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New State-Record Crossbow Buck Nets 173 Typical Inches

A suburban area in Gainesville that doesn’t allow firearms hunting was host to county’s first B&C buck.

Mike Bolton | January 14, 2023

Levi Sullens with the new state-record crossbow buck from Hall County that netted 173 1/8 inches.

When a suburban buck takes on legendary status, hunters from miles around spend every waking hour trying to figure out a way to get permission from landowners to hunt him.

You must admit that Levi Sullens’ approach to get permission was unique. He got his foot in the door by not offering cash, but chicken feed. Literally.

Sullens’ smart thinking led to him taking the new Georgia state-record crossbow buck. The Hall County suburban buck is a mainframe 6×8 with 14 scoreable points has been officially scored by Boone & Crockett at 173 1/8 inches.

“I have heard about and hunted this buck for years since it was a small 8-point,” Levi said of the buck that lived within the city of Gainesville. “He was the talk of the town. I had permission to hunt one place near where he had been seen, but I never saw him. I knew I had to find a better spot.”

Levi began knocking on doors where he had heard the buck had been seen.

“I probably knocked on 40 to 50 doors,” he said. 

He finally knocked on the door of a family raising chickens. 

“They had two lots side by side and the lots were about an acre and half each,” said Levi. “I told them if they’d let me hunt there, I’d bring them some chicken feed. They said ‘Heck, yeah. Hunt it like you own it.’”

Levi and his dad went in that afternoon to spread some corn and to put up a camera and a climbing stand. They literally placed the stand just feet from a chicken coop.

“We were putting out corn, and all-of-a-sudden, my dad whispered to me ‘Don’t move,’ Levi said. “I whispered back, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘There he is.’ The buck was right there.”

Levi and his dad slowly walked out after the buck left. Levi went home, put on his hunting clothes and returned. Since it is illegal to shoot a firearm in the city limits, he grabbed his Raven crossbow.

“I got in the stand, and it wasn’t long before I saw the buck,” the 20-year-old plumber from Flowery Branch said. “I watched him chase a doe for 20 minutes. I finally got a shot.”

Levi heard the buck fall, but he was too shaken to react.

“I was shaking so bad I couldn’t get out of the stand,” he said. “I finally decided to just get down and let him lay overnight. I didn’t want to take a chance of jumping him and him running off on some other property.”

Levi returned the following morning with his dad. They found the buck that had run only about 20 or 30 yards.

“My dad saw him and said: ‘You don’t realize what you have done,’” Levi said. “He is easily the biggest buck I have ever taken.”

The buck was scored by B&C scorer Matt Haun and grossed 184 3/8. With side-to-side deductions totaling 9 1/8 inches and abnormals totaling 2 1/8 inches, the net score fell to 173 1/8 inches. Levi’s buck is also the first B&C buck to come from Hall County.

 

Georgia’s Best Crossbow Bucks Of All-Time

RankScoreNameYearCountyMethodPhoto
1173 1/8 Levi Sullens2022HallCrossbowView 
2186 5/8 (NT)Jason Gardner2018HenryCrossbowView 
3160 6/8 James Roberts2020CrawfordCrossbowView 
4160 Roy Kelly2018FultonCrossbowView 
5159 1/8 Dennis Beck2015GwinnettCrossbowView 
6182 (NT)Bob Coombs2006FultonCrossbowView 
7157 4/8 Clayton Davis2007FultonCrossbowView 
8179 5/8 (NT)Cort Pearson2021PeachCrossbowView 
9156 3/8 Chase Haydel2004RockdaleCrossbowView 
10155 1/8 Joseph Parker2017BakerCrossbowView 

 

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