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Girl, 15, Bags One Of Bulloch County’s Best-Ever Bucks

Shelby Clark's 12-pointer should rank near the top of the Bulloch County records.

Jordan Davis | November 8, 2020

Between the demands of competing at a high level in junior sports and just being a teenager, heading to the deer stand can’t always be the top priority.

After a few missed chances when she opted to not go hunting during two seasons of chasing a big buck, Shelby Clark, 15, of Statesboro, was finally able to take the big 12-pointer. The buck should score well enough to be among the best ever from Bulloch County.

Shelby and her dad, Ray, have been hunting for the buck for two years on their property that has been in their family since 1994.

Last year, Ray encouraged Shelby to go opening day of youth rifle season, but she decided not to get up and head to a stand that morning. Sure enough, the buck was on their camera in front of Shelby’s stand at 8:05 a.m., and this was the very first time the buck had appeared in front of a camera during daylight.

The deer was a main-frame 9-point during the 2019 deer season, and Ray and Shelby nicknamed him “Stickers” because both G2s had sticker points.

Shelby hunted the rest of the season with no luck, and they got no other daylight pictures. The mature buck was on and around their property, but he wasn’t the kind of buck that was showing up all the time and definitely not during daylight hunting hours.

Shelby Clark with her Bulloch County 12-point buck, a main-frame 10 with stickers off both G2 tines.

This season, Stickers was back, and he was a lot bigger as a main-frame 10 point, with more mass and those distinctive kickers.

Shelby plays top-level junior golf, so due to practice and traveling to tournaments, she had only been hunting twice before this past weekend.

“I told her with the weather changing Friday that she needed to go,” said Ray, “but it was homecoming.”

Sure enough, at 6:40 p.m. that evening, Stickers was on their camera in front of Shelby’s stand—for only the second time making an appearance in a daytime picture.

Both Ray and Shelby set alarms to get up Saturday morning to go.

“I actually had to wake him up,” said Shelby.

Stickers didn’t show. That morning Shelby only saw a few small bucks and does.

The daughter-and-father hunting duo opted out of hunting Saturday night but prepared to go Sunday morning. While getting ready, Ray received a cellphone trail-camera notification. Stickers was already there with a doe. Not wanting to spook him from the area, they both decided to wait until that evening to try again.

Sunday afternoon at 4:15 the hunt from the box stand began, and after the action on the trail cameras, the anticipation was high. The wait was on.

Several does moved in at around 5 p.m., and they had been feeding on corn for approximately 40 minutes when their demeanor suddenly changed.

“Around 5:40 p.m., a buck stepped out, carrying his head low, and the does started getting skittish,” said Shelby. “He never stopped, I whistled once to get his attention, as soon as he paused I pulled the trigger,” said Shelby.

“I was so shaky, nervous and excited,” said Shelby, “I didn’t even look at him long enough—I knew he was big, but I wasn’t 100% sure it was Stickers.”

After about 30 minutes of tracking through thin pines near a creek, Ray and Shelby found the trophy deer and learned it was Stickers. The buck had run about 80 to 90 yards before crashing.

 

Shelby Clark with the beautiful Bulloch County 12-point buck she downed on Nov. 1. The rack is a main-frame 5×5 with two kickers.

The rack has been green-scored at around 160 total inches. The buck has three tines that are more than 10 inches long and a fourth is right at 9 inches. The kickers off the G2s are 5 and 2 inches, and those will be straight deductions off the net score, but the buck should still score very well, It’s definitely among of the best ever taken in Bulloch County.

 

Bulloch County Top-10 Bucks Of All-Time

Rank Score Name Year County Method Photo
1 154 7/8 Jerry Joiner 1998 Bulloch Gun
2 174 3/8 (NT) Bobby Overstreet 1981 Bulloch Gun View 
3 148 3/8 Matthew Tolbert 1996 Bulloch Gun
4 146 4/8 Michael Ansley 2006 Bulloch Gun
5 143 4/8 David Mallard 2001 Bulloch Gun
6 143 4/8 Foss Williams 2003 Bulloch Gun
7 143 4/8 Stan Smith 2020 Bulloch Gun View 
8 143 1/8 Lamar Thigpen 2000 Bulloch Gun
9 142 6/8 Michael Ansley 2005 Bulloch Gun
10 141 6/8 Bob Green 2008 Bulloch Gun

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