Good Bucks Come To Those Who Wait

This 16-year-old held off the trigger for four years waiting on something big.

Brad Gill | December 11, 2021

A determined, 16-year-old young lady by the name of Bradley Smith waited four years on a good buck. Her long wait is now over after recently connecting with a 140-class 10-point on the family farm in Macon County.

Bradley, of Newnan, spends plenty of hours on the stand each hunting season and enjoys the outdoors with her dad Chad and her granddad Allen Smith, AKA Big Daddy, of Americus.

Bradley Smith, 16, of Newnan, with the Macon County buck she’s been patiently waiting to walk by her stand.

“She has the property record now. We’ve killed three or four good bucks there, but this is the biggest one,” said her dad, Chad. “He was just over 210 pounds, and he had no fat on him whatsoever. He was as lean as you can get. I am assuming a month and a half before she shot him, he could have weighed 250 pounds.”

Chad said he can’t be for certain that they had any photos of this buck from previous seasons. In fact, it wasn’t until the Saturday before Thanksgiving that they knew the big 10-point was in the area.

“My dad sat in that (same) stand the week before (Bradley shot it) and saw it in the middle of the food plot broadside looking at him,” said Chad. “We couldn’t go that morning. He called me and told me he saw a good one, but that he couldn’t make himself shoot it, that the G2s just weren’t as tall as he wanted them. He told me he never threw the safety off.”

The fact that Chad’s dad mentioned anything about the safety on his rifle piqued Chad’s interest.

“He never really considers shooting. When he said he didn’t throw the safety off, I was like, ‘Dad, you thought about throwing the safety off?’ He said yes, and I knew it was a pretty big deer. He took a picture of it with his iPhone, but it was 150 yards off and you could just tell it had a good rack but that was all.”

Even then, Chad wasn’t 100% sure it was a new buck in the area.

“We have pictures of three other deer that are 3 1/2, they are in the 120 to 125 range, two of them are 10-points, one is an 8-point. I thought my dad had seen one of those other 10-points we had, and he swore up and down it wasn’t one of those. I just figured we’d see,” said Chad.

On Saturday, Nov. 27, Bradley was in the same tower stand where Big Daddy had said he saw a new, bigger buck on the property. There is a food plot on one side of the stand and three shooting lanes through a section of 8-year-old longleaf pines on the other side of the stand. Early one, she watched a 7-pointer in the pines and then saw a different buck at the end of one of the shooting lanes that moved so quickly that she didn’t have time to even take a look through her scope.

“About 8:15, her buck moved across the same shooting lane too fast for a shot, but it was walking toward another shooting lane. It eventually made it to the other lane where Bradley took the shot at about 110 yards,” said Chad.

Chad and Allen were hunting that morning and heard the shot.

“I was like Lord please let her have hit it,” said Chad. “She texted back that she was going to wait until 8:30 to get down and look. I bet she didn’t sit up there five minutes after she shot. She texted us a little after 8:20 and said, ‘I found him, he’s the 10.’ She sent a picture of him over in the bushes. I could tell the deer’s body was so big, and I couldn’t see the deer’s rack because it was in the bushes so much. She tried to pick it up but couldn’t it was so big.”
By then, Chad and Allen were headed in that direction.

“Him (Allen) and Bradley are tight,” said Chad. “You can’t imagine how happy he was that he didn’t kill it and she did. I’m happy she killed it and I didn’t.

“This couldn’t have happened to a better person. She has tried for years to kill a big deer. She killed a 4-point when she was like 8 years old, and she’s killed some does here and there and a basket-racked 8-point four years ago.”

If your main deer-hunting goal is to shoot a wall-hanger, let the story of a patient 16-year-old girl from Newnan encourage you to lay off the trigger. Bradley has encouraged like-minded hunters that good bucks can certainly come to those who wait.

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