The Buck Files

Georgia giants from the 2015 deer season.

Daryl Kirby | November 16, 2015

Heath Allegood with the Dougherty County buck taken Saturday, Nov. 14 that had almost 190 total inches of antler and should net in the mid 170s as a typical. Heath’s buck looks to be the first confirmed Booner from Georgia this season.

Two huge bucks taken this weekend are major stories on the Georgia deer hunting scene. A 12-pointer from the Cobb County suburbs is one of the best bow-bucks ever from Georgia, and a south Georgia Booner has been confirmed from Dougherty County near Albany.

The Cobb County 12-pointer that was killed Saturday morning, Nov. 14, concludes a four-year quest for the buck by Lee Ellis, of Atlanta. Many of the bow hunts, including Saturday’s successful hunt, were recorded on video, and there are years of trail-cam pictures of the amazing deer. Without a doubt, this buck would have been the state-record typical if taken the past two seasons. This year, the buck’s tremendous rack declined just a bit and lacked some symmetry on the brows and G3s. It will still gross in the low 180s, but the net score should drop to the mid to low 160s. The buck’s rack features jaw-dropping G2s that are 15 inches long. Lee is entered in Week 10 of Truck-Buck, and you can see more pics and read some of his hunt details in the Truck-Buck section.

The Dougherty County buck is our first confirmed Boone & Crockett class buck of the season—a buck that will net above the magical 170-inch mark on the B&C/P&Y scoring system. Heath Allegood killed the Dougherty County buck on Saturday, Nov. 14. Incredibly, the buck was shot at and missed an hour earlier by another hunter as it chased a doe almost a mile away. Heath killed the buck on State Plantation, which is managed by Robbie Barkley, of Albany. Retired WRD biologist and scoring guru Bill Cooper put a tape on the rack to get an unofficial green score, and Bill says the buck should comfortably net in the mid 170s.

Both the Cobb County bow-buck and the Dougherty County Booner will be featured in upcoming issues of GON magazine, and these aren’t the only reports of monster bucks from Georgia we’re tracking down right now.

Lee Ellis ended a four-year quest for this amazing Cobb County 12-pointer this weekend on Saturday, Nov. 14. It’s one of the very best typical bow-kills in the history of Georgia hunting.

Posted Nov. 13: A 177-inch bow-buck from the Land of the Giants in Harris County, a Peach County 173-inch buck with 18 points, another north Atlanta suburban freak—the phone has been blowing up this week with texts and pics of giant Georgia bucks. Maybe it was worth scraping mold off the deer stands after 10 days of warm temps and air dripping with humidity when it wasn’t raining. Sure hope you’re reading this on your phone while in a deer stand, because it is wide open right now in the deer woods.

The latest jaw-dropping addition to the Buck Files comes from Harris County. When the phone buzzes and there’s a text from Cory Croft, somebody has a monster on the ground. This time it was Cory himself. He killed one of the best bucks you’ll ever see taken with a bow. And we’re talking about ever, from anywhere—not just Georgia. Cory’s buck is a 13-pointer—a main-frame 10 with three kickers. They’ve taped it at 177 1/8 total inches.

This main-frame 10-point buck has 177 total inches of antler, and Cory Croft got him with a bow! The buck also has three kickers—13 total points and one of the prettiest racks you’ll see.

Here’s another angle of Cory’s Harris County 13-point bow-buck. If that right-side G4 had matched the left, Cory’s buck would net a good 10 inches higher. Yeah, we all hate net scores…

He shot the buck two mornings ago, on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Cory sent some pics and included some details, ending his email with, “Sorry so long winded.”

Brother, don’t apologize. One thing we want almost as much as the pics is a good hunt story. Love the details…

“I shot him with my bow at 10 yards,” Cory wrote. “I had a lock-on hung in a stand of white oaks right on the edge of a creek. With all the rain, the leaves were wet and the creek was running strong. I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of the creek running. This buck came in behind me following a doe, and I did not see them until they were 20 yards from my tree. The doe jumped the creek and started feeding on acorns. He walked directly below my tree and stood in the creek drinking while the doe ate. I was literally looking at him between my feet!”

Stop for a second and look back at the pics of Cory’s buck. Could you imagine being up in your stand in a Georgia hardwood bottom, seeing that scene, looking straight down at that buck? And people wonder why we’re obsessed with deer hunting and these bucks?

“After what seemed like an eternity, he came out of the creek and worked a scrape and rub about 3 yards from my tree. He finally got out to 10 yards and was working another scrape and gave me a shot. He was quartered away, and I aimed right at the back of his ribs in hopes of it coming out at the off-side shoulder. I shot, and he took off down the creek. It looked like my shot was a little too far back, so I sat for another hour and then climbed down and left. I shot him at 8:30, but I waited until 1:30 to come back and look for him.”

Stop again… I’ve never shot at a 180-inch buck, much less had to leave the woods for five hours, so I’m not sure how I’d spend my time. Maybe head into the office and get some work done? Rake leaves? Head to the ER for sedation? Cory left those details out of his hunt story, but regardless, he made it through what had to be an agonizing wait and headed back to the woods.

“There was a little blood where I shot him, and the blood trail ran out after about 50 yards. I lost the trail but kept walking down the creek expecting to find him bedded in a thicket along the creek, or laying in it. After a few hundred yards with no sign of him, I decided to back out and call a trailing dog. I cut back up to the road and walked it back toward the truck. When I got about 100 yards from the truck, I just happened to see him laying in the woods 50 yards off the road! The shot turned out to be great and came out right behind the off-side shoulder. He had only gone about 150 yards from where I shot him, but he turned off the creek and went up the hill. He was dead very soon after I shot him. He was 6.5 years old but only weighed 182 pounds live weight. He is a main-frame 10 with three kickers. Green gross non-typical is 177 1/8. Gross typical is 169 5/8, but he will net down in the low 150s typical.”

Another monster buck from this week is Matt Canady’s 18-pointer from Peach County, who hit the Buck File’s radar from all directions soon after Matt killed the 173-inch deer on Nov. 9. First we got a text from Adam Childers, a GON Hunt Advisor and friend of Matt’s, and then my buddy Scott Hodges called. Scott is a taxidermist in Byron who also photographs some GON covers and works the Wall of Fame at the GON Outdoor Blast.

Matt Canady shot this buck in Peach County on Nov. 9. The buck has 18 points and 173 inches of antler.

Here’s another shot of Matt Canady’s Peach County 18-pointer.

Matt had a short evening hunt. He rattled as soon as he got up in his stand, and the buck came in 10 minutes later, offering Matt a 100-yard shot. Matt had this buck on trail cam from last season, and he had seen the 18-pointer once before this season but couldn’t get a shot.

We’ve included some pics of Matt’s buck in the Buck Files gallery, and of course the December issue of GON magazine will be loaded with these and more of Georgia’s top bucks. We’ll soon be updating Kirby’s Buck Files, too. Right now there’s a guy on the phone with a 140-class bow-buck from Talbot, and a guy on hold needs a tracking dog to help find a monster in Dodge County…

If you hear of a good one, shoot me an email at [email protected].


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