Hot Doe After Peak Rut Results In Big Buck Down
A number of things had to line up for Lane Rhodes to pull the trigger on a buck he'd been watching for several years.
When Lane Rhodes, 12, isn’t on John Milledge Academy’s football field or basketball court, he enjoys being in the deer woods. It was a break from sports on Tuesday, Nov. 22 that put a 145-inch buck on the ground at his family’s farm in Greene County. Lane was in a two-man ladder stand with his dad, Trey, who doubles up as Rep. Trey Rhodes, representing District 120 and is the current chairman for the Game, Fish and Parks Committee.
“We had the buck daily on trail camera for the last two, 2 1/2 years,” said Trey. “He was a regular. Lane just called him ‘Big Boy,’ so that’s what we called him. We let him go last year, we knew he was going to be a big deer.”
Trey said that modern technology played a big part in his son killing the big 10-pointer that afternoon.
“I was coming home from Louisiana from ducking hunting, and I could tell there was a hot doe (on the cellular trail camera),” said Trey. “Lane was texting me, and I told him, ‘When I get back, we got to go.’”
Thankfully, traffic in Atlanta wasn’t too bad on that afternoon.
“I pulled in the driveway at 3 o’clock, and he and I got in the truck and went down there,” said Trey.
By 3:30, they were settled in the 12-foot stand overlooking a 12-acre field, some of which was planted in a food plot.
“The hunt started pretty slow, saw a few does,” said Trey.
At around 5 p.m., Trey got aggressive and pulled out his Buck Roar grunt tube and blew on it eight to 10 times. It wasn’t long at all before a buck was coming from their left.
“It was a big 7, one we needed to shoot to get out of the gene pool,” said Trey. “He was acting funny, I was hoping it was because the other buck coming.”
Lane then saw another deer coming down the hill toward the field.
“I told Lane it was a buck that he could shoot, I didn’t want to tell him (it was Big Boy),” said Trey. “He ran the 7-pointer out and looped around and was 80 to 85 yards away.”
Lane was propped and ready with his dad’s 6.5 PRC, a new gun that was purchased from Bobby Sears with Jeb Chokes. When Lane lined up the crosshairs, Trey stopped him with a short grunt and Lane sent a bullet.
“The deer ran 20 yards and fell in the edge of the bushes,” said Trey. “Lane said, ‘That was just like a YouTube movie.’”
Then, Lane asked his dad if the buck was Big Boy.
“I told him it was, but that I wasn’t going to tell him. He said that he was so nervous he thought he was going to throw up,” said Trey.
The Thanksgiving week celebration officially started a few days early in that Greene County field. Trey said they were in a hurry to head toward his sister’s house for the holiday. At that time he guessed the 5X5 buck, which was easily over 200 pounds, would gross about 135 inches.
“I took him to the taxidermist,” said Trey. “He called me later and said he measured it three times and came up with 145 6/8 inches.”
Trey added that their farm’s main rut is usually the end of October until Nov. 7-8. However, a hot doe on Nov. 22 and a break from middle-school sports meant everything came together to make for a very Happy Thanksgiving for the Rhodes family.
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