The Story Of A Buck Named Mack

Reader Contributed | March 11, 2023

In the northeast area of Heard County, hunters from 2016 to 2020 hunted this wide-spread, mature buck named Mack.

By Zach Bradley

Heard County was known as one of the best spots in the state of Georgia to harvest a trophy white-tail buck in the late 80s and early 90s. Over the years, the development of many hunting clubs and the cutting of hardwood timber that now has been replanted under pine timber companies has made it much tougher to harvest a mature Georgia whitetail buck in the west-central Georgia county.

According to the WRD’s online Deer Stocking Program in Georgia 1928-1974, the deer restocking program in this area occurred in 1962. Wildlife biologists released a herd of 22 deer that came from Wisconsin, 3 miles east of Centralhatchee. Hunters today still see and harvest great bucks in Heard County that came from this gene pool from Wisconsin.  

In the northeast area of Heard County, hunters from 2016 to 2020 hunted a massive mature buck later named as “Mack.” Located around Brandenburg Road, hunters Zach Bradley, Clifford Tittle, Matt Hornsby, Tylon Kitchens, Cliff Cannon and many others had encountered Mack in a 2-mile radius of the area. Many had trail-camera photos of him over the years. The few hunters who encountered him found Mack’s massive body size and wide rack breathtaking. He was estimated to have a 22- to 24-inch spread.

GON’s Top Georgia Big Buck Counties 2022

The few who were able to see him referred to him as an elk moving through the timber. Mack would rarely move during the day. Early mornings and late at night were when Mack did most of his moving and feeding, He always seemed to slip by the hunters unseen. At night, Mack was not shy to come up on cameras with regularity.

During the winter of 2020, Mack’s life came to an end when he was hit by a truck on Roosterville Road by Matt Hornsby. Mack was in a decline on his final year as he was aged to be 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 years old. Over the years, Mack was able to breed does in the area, and many hunters still see features of wide-racked bucks that Mack was able to pass on from his genes.

Mack was hit by a truck in 2020. He was aged between 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 years old and had a smaller rack than he had during his prime years.

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