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Truck-Buck 2019-20: Public-Land Wildcard Winner, Chase Hemphill

The stories behind the Truck-Buck Contest winners and the bucks that earned them a spot in the Shoot-Out.

Daryl Kirby | June 5, 2020

Public-Land Wildcard: Chase Hemphill, 137 4/8
Public Land: Chestatee WMA, Lumpkin Co.
Date: Dec. 12

Chase Hemphill, 35, of Blairsville, is an outdoorsman through and through.

“I have been hunting since I was a small child with teachings of my father, uncles and grandfather,” Chase said. “I live from deer season to fishing to turkey season to fishing every year; with a little small game mixed in. I spend almost all my free time in the woods or on the water, and all the good that comes from my time spent is by the grace of God.”

For a Dec. 12 hunt last season, Chase was headed to familiar ground in the Lumpkin County mountains on Chestatee WMA.

Public-Land Wildcard: Chase Hemphill, of Blairsville, with his Lumpkin County 13-pointer killed on Chestatee WMA.

“I found this buck’s rub line in 2018, saplings the size of a quarter either twisted in a knot at the top of the ground or broke off at the ground. After waiting a year for this hunt, I came back to the same ridge where I had found the rubs in 2018 and found more of the same, only fresh and more abundant,” he said. “I took a vacation day at work and made the approximately 2-mile walk extra early to be certain no one got there before me.

“The morning was cold windy and slow at best. About 9:15 a.m. a doe came walking in from behind me. I watched her for a moment wondering why she didn’t have a buck with her. She fed around in front of me, stopped, looked back and grunted. Then I heard something walking behind me in the leaves followed by a three hard grunts. As I tried to turn to look, he came crashing in on my left at less than 10 yards heading straight for the doe. All the while I’m trying to pick my jaw off the floor and remember what I’m supposed to be doing. When I got rifle shouldered, I mouth grunted loudly, the buck stopped, I took the shot, and the rest is history.”

And history is it—Chase’s 13-pointer netted 137 4/8 and is the No. 1 buck of all-time from Chestatee WMA. It also ranks No. 11 in the Lumpkin County all-time rankings.

Chase didn’t win his scoring period, Week 13, but as the highest-scoring public-land buck that didn’t win a week, he’s in the Shoot-Out for a chance at the truck from long-time Truck-Buck sponsor John Megel Chevrolet. Chase has already won a $250 gift card from Agri-Supply, a safety harness from Hunter Safety System, a multi-tool from Havalon and some Antler Addict and 4S Draw from 4S Advanced Wildlife Solutions.

GON’s Official All-Time Chestatee WMA Buck Rankings

RankScoreNameYearCountyMethodPhoto
1137 4/8 Chase Hemphill2019LumpkinGunView 
2129 3/8 Terry Poole2012LumpkinGunView 
3128 Barry Hollifield2006LumpkinGunView 
4123 7/8 Kyle Withrow2018LumpkinGunView 
5118 Daniel Reeves2006LumpkinGun
6117 1/8 Shane Kirk2007LumpkinGunView 
7114 Kevin Wood2005LumpkinGun
8112 Shane Kirk2012LumpkinGunView 
9108 7/8 Kevin Wood2006LumpkinGun

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