Tommy Johnson’s Tift County Typical Giant

Bill Cooper | August 1, 1994

This Tift County 12-pointer was taken by Tommy Johnson on Dec. 5, 1993. Tommy’s buck had an outstanding gross score of 177, and it’s final net score after deductions was 166 5/8, just short of the 170-point minimum for the all-time B&C record book.

During the 1993-94 Georgia deer season, Dodge and Telfair were the only counties to place deer in B&C’s all-time record book, however, one other buck, taken on Dec. 5, 1993 in Tift County by Tommy Johnson, came awfully close. Tommy’s buck, an awesome 12-pointer with 25-inch beams and 13 1/2-inch back tines, had an outstanding gross score of 177. Unfortunately, deductions due to two unmatched lines on the right beam plus a 3-inch abnormal point dropped the final total to 166 5/8 typical B&C points. This score was high enough, however, to qualify for B&C’s three-year awards book.

Here is Tommy’s hunt story as told to GON 30 years ago: Tommy was late getting into the woods that fateful morning, but it turned out for the best. He was hunting with Mike Wommack, of Chula, on a 480-acre farm about 10 miles west of Tifton. The land is 80% fields, with woods only along Little River.

Tommy and Mike parked along a center pivot in a cut field. They were 30 minutes late, and it was already light enough to across the field. They split up and Tommy was walking through the middle of the peanut field heading toward his stand at the edge of the woods. He had his Remington Model 700 .270 rifle over his shoulder. He didn’t have a round in the chamber.

Suddenly, Tommy saw a buck running across the field ahead of him. The buck was within 20 yards of the woods when it began to slow up, and Tommy had already worked the action on his rifle and dropped to one knee. When Tommy fired, the buck dropped. About 15 seconds passed as Tommy watched the buck through his scope, and then the buck tried to get up and Tommy got a good look at how big its rack was, and that’s when he started moving toward the buck. Meanwhile, Mike had heard the shot and saw the buck, and the buck was now running, too.

“Shoot him!” Mike yelled.

Tommy developed a sudden and severe case of buck fever, and he can’t remember if he dropped to one knee again to shoot or if he simply fired offhand, but he does know that he shot at the buck again. That second shot put the buck down for good.

What followed was a long bout of whooping and hollering that could be heard across most of Tift County.

Tommy had found a huge shed on the property the season before, so they knew there was a big buck in the area. But the buck hadn’t been seen and there weren’t any scrapes or big rubs on the property. Interestingly, Tommy’s giant buck showed no signs of rutting—its neck wasn’t swollen and its hocks were not very dark and didn’t stink at all. Even though his buck didn’t make “The Book,” Tommy can take great pride in knowing that he had Georgia’s third best buck of 1993—and he made the cover of Georgia Outdoor News magazine in the August 1994 edition.


Tift County All-Time Buck Records

1172 Mayo Tucker1982TiftGun
2170 Alan Parrish1990TiftGunView 
3170 Eric Mullis2020TiftGunView 
4167 7/8 Josh Jones2022TiftGunView 
5166 5/8 Tommy Johnson1993TiftGunView 
6160 7/8 Tye Cottle2018TiftGunView 
7179 7/8 (NT)Andrew Grimes2018TiftGunView 
8154 Monty Veazey1986TiftGun
9153 5/8 Chris Carlisle2018TiftGunView 
10175 6/8 (NT)Luke Fletcher2009TiftGunView 


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