A Tale Of Two Bucks

On the same evening that a father killed a big 10-pointer on public land, his son shot an 8-point with 12-inch tines on adjacent private land.

Travis Burroughs | January 23, 2024

Logan Burroughs (left) shot his tall-tined Lincoln County 8-point buck just 10 minutes after his dad Travis shot his 10-pointer. Logan was hunting private property, and Travis killed his buck on adjacent Corps of Engineers land.

That morning I had hunted a ladder stand nearby on private property. I got down around 11 a.m. and decided to do some scouting of a nearby creek bottom on the corps land. I crossed onto the corps and made my way down the ridge to the creek bottom. As soon as I got the creek bottom, I began to see rubs. I had been in the area previously, and I knew it got thicker farther downstream. I also knew it merged with another creek. I continued to see rub after rub after rub. Some rubs were small, some were large and several were high. Many appeared to be fresh. I got to the merge of the two creeks and eased into some of the thicker under-story. I continued finding rubs, and instead of pushing in deeper, I turned and started up the other creek bottom. Again I continued to find rubs. At that point, I decided I had seen enough and did not need to risk “stinking up” the area anymore than I already potentially had. On my way out, I picked out a tree I wanted to put my climber on.

The tree was at the  end of the ridge that died into where the two creeks met and about 30 yards off the thicker stuff.I hoped that once I got up I could see into the brush as well as up both creeks. I wanted to be back at the base of the tree at 2:30.I ended up talking to a friend prior to heading back into the woods and was running 30 minutes late.I climbed the tree and got settled in by about 3:30 to 3:45. I intentionally did not take my phone because I prefer to be unplugged, and besides, I knew I would not have signal, so I do not know the exact time I settled in.

I was up approximately 20 feet and could not see as well into the thick stuff directly in front of me as I had hoped, but I could see up both creeks better than I expected. I checked the wind a couple of different times, and it was swirling. No consistent wind.Sometimes it was blowing into the thick stuff, sometimes up one creek and another time up the other creek.I watched an osprey land in a tree on the other side of where the two creeks come together assuming he was looking for a squirrel for dinner.I watched a chipmunk directly underneath me. I watched a redheaded woodpecker go to roost in a hole inside a dead tree.

It was odd, but the later it got the more active the squirrels seemed to be. I kept telling myself, ‘The first time you hunt a location is the best chance of sneaking in on something.’ As the sun started to set, I heard footsteps from in front of me but a little to my right, which is good because I am left handed. I knew it was not a squirrel. The steps went on for long enough that I felt like something should have already come into view. I had good visibility in the direction I thought I was hearing steps, but I never saw anything appear, so I told myself, ‘I guess you do not know the difference between what  squirrel vs. a deer sounds like.’ Probably less than 30 seconds after that thought, I saw a deer about 70 yards in front but slightly to my right.I could tell it was a good deer but not quite sure how good, so I intentionally picked up my rifle instead of my binoculars, and that is when I realized he was pretty good deer and took my safety off.

It was too thick with too many limbs and branches to risk a shot. He was on the prowl and made his way up the creek to my right and was out of sight about as quick as he appeared.  My grunt call was buried in the bottom of my pack hanging behind me, so I did have a chance to get his attention. I put the safety back on and laid my rifle back across my lap. I had a scent canister about 25 yards to my right with doe in heat.I had another to my left of buck lure.I think the wind must have shifted, and I think he got a good whiff of doe in heat because I heard footsteps again and this time they were quick.Before I had time to pick up my rifle from my lap he had made it from being out of sight to the scent canister, passed it, and was headed right to me.I turned scope down to 3, took the safety off… he is still coming, by now he is 5 steps from base of tree and is so close I cannot see his whole shoulder in the scope, only a portion of it.Because I knew it was a very steep angle, I aimed high on the shoulder anticipating the bullet would travel down through the vitals, and I grunted with my mount and squeezed the trigger. He buckled and ran tail tucked right beside my tree.I stood up and watched him continue up the ridge in the direction that I walked in from.I lost sight of him, but thought I heard him crash.At that point adrenaline kicked in.I sat down to give him some time, if in fact he did crash, as well as gather myself from the rush. It continued to get darker and darker, and I decided that if he did not crash, then I needed to get down and find the first spot of blood before it was black dark.I unloaded the rifle and lowered it to the ground.

As I packed up my backpack, I heard my son shoot on the private land and thought he probably picked out a nice doe in the food plot and that we might have a busy night in front of us. I got situated in the stand to climb down and loosened the tree-strap of my hunter safety harness. I made my way down the tree, disconnected the tree-strap, stepped out of the stand, took off my harness and put it in my backpack. I went to the spot where I thought he was standing, and by now there is not hardly any light remaining. I did not see any blood. Nada. To say the least, I was disappointed as well as surprised at seeing nothing. I retrieved my two scent canisters and went back to the spot I shot and the place he ran by the tree. By now it is black dark. I decided I did not need to walk in the path that he took just in case I was missing some blood in poor light and if I needed to call a dog I did not need to ‘stink up’ the deer’s scent trial. I had to walk out the way he traveled to get out.As he ran off, I had made a couple of landmarks of where he ran, and I could pick out a blown down tree and root ball he went by and continued to look for any sign of blood while at the same time staying off his trail (hopefully).The discouragement at this point was really setting in.I slowly went up the ridge scanning and telling myself I might catch a white belly with my headlamp if what I heard was a crash.

Then I caught something white and I thought “Is that a belly?” So I slowly took a couple more steps… “I think it is a belly… or is it just the way the light is reflecting off a rock?” Then a couple more steps… “No it is a belly and he did CRASH.”

At that point the pace of my steps picked up and the relief and excitement set it. I got to the deer and out loud let out some sort of Rick Flair “WHOOOO!” Then I gave thanks out loud.  It was an amazing flow of emotion from feeling down and discouraged to then feeling really high.I was so thankful.Then I took in at how big his body was.This was really healthy deer with a big body (for Lincoln County).I picked my rifle back up and took one step to walk out to get more help and realized I had not even counted the points, so I set my rifle down and took a minute to really appreciate his antlers.

Travis Burroughs, of Jefferson, with his Lincoln County 10-pointer killed on Corps of Engineers land along Clarks Hill Lake.

I got to camp and found that my son had not shot a doe. He shot an 8-point and in his words “with 12-inch G2s.” I thought that statement was his adrenaline talking. Ray and his son Hunter came to help us retrieve them both. Hunter and my son went to middle school and high school together and played sports together and that is how Ray and I became friends. We all went and got Logan’s buck first because it was closer. We go into the woods, and Hunter says, “Here he is,” and I come around the other side of a tree and see the spread sticking up well above the hind end of his buck and realize he has killed a really awesome buck. Super tall G2s and mass throughout the antlers. 

Logan’s Story

I had hunted a tripod stand on a powerline that runs through the center of our property the morning of and had not seen anything except a squirrel behind me. I got down at about 11 a.m., and I had left my seat cushion in the stand because I had planned on coming back that evening. I had gotten settled in my stand at about 3:30 that afternoon, and I had a feeling it was going to be a quiet evening. I had watched a squirrel at about 4:30 dig through the woods behind me, and I figured that was going to be the only activity I would see. About 5:15 rolls around, and two does step out to my right and begin to feed, and I start getting excited. At this point the sun is beginning to set, and I know there is not much time left. They feed for about 10 minutes before I turn around to find two more does and a knot head at the other end of the food plot. I switch between the two different groups watching them feed for a few minutes before I notice another doe and knot head walk out almost right under my stand. By now its almost 5:45, and the sun has set, but there is still plenty of shooting light. I am kind of ready to call it quits, and I did not really want to shoot a doe and especially not a knot head. I had noticed something moving toward the food plot from almost directly across the powerline from where I was sitting. Even though it had become dusk, when this deer walked out, I could already tell this was a big-bodied deer, and his antlers were outside of his ears and they were tall as well. I raised my gun to get ready to shoot, and I heard a gunshot from behind me, but because I was focused on this deer I did not process that it was my dad that had shot. I waited for the deer to go broadside and when he finally did, I took the safety off and fired. It was not the best shot placement but it was not a terrible shot placement because I had broken both of his shoulders when I shot him. I noticed him drag his front side into the woods listening to him make a ton of noise until I finally heard him crash. One of the does that was in the food plot was still there, and I managed to load another round and get my crosshairs on her before she took off. I waited about 10 minutes before I decided to get down to go look. I only had to go about 20 yards into the woods until I noticed a white belly looking at me from about 10 more yards away. As I got closer, I noticed the deer continued to get bigger in the body. I finally turned the corner to see his antlers, and I swore to myself his brow tines had to be about 6 inches and his G2s had to be almost a foot long. I took the moment in and gathered my things and decided to walk back to camp, figuring I’d wait for my dad there and let him know the news. At this point I had completely forgotten about the shot I heard 10 minutes before I shot. When I got back he was not long behind me, and I had already started changing into jeans.

He comes up and asks, “You shoot?”

“Yeah, I did. His G2s got to be a foot long. You shoot?” My dad responds with an “alright” like he doesn’t believe me followed by him telling me he shot a 12 that was almost directly under him. I told him, “No you didn’t, you’re messing with me.” He then tells me he shot a few minutes before I did which I had totally forgotten. We went to get my deer first, and when my dad saw his antlers, he let out a, “My god, those G2s are long, I didn’t believe you.” We then went to drag my dad’s deer out which was not nearly as easy as my deer was considering we were about 80 yards from the four-wheeler and about 150 yards from the truck. We got to camp and took all the pictures and fun stuff, and we went to load both deer in the truck, and take them to the processor. When we got to the processor, we dropped the tailgate, and he told us that my dad and I and our neighbors had shot 4 of the bigger deer he’s ever seen in Lincoln County.

As of this writing we have not measured anything on either of our deer.

So that evening was filled with joy, adrenaline and appreciation of what had just happened. We both killed our personal bests within 10 minutes of each other. My dad first took me deer hunting 48 years ago when I was 5, and he and I never had that sort of luck, so I have told people that this was a once in two lifetimes occurrence, and that what we got to experience will likely never happen again. We know our bucks are not GON cover bucks, but they were both healthy mature deer and we are grateful for the moment together. It was truly an amazing amazing amazing blessing to get to experience it with my son and share with our friends.

Lincoln County Best Bucks Of All-Time

1167 2/8 (NT)Gregory Dukes2003LincolnGun
2141 1/8 Harold Goldman1987LincolnGun
3140 2/8 Kenneth Miles1978LincolnGun
4140 1/8 Scott McIntosh2021LincolnMuzzleloaderView 
5139 1/8 Dan Sowell2012LincolnBow
6136 1/8 Don Bridges1981LincolnBow
7135 7/8 Jesse Bufford1986LincolnGun
8134 7/8 Rory Clark1986LincolnGun
9134 3/8 Bodie Loggins2004LincolnBow
10134 Richard Day1990LincolnBow

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  1. kirk on January 25, 2024 at 9:53 pm

    awesome story and a true lifetime memory. not many people get to experience these special moments and the great Georgia outdoors.

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