Pulaski County Buck Called Fabio Finally Daylights

Mike Bolton | November 14, 2023

Chase Collins’ move from California to be close to family paid off in several ways, one was this bruiser buck that will likely be a top-15 deer for Pulaski County.

Chase Collins spent a little time deer hunting in California where he lived, but California isn’t exactly the deer hunting capital of the world. Chase knew where he needed to be.

In October, he moved to Eastman in Dodge County to be closer to family. The fact that family members owned a farm in Pulaski County with a history of big bucks was an added incentive. In the two previous two seasons, the farm had produced the No. 2 all-time Pulaski buck (Adam Gomez) and the No. 47 all time Pulaski County buck (Michael Savoca.)

Chase never dreamed he’d be so successful so quickly.

On Nov. 3, just a few weeks after moving to Georgia, Chase scored on a monstrous 224-lb., 10-point buck that the farm’s hunters had named “Fabio.”

“They called him Fabio because he was like a male model,” Chase said. “They had about 25 pictures of him looking at the camera, and he was turning his head so the camera could get different angles.”

The only problem was that Fabio only appeared at night in the pictures they had of him. He was on everyone’s radar, but no one ever saw him during shooting hours.

“Everybody knew where he was bedding and the food plot he was using,” Chase said. “There were three tree stands in the area. Everyone was swapping back and forth from the morning and afternoon hunts hoping they would be in the right stand at the right time should he ever make a daytime appearance. He was only coming in the area 30 to 40 minutes after dark.”

Chase had a shot at a decent 8-point a few days before, but he feared taking that buck might forever ruin anyone’s chances of taking Fabio, so he waited.

“On the afternoon of Nov. 3, there were no birds or squirrels or anything else moving. It was dead,” Chase said. “Later, at about 5:40, a doe appeared. The rut hadn’t really started here, so I didn’t think much of it.”

A few minutes later, Fabio appeared.

“He walked out behind the doe but didn’t show any interest in her,” Chase said. “He had his head down, but I think it was the pre-rut and he was just checking it out a bit.

“About that time, I got a message wanting to know if it was safe to drive through the area,” Chase said. “There’s a road that cuts through the area where I was hunting. I said, ‘No! I’m looking at Fabio.’ Everybody thought I was kidding. I told them I was dead serious.”

With the big buck 60 to 70 yards away, Chase had to wait until the buck turned for the perfect shot. Suddenly, someone on the adjoining property shot. Fabio snapped to attention.

“I was afraid he was about to run away,” he said. “It was obvious that he knew what that gunshot was all about.”

Finally, a shot presented itself and Chase took him down with his .308. He sent a message that Fabio was down.

“It was just a blessing that he walked in front of me,” Chase said. “Somebody from another tree stand hollered ‘Get down boys. The hunt is over. It’s time to party.’”

On Saturday morning, Chase took the buck to Frog’s Buck Shop. There, it was rough-scored at 156 4/8 inches with just 3 inches of deductions.


Pulaski County Best Bucks Of All-Time

1167 Wayne McDaniel2008PulaskiGunView 
2166 4/8 Adam Gomez2020PulaskiGunView 
3159 4/8 Blake Smith2006PulaskiGunView 
4157 5/8 Sam Clark1972PulaskiGun
5157 3/8 James Ellis1997PulaskiBow
6180 1/8 (NT)Chris Linder2009PulaskiGunView 
7156 7/8 Darrell Hatcher2007PulaskiGun
8154 6/8 Tim Butler2009PulaskiGunView 
9154 4/8 Paul Dawson2019PulaskiGunView 
10154 1/8 David Mazza2021PulaskiGunView 

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