Georgia’s Top Big Buck Counties 2020

GON system rates every Georgia county for big-buck production in the past 10 years.

Daryl Kirby | September 27, 2020

The numbers have been crunched, and the Top-3 counties in Georgia for big-buck production remain the same—Worth, Lee and Dougherty are the best of the best. The No. 4 and 5 counties swapped spots, with Fulton edging past Macon County as the No. 4 ranked county in Georgia for big bucks recorded in the past 10 years.

The suburban factor—pockets and ribbons of woods combined with archery-only hunting and plenty to eat—is growing amazing bucks, and Cobb County is climbing the county rankings. Patrick Kelly arrowed this 14-point non-typical in Cobb that netted 165 4/8.

Twelve counties remain in the top tier with scores above 100, and they are shown in red on the statewide map on the opposite page. One county dropped out of the red zone, and it may raise some eyebrows. For the first year since GON began our big-buck production rating system for all Georgia counties, Dooly County fell below 100 and now is in the yellow group.

Don’t read too much into that, however. Dooly is still a premier big-buck county. It’s score is 96, and also remember these ratings can only take into account bucks officially measured.

We know every county has good bucks that are never measured for one reason or another. And because of past publicity that started when Dooly became the first county in the nation with special quality-buck regs, Dooly might have more unreported bucks than most counties, especially from long-time clubs avoiding more attention and lease pressure.

This 149-inch buck killed in 2012 by Dawson Harris is still helping Baldwin County’s big buck score, but it will fall out of the equation after 10 years.

Trends Matter

In the past, we always looked at how each county’s score changed from year to year, and we listed the Top-10 movers up and down in the charts below. Something we began last year, and did again this year, was an analysis that compared this year’s Big-Buck Production ratings versus how counties were doing 10 years ago. We wanted to crunch the numbers to see which counties have made big moves up and down during a 10-year period instead of the traditional way of comparing year to year. Take a look at those charts—there are some interesting movers, both up and down the lists of Top-10 movers.

All of this data and number crunching is possible because GON has long kept and compiled a huge database of Georgia bucks that have been measured by certified scorers. Our system of rating counties for Big-Buck Production gives each county a score based on official net scores of bucks killed in the past 10 years.

A county’s big-buck score will drop from one year to the next if there are more bucks from 11 years ago falling out of the equation than new bucks being added in the past year.

Our system also factors in the size of a county into the equation. We get the raw score based on officially scored bucks in the past 10 years. Then a county’s score goes up or down based on a county’s size in comparison to the average size of Georgia’s 159 counties.

If you kill a good buck this season, contact GON. Call 800.438.4663, or email [email protected]. And if you are a GON subscriber, enter it in the Truck-Buck contest.

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