Jeff Crowell Gets Second Chance At Gwinnett County Buck

Jeff Crowell | October 1, 1997

I was hunting in Gwinnett County on Sept. 28, 1997 at 7:10 p.m. when I finally got a shot. It was the first time I had been able to hunt this season.

There is a small tract of land, about 40 to 50 acres in size, where I’ve seen a few deer and yearlings for the past two or three years. I know most of the property owners in this area, so hunting this tract was no problem.

On Sept. 24 in the rain, I went scouting for sign. I could tell a few deer had been eating acorns around three or four white oaks. Just looking I thought I would be lucky to see a doe. I did see two or three hit trees, but I thought he was just passing through. I went ahead and hung a stand overlooking the white oaks hoping to maybe kill a doe.

On Sunday afternoon after the rain had stopped, I thought I’d give it a try. It had rained for four days, and when it stopped, I thought the deer would be walking and feeding.

I got in my stand about 4:15 p.m.

At 5:45, I looked over my right shoulder and saw a nice buck coming out of some thick pines toward the hardwoods. When I got a good look at him, I couldn’t believe how big he was. His body was big, but his rack was even bigger. He went through an opening at 25 yards. When he stopped, all I could see was his belly and hind quarters. I was a full draw. But when I started walking, I had to let back down. I watched him for 20 to 30 minutes, but he was 50 to 60 yards out. He finally walked out of sight.

I thought he was gone for good because I didn’t see anything for the next hour. I was a little nervous at first but more mad because I didn’t get a good shot.

It was starting to get a little less light when all of a sudden here he comes, and he’s close. The buck steps in an opening at 20 yards broadside, and I come to full draw. Just as I get the sight pin on him, he turns and starts walking straight to me. At 16 steps, he turns a little sideways but still angling toward me, and he stops. As soon as he stops, I let an arrow fly. He runs down the hill out of sight. I’m not sure I made a good hit or not because of the angle.

After sitting about 10 minutes, I got down and found my arrow about 10 yards from where he was standing down the trail in the direction he ran, so I knew I hit him.

I walked about another 50 yards in the direction he ran, and way down the hill about 100 yards, I see a white belly shining. When I got to him, he was dead. The arrow hit right behind his right shoulder and came out between his left hip and stomach. The arrow hit a lung, liver and the stomach.

At that time, I got a chance to look at his rack. He was truly the biggest deer I’ve ever seen alive in the woods. He had 10 points, a 20-inch outside spread and 5 1/2-inch bases. We did weigh the deer, and the live weight was 180 pounds, and he field-dressed 145 pounds.

My friends tell me he will make Pope & Young easy. I can’t wait to have him scored.

Jeff Crowell, of Norcross, with a his Gwinnett County bow buck.


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