Most of Jason’s Georgia hunting is done in Meriwether County on a hunting club.

“We got a nice 8 down there last season,” said Jason. “My son Bubba is 14 and will be trying to get his first deer next season.”

GON’s official Georgia buck records are based on net scores by certified Boone & Crockett measurers. The top typical crossbow buck of all-time from Georgia—and No. 2 overall—is Dennis Beck’s 2015 Gwinnett County buck that netted 159 1/8.

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