How The Weeks Were Won: Hunt Stories From 2020-21 Truck-Buck Winners

Here’s a look at the stories from the first-half of the field of hunters in this year's Truck-Buck Shoot-Out.

GON Staff | July 5, 2021

Seventeen weekly winners and four hunters in our wildcard spots are looking forward to the chance to win a new truck from John Megel Chevy.

The grand-prize winner will be crowned during the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out at the Ap-Pro Outdoor Blast on Aug. 22.

The four weekly winners during bow season have already earned $1,100 Mathews bows, the Week 5 winner gets one of the new $1,000 CVA .45 caliber Paramount rifles, and the 11 weekly winners during gun season each get a $1,140 Browning deer rifle. All weekly winners also earned a prize package from Hunter Safety Systems, 4S Wildlife Solutions, Havalon Knives and Realtree.

Let’s meet the first half of this year’s Shoot-Out field. The remainder of the stories will appear next month in the August issue of GON.


Week 1: Chad Law

County: Pulaski   Date: Sept. 12

Net Score: 153 0/8 typical

To say there was a lot going on for Chad Law heading into last bow season is quite an understatement. Just two weeks before archery season opened, Chad and his wife welcomed a baby boy into their Elko home. Meanwhile, there was that buck-of-lifetime…

“My wife and I watched the deer on camera all summer long,” Chad said. “I have three years worth of pictures of this buck. His jump from 4.5 to 5.5 years old was amazing! He made a small plot with a trough feeder in it his home and was very visible. He made the 1/2-acre plot his core and would not leave.

“By the time bow season rolls around, my wife had her hands full but agreed to still let me go on opening morning knowing how regular he was and that it would be my best buck with a bow. The wind happened to be just right that morning for the entrance I had planned to be able to get to the stand. I parked alongside of the road using a different path I used to check cameras or feed the deer. Getting no pictures of the deer the day before made me worried.

“Opening day of Georgia’s 2020 archery season, I got to the stand 30 minutes before daylight with the wind in my face. I know he usually came out right at daylight. He made his appearance 15 minutes after daylight, and to my surprise he was still fully in velvet! I made a good shot on him at 26 yards. He didn’t even make it out of the small plot!

“Thanks to the good Lord a lot of things came together that morning. All the protein, plots, pictures finally paid off—the hours spent preparing for this deer are probably unrecordable. My 2-week-old baby and having to be at work at 2 that evening made this story even better. One of the days in the woods I’ll never forget. As hunters we put so much time and effort into this stuff, it really becomes a part of who we are. They call it hunting not killing! Half of the fun is getting there, and I plan to instill that in all my boys.”

Week 1: Chad Law’s velvet 10-pointer taken on opening day of the 2020 archery season netted 153 even. It’s the second-best bow-buck ever recorded from Pulaski County.


Week 2: Travis T-Bone Turner

County: Troup   Date: Sept. 25

Net Score: 152 4/8 typical

Hunting personality Travis “T-Bone” Turner, of Hogansville, was able to get some hunting in here at home in Georgia last season, and what a season it was for Travis! Although Travis spends much of his hunting season traveling the country, he cut his teeth in the Georgia woods of Troup County.

“I’ve been hunting this property in Troup County for 20 years,” said Travis.

Travis’ passion for bowhunting led him to open a bow shop called Archery Unlimited in 1994, where he found himself working on archery equipment for the crew at Realtree Outdoors. That partnership evolved into some appearances on their television shows and videos, and things for Travis just exploded from there. By 2007, he found himself so busy in the hunting industry that he sold his bow shop.

Today, he is co-host for the Bone Collector and Realtree Roadtrips shows, along with being the national spokesperson for Whitetails Unlimited. So with a schedule like that, how in the world does Travis find time to hunt at home anymore?

“To be honest, I feel like COVID helped kill this deer because I have been at home so much,” said Travis. “My buddy Brian Schmeck, who is basically my farm manager, and I have been working our tails off on food plots, feed, we’ve been studying and putting out trail cameras. This year has allowed me more time at home, and I feel like it got me dialed in more.”

In addition to more time to devote on the farm, Travis does credit his neighbors in helping create what has become a pretty intensively managed area where he hunts in Troup County.

“This buck has been known as a wanderer,” said Travis. “I know he gets around. We have history with him. He is at least 5 1/2 years old, maybe older than that.”

Until Travis slung an arrow at this buck on the afternoon of Sept. 25, he’d never seen him during daylight hours.

“I’ve got pictures of him in daylight, but I’ve never seen him daylight,” said Travis.

To help control any scent from drifting down to the plot, Travis only had one window in the blind open where he could shoot from.

“He comes up and gets close,” said Travis. “I am like, ‘Please don’t booger, please don’t booger.’ I realize I have to capitalize on it. He got to within 25 yards and had to take three more steps. He’s in an area I couldn’t shoot, he wasn’t in my window. He stops, turns and walks all the way to the other end of the food plot. There is a water oak acorn dropping, and he’s eating acorns. He’s 70 yards away.”

After a few minutes, the buck makes the decision to stop eating acorns and comes right back toward Travis.

“He comes all the way back up, and I am thinking it’s going to happen, he is fixing to be where I can shoot him. But it’s like he knew it wasn’t right, and he walks back down and eats water oak acorns again. I filmed him for literally 30 minutes.”

As the buck was once again chowing down on water oak acorns, two mature does moved to the corn and started feeding.

“I guess if I am interpreting what a deer is thinking, it’s something like, ‘OK, Sally has her head in there, the coast is clear, nothing gets by Sally,’” said Travis. “The old alpha doe, she dictates the whole evening. It seems like once she is comfortable, everybody else throws caution to the wind then. So he turns and comes, and I know he is coming now. He is comfortable. ‘Sally said this corn pile is OK, so I am coming.’

“He gets up there, and he bumps those two does off. All the trail-camera pictures have told me that is what he’s going to do because he eats alone. When he comes in, everybody else leaves, it’s his corn pile then. He comes in at like 23 yards, and I shoot him. He runs 50 yards, and that’s it.”

The buck left the field, and although Travis didn’t see the buck go down, he thought he heard him crash.

“I filmed it all, and it’s going to be on an episode of Bone Collector,” said Travis.

Since Travis was alone, he needed someone to film the recovery of the buck, so he called Bone Collector Producer Cohen Stone, who lives down in Pine Mountain, to come and film the recovery. It was actually a blessing the deer ran out of sight and required some tracking footage. When Travis returned to the house to wait on Cohen, his son was pumped to go on the recovery as a way to continue celebrating his 15th birthday.

“He is a typical 10, very clean,” said Travis.

The official net score was 152 4/8 inches, the No. 2 bow-buck of all-time for Troup.

Travis wasn’t done in Georgia. On Oct. 11, he killed another Troup County giant, this one with his muzzleloader. That 15-point buck netted 171 4/8 non-typical, and he Travis not already won Week 2, he would have won Week 5 of Truck-Buck!

Week 2: Travis T-Bone Turner, co-host of Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector TV show, made the Shoot-Out with his super 10-point bow-buck from Troup County that netted 152 4/8.


Week 3: Luke Wilkins

County: Morgan   Date: Oct. 2

Net Score: 151 0/8 typical

Many hunters never realize the satisfaction of taking a target buck, one they know about through sightings and years of history. Imagine getting your target buck with a bow—after killing an even bigger buck earlier that same hunt!

“I have been hunting whitetail deer for 43 years. I am 53 years old now and my job is guiding hunters for quail, turkey and deer,” said Luke Wilkins, of Madison. “I have been blessed to have taken a lot of great deer over the years. I’ve even placed second twice in the Truck-Buck contest.

“But this was my best year yet!

“I’ve been hunting a deer I called Beams since 2019. I first saw Beams as a 2-year-old in 2017. Beams would come out in my food plot every evening. When Beams turned 3 years old, he was a mid-130s buck and became a little less visible. At 4 years old, I had only one trail-cam picture of him in  August. Beams was in velvet, and I did not get another picture of him that season. When the next deer season came in, I was looking at another buck, a big 11-pointer that would score around 150. On Aug. 12, as I was checking my trail camera for the 11-point buck, I got a picture of Beams. He was daylighting and had grown into a giant.

“In late September, I started getting pictures of Beams in an area that I knew I could hunt him or the 11-pointer. On Oct. 1, I was in my stand with a strong northwest wind. Around 20 minutes after daylight I looked down at a drainage ditch, and the 11-pointer was coming in. At 30 yards, I shot him, and he crashed 25 yards away after running into a downed tree. It was a very loud crash, and to my surprise, when he crashed, Beams came running in to see what he thought was a fight. I shot Beams at 28 yards, and my season was over. Three years of watching one buck, and it was over in two minutes. It was a season to remember as I also killed on my lease in Illinois a 182-inch and a 173-inch during their season.”

Week 3: This Morgan County bow-buck has super tine length and beams. The 11-pointer netted 151 even and put Luke Wilkins, of Madison, in the Shoot-Out.


Week 4: Matt Rivers

County: Lamar   Date: Oct. 3

Net Score: 171 3/8 non-typical

When a Week 4 entry from Lamar County buck went viral on social media and emails chains, two things were evident. First, it was an amazing buck, and second, no one had a clue what it would it score. When this math was done, the calculators were smoking. Matt Rivers’ crazy-racked 16-pointer netted 171 3/8 inches non-typical and took the week.

Consider this—in the whacky world of official scores, abnormal points are added to a non-typical score, but they are straight deductions for a typical. With 10 abnormal points on the rack totaling  82 1/8 inches, Matt’s buck would net exactly 7 1/8 as a typical!

“We first started getting trail-camera pictures of him in late June of 2020,” said Matt.

As bow season neared, Matt was able to move his cameras just enough to pinpoint about a 300-yard area where he felt the buck was bedded. Finally, he captured a photo of the buck on a trail leaving a thicket before dark on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“I went in and hung a lock-on stand and just waited for the wind to get right,” said Matt.

His stand was positioned about 15 yards inside the cutover and just off the trail, which he said led to an area of freshly dropping white and water oak acorns.

The wind was right on Saturday, Oct. 3, and the buck showed up about 7:30 that evening.

“He came in at 15 yards, and I shot him,” said Matt. “He ran off 40 yards and stopped with his head down. I knew I had hit him back. I got my rangefinder on him and was able to get another shot. I hit him right in the heart, and he ran off about 50 yards, and I didn’t hear him after that.”

Matt let the deer lay for a few hours before him and his good friend Matt Epps recovered the buck and drug him out. The 16-pointer had six points on the right and 10 on the left and had lost all its velvet.

“I’ve killed a 130 on this property but nothing ever like this,” said Matt. “Until June I had never seen this deer, unless he had a normal rack last year and had some kind of an injury to his bases that caused him to grow non-typical antlers.”

Week 4: Good thing we use a team of official B&C measurers to score for Truck-Buck! The crazy-racked Lamar County 16-pointer killed by Matt Rivers netted 171 3/8 non-typical.


Week 5: Luke Houston

County: Meriwether   Date: Oct. 16

Net Score: 144 6/8 typical

Luke Houston, of Sugar Hill, first entered the Truck-Buck contest back in 2015 when he was 14 years old. While still barely a teenager last season during the primitive-weapons/youth week, Luke used his compound bow to kill a super Meriwether County buck.

“This is a buck we noticed early on in the summer and kept getting consistent pictures of throughout the summer and into the season,” Luke said.

The buck had locked into a pattern where he would not show himself for roughly 10-day periods.

“Through this entire time of patterning the deer dating back to early summer, we only had three daylight pictures of him. With no intentions of going to this stand, I headed into the woods earlier than normal. Noticing little activity in the food plot I had planned to hunt, I walked past it and to the stand where we were getting the pictures of this buck.”

Although he knew a great deer used the property—at least some—Luke wasn’t overly optimistic that for that evening hunt on Oct. 16, the day before Georgia’s general firearms season opened.

“I had yet to see a deer on this piece of property all year from the stand,” Luke said. “I sat with little hope of seeing a deer, much less him, due to the weather conditions. At roughly 6:50, I heard something to my left and quickly spotted him emerging from a thick bottom. I watched him calmly feed my way until presenting a 10-yard shot.”

Luke’s 12-pointer netted 144 6/8, making bowhunting record books as the No. 3 bow-buck ever from Meriwether—not to mention he made the Shoot-Out!

Week 5: Luke Houston was 19 years old last Oct. 16 when he used his bow to down this Meriwether County buck. Luke’s 12-pointer netted 144 6/8 to win Week 5, which was the primitive-weapons/youth week.


Week 6: Griffin Ganas

County: Early   Date: Oct. 17

Net Score: 142 5/8 typical

Griffin Ganas, of Valdosta, just turned 8 years old in June. As a 7-year-old last deer season, young Griffin killed an incredible southwest Georgia buck in Early County.

Andy Ganas, Griffin’s father, said, “It was my son’s first year deer hunting behind the trigger. He was only 7 but showed a big interest this past season in wanting to shoot his first deer. We got in the blind early on Saturday morning Oct. 17. Deer activity was great all morning long as the first cool front of the year dropped the temperature that morning into the mid 50s. We saw several good bucks, but he had trouble finding them in the optic. After the second buck had crossed the road with no shot being made, I realized there were a mix of thorns and bushes keeping him from finding the deer in the scope. So, around 8 a.m. I eased out of the blind and used my body to lay most of the obstacles down and in the process had numerous thorns stick my hands and arms. I told myself it would all be worth it if he could get a shot on the next deer that stepped out.

“My son was eagerly awaiting for the moment when he could shoot his first deer, and within 5 to 10 minutes of returning to the blind, we had two spikes step out and come into range. He pleaded with me to shoot one of them. The deer would not offer a clean shot broadside shot. While we waited on a shot opportunity, I tried my hardest to talk him out of shooting a spike with the hope a big buck would come into range. In the middle of the negotiations, a giant buck we had named Charlie stepped out. I was filming and not taking into account the buck was 176 yards away. Knowing exactly which buck this was, I frantically told him to get ready, put the crosshairs behind the buck’s shoulder and slowly squeeze the trigger. He shot and the buck appeared to leg kick, but after reviewing the footage I was still unsure whether it was a hit or not. We looked for blood but were unable to find a blood trail to follow. We decided to back out. Once I had reviewed the footage in slow motion later that evening, I realized the deer had been hit and we had started our track job at the wrong spot. We decided to skip the hunt the following morning so I could go back to pick up the track job at the correct starting point. Sure enough, I was looking on the wrong trail the prior morning! After a quick 35-yard walk down the correct trail, I recovered his buck. His grandad brought him to meet me, and I let him do the tracking as if I had only found the blood trail. The excitement on his face when he walked up on this monster 8-point was something that will not be easily erased from memory. This hunt and the memory we created will forever be a highlight of time in the woods with my son. The only problem is the bar may have been set too high with his being his first deer!”

Week 6: Griffin Ganas was just 7 years old last Oct. 17 when he downed this Early County buck that netted 142 5/8.


Week 7: Logan Crosson

County: Ben Hill   Date: Oct. 30

Net Score: 168 3/8 typical

Logan Crosson says his love for hunting began at a very early age.  In fact, his first word was deer.

“Fortunately, my dad is an avid hunter, and he began taking me with him when I was around 4 years old.  Whether he was dove hunting, turkey hunting, deer hunting or duck hunting, it didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to go, and he would always take me along. I harvested my first deer with a rifle when I was 7 years old and then harvested my first deer with a bow when I was 10 years old. That began my love for bowhunting. I was 12 years old when I shot a Mitchell County buck with my bow and won one of the youth weeks in the GON Youth Big Buck Contest. I shot in the contest and made it through several rounds before being eliminated. I truly enjoy all aspects of hunting, from the mowing, road trimming and hanging of stands in the summer, to the land prep and planting of food plots in the fall, to the camera management and supplemental feeding all year long.  I am very thankful to have been introduced to hunting and the outdoors at an early age and my love for it continues to grow.”

On Friday, Oct. 30, 19-year-old Logan Crosson, of Tifton, culminated countless hours of hunting a particular buck when he pulled the trigger on an elusive buck nicknamed “Doc” in Ben Hill County.

“He was so inconsistent, everyone around us had pictures of him too, about seven to eight people,” said Logan.

Someone had even gotten a shot at Doc during the 2019 season, and had missed. Within the week leading up to Logan’s encounter with the buck, two other hunters spotted the buck while in the stand, but neither was able to take a shot at him.

Logan said he and his dad, Bert, had gotten a pretty good idea of the buck’s home territory and what he was doing.

“The deer appeared to be spending the majority of time on our farm but was traveling over to several of the neighbors’ farms in the area, and there were several people that had him as No. 1 on their ‘hit list.’

Logan bowhunted as often as he could when time and the wind allowed, but he was a freshman at Georgia Southern, so that also made it difficult to get back home and hunt as often as he would’ve liked. He already decided to come home from college the second weekend of gun season, knowing cooler weather was moving in. The buck showed up on camera Thursday morning.

“I knew if he was there that morning when it was 73 degrees, then he would be there the next morning if it were going to be 48.

“I hunted Thursday afternoon and didn’t see anything, but as I was walking out, I heard a buck grunting and what sounded like him pushing a doe. Daddy and I talked about it that night and made plans for the hunt on Friday morning. I’m an avid bowhunter and really wanted to harvest Doc with my bow, but daddy convinced me that it would be better to take my rifle, especially for the stand I was planning to hunt.”

Logan got to the stand Friday morning extremely early, being as quiet as he possibly could.

“Right at daybreak, I had a deer walk into the food plot. At first I thought it was Doc, but it turned out to be a small yearling buck. He fed for a few minutes before walking into the woods to my right and bedding down less than 40 yards from my stand. I was watching him and kept hearing something over my right shoulder in the woods. It didn’t really sound like a deer, so I didn’t pay it much attention. After continuing to hear it, I looked back and saw dark chocolate tines through the limbs. As soon as I saw his dark horns, I recognized who it was. All I could see were his huge G2s,” said Logan.

“He was just looking in my direction, I was thinking, ‘Oh My Gosh, Oh My Gosh.’ Then because of a slight wind, he smelled me and started stomping, I thought to myself, I’ve got to shoot right now.”

Logan normally shoots right-handed, but he raised his rifle and took the shot left-handed due to the buck being over his right shoulder.

“I knew I couldn’t waste time, I couldn’t shake, I knew I couldn’t mess this up,” said Logan.

“He continued to move to my right, and when he walked behind a tree, I made my move and turned my rifle and adjusted in the stand. I aimed left-handed and free-handed and found him in the scope and squeezed the trigger. As soon as I shot, I knew that I’d made a good shot. I thought I heard him go down but wasn’t 100% certain.”

Turns out, Doc ran only about 30 yards before crashing

“I called my dad right off the bat, I was almost in tears at this point with the adrenaline going,” said Logan.

The buck netted 168 3/8 typical and set a new Ben Hill County record.

Week 7: Logan Crosson, 19, of Tifton, killed this amazing Ben Hill County 12-pointer during a weekend home from college. It netted 168 3/8 and is the No. 1 buck of all-time from Ben Hill in GON’s Georgia Deer Records.


Week 8: Colby Johnson

County: Worth   Date: Nov.

Net Score: 195 3/8 non-typical

The eighth week of Georgia’s deer season falls in the heart of the rut in some of the best big-buck counties, making Week 8 super tough to win in Truck-Buck. Everyone knew the amazing 18-point Worth County buck killed by Colby Johnson was going to score great, and when the inches were tallied it did not disappoint—a net of 195 3/8 non-typical.

It all began for Colby with a random trail-cam picture… one day you check a camera, and everything changes. Colby Johnson, 28, lives in Colquitt County, and he deer hunts in neighboring Worth County. The story of Colby and a giant 18-point, 200-inch buck began during the 2019 season in early November, when Colby sat out a weekend hunt because of the weather.

“Where I was hunting was in planted pines,” Colby said. “I was hunting in a climber, and it was so windy I didn’t go. When I went and checked the camera, I had gotten one picture of the buck in there. I said, ‘Dang, that’s a monster.’

“One evening he came across the clearcut. He was about 200 yards away. I put it on him and pulled the trigger,” Colby said. “When I got over there I couldn’t find any sign, so I called a guy with tracking dogs. He put the dogs out, and they ran around in circles for a little bit, and he said, ‘You didn’t hit that deer.’”

“I said, ‘What? I know I did.’ He said, ‘My dogs track off injured deer, that deer wasn’t hit.’

“I just straight up whiffed. Then I saw him on camera a few days later. I saw him one more time that season, just a quick glance, but I couldn’t get on him.”

And like most huge bucks these days, this one got a nickname.

“One of my buddies named him ‘Boogie Man.’ He said because the buck haunted me.”

Last summer Colby started feeding in July, but the Boogie Man never showed.

“He was driving me crazy. I had nine cameras out. I had cameras on trails, on food, on scrapes. I didn’t get a single picture until the week before gun season. Then I got a picture two weeks later, and then two weeks later I got a picture of him on a scrape.”

Once the season started, Colby said he hunted every single day. But he never saw a glimpse of the buck, and even with nine cameras out, he was hardly getting any pictures. Meanwhile, Colby wasn’t the only hunter in the area who was aware of this buck. Another hunter told GON that at least three landowners had pictures

“I had some nice deer shot around me,” Colby said. “I was just waiting any day to get that picture, and see Boogie Man dead.”

Which brings us to Tuesday, Nov. 4. Colby watched daylight break yet again in those Worth County woods, but during this morning sit, Colby knew it was time to try something different.

“I got down at 7:30. I had been feeding right here since July. I wasn’t getting any pictures. And he’s obviously not coming to this food plot.

“I was easing along, looking for a place to hang my climber for a hunt that evening. At one point I sat on the ground overlooking a bottom, and I saw a doe and a piebald deer. I sat there for about 30 minutes, and then I headed to go to take a camera off a tree in an area I hadn’t hunted yet. In the few pictures I’d gotten of him, he was coming from that way in some of the pictures.

“I got the camera down, and right then a doe ran straight up to me. I said, ‘Dang, what’s going on.’ She never saw me, she was feeding, and then she ran off. When she got out of sight, I pushed down into a bottom, easing through the woods, and now I’m seeing rubs and scrapes. I was thinking this is where he could be.

“Then I saw a rack. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was him. He turned and looked back in my direction. I had the gun over my shoulder, pulled it up and got it on him. I shot, he dropped.”

Colby had his Boone & Crockett buck, and now he will be at the Outdoor Blast for the Shoot-Out the third week of August.

Week 8: Colby Johnson’s Worth County 18-pointer made Boone & Crockett with a net non-typical score of 195 3/8.


Week 9: Eddie Biggers

County: Turner  Date: Nov. 8

Net Score: 149 0/8 typical

Eddie Biggers, 67, of Cordele, will be making his third appearance in the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out. Eddie won Week 4 of the 1999 Truck-Buck contest with a Dooly County bow-kill that netted 129 3/8. Then Eddie killed a Dooly County 11-point buck that won Week 9 during the 2009 season with a net score of 146 7/8. Eddie also finished second in Week 9 during the 2003 season with a Dooly County buck that netted 143 6/8.

“I started deer hunting at the age of 15. I hunted with four older men in Jones County,” Eddie said. “The first year I hunted, I borrowed a rifle from one of the men I hunted with. By the time the next deer season rolled around, I had saved enough money to buy a Remington 742. I hunted in Jones County for 21 years.

“In 1989, I leased some hunting property in Dooly County. For the next 30 years, I leased several different properties in Dooly County and was fortunate enough to kill two large bucks which scored high enough to win their weeks in the GON Truck-Buck contest.

“The buck I shot in 2020 was on some property I lease from a good friend in Turner County. He gross scored higher than any buck I have ever killed in Georgia.

“It was the morning of Nov. 8, and the temperature was in the low 40s. I walked to my stand about 6:15 that morning. Around 7:30, I watched a nice 8-point buck trail a doe. A little while later, a different 8-point buck crossed the clearcut in search of a doe. Shortly after watching the second 8-point buck, I saw a deer walking down the same road I had walked to get to my stand. It was about 250 yards away, but I realized it was a shooter buck. I watched him until he was approximately 75 yards away, and he turned to walk into a thicket. I took my shot, and he fell in his tracks.”



Week 9: Twenty-two years since his first appearance, Eddie Biggers, of Cordele, returns to the Shoot-Out. His Turner County 10-pointer scored 149 even.


Public-Land Wildcard: Aaron Yoder

Montezuma Bluffs WMA, Macon Co.

Date: Nov. 3, Week 8         Net Score: 136 4/8

Aaron Yoder, 20, of Oglethorpe, grew up in the heart of Macon County big-buck country—a fine place for youngsters who love the outdoors.

“I have been obsessed with deer hunting since I was a kid,” Aaron said. “I killed my first deer when I was 10 years old, and I have been hooked ever since.”

Last season, Aaron entered a 136-inch WMA 10-pointer that was 1/8th of an inch away from winning the Public-Land Wildcard. Imagine that, after all the those measurements—a fraction of a fraction of an inch! Aaron didn’t bellyache—he just came back and won it the following season.

“The piece of public land that I harvested my buck on last season was the same piece I killed my buck on this year, as well,” Aaron said.

That tract is a small 500-acre archery-only WMA called Montezuma Bluffs along the Flint River in Macon County.

“I got in my climbing stand a little before 4 o’clock that afternoon, and I was sitting there around 30 minutes when I could hear a deer coming from across the ridge,” Aaron said. “So I started to stand up, and as soon as I turned around he stepped into the open. I could see he was a definite shooter, so I hurried and grabbed my bow and drew back. He walked right into an opening. I had to stop him, he was about 20 yards and I put a perfect shot on him. He ran about 100 yards and expired!”

Aaron didn’t win his scoring period, Week 8, but as the highest-scoring public-land buck that didn’t win a week, he’s in the Shoot-Out for a chance at the truck. Aaron also earned the Wildcard package that includes a $250 Agri Supply gift card, three bags of mineral and attractant from 4S Wildlife Solutions, a Havalon multi-tool, an HSS harness and a Realtree Shoot-Out shirt.

Public-Land Wildcard: Aaron Yoder with the 12-point buck he shot with his compound bow at Montezuma Bluffs WMA in Macon County, which is a 500-acre archery-only tract.


Ladies Wildcard: Erinn Lowe

Early County          Net Score: 140 1/8

Date: Sept. 30, Week 3

How does a 140-inch bow-kill finish fourth during the third week of the contest? It was that kind of season last year—super tough competition, particularly during the bow week of Truck-Buck. Erinn Lowe may not have won Week 3, but she did have the highest-scoring buck of the entire season entered by a female, earning her the Ladies Wild-Card spot in the Shoot-Out.

“We had four years of history with this deer. With the cooperation of our neighbors, we had agreed to pass him for the past three years in an effort to let the buck reach his max potential. 2020 was the year we decided he had reached his potential, and I was on a mission to harvest the buck.

“After several missed opportunities two nights in a row, we moved my climber to another tree in an effort to improve my chances if he returned, and it paid off.”

In addition to being in the Shoot-Out for a chance at the truck, Erinn also earned a Wildcard package that includes a $250 Agri Supply gift card, three bags of mineral and attractant from 4S Wildlife Solutions, a Havalon multi-tool, an HSS harness and a Realtree Shoot-Out shirt.

Ladies Wildcard: Erinn Lowe with her super bow-buck from Week 3 of the season. Erinn earned the Ladies Wildcard with the 140 1/8-inch Early County deer.

Editor’s Note: Next month we’ll take a look at the remaining stories of Truck-Buck winners from the 2019-2020 season.

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