Truck-Buck 2019-20: Week 7 Winner, Sonny Abercrombie
The stories behind the Truck-Buck Contest winners and the bucks that earned them a spot in the Shoot-Out.
Week 7: Sonny Abercrombie, 171 2/8 non-typical
Date: Oct. 27
Sonny Abercrombie’s story, like for many sportsmen, begins back in childhood.
“My father and grandfather had me in the woods when I was young. My grandfather was a beagle raising rabbit hunting man. I shot my first rabbit off my grandfather’s knee with a .22 when I was 4. I think he drove that rabbit all over Alpharetta with me in tow. My dad started me deer hunting when I was 7, and I killed my first deer when I was 9, a small doe. We had some land in the mountains, so I was able to walk out the door and go by myself at a young age.
“I’ve been hooked on these animals and the woods all my life. I married a girl from my hometown of Roswell, and her father had her at deer camp at a early age also, so I’ve been lucky to have a partner who wanted to be in the woods as much as I did. My dream was to have my own property I could manage, and that happened in 2001.”
In 2018, Sonny got a picture of a 10-point with twin kickers off its G2s, and they named the buck “Ole Big.”
Sonny’s land is in Crawford County, but he almost didn’t get the chance to enjoy the 2019 deer season and a hunt for Ole Big.
“My wife Angie and I went on a 15-day trip out West where we flew to Denver, rented a car and drove 3,200 miles over the next two weeks,” he said.
Just before the flight back to Atlanta, Sonny noticed a pain below his beltline. He didn’t think much of it, but when they arrived home, Angie insisted he get it checked out.
“I had a perforation in my sigmoid colon, at that point I’m waiting on emergency surgery,” Sonny said.
An emergency surgery of the gut requires a colostomy. Luckily Sonny’s was temporary, but that also meant another surgery to put things back together.
“I was going stir crazy wanting to go to the farm, but I also didn’t want to do anything that would set me back. The whole time I’m thinking I’ve got to pin down a reversal surgery date sometime before October. I finally got it nailed down to Oct. 8. By the first of August we went to the farm, and I could not help but bush hog a little. Probably not the smartest thing to do, and I paid for it for a week, but actually I’d say the movement in the cab of a tractor actually helped my stomach muscles gain some strength.
“I was able to get my cameras back up and running, and like the year before, one of the first pictures were of Ole Big standing under this tree at a mineral site. He’s looking like he had put on quite a bit of horn. My determination not to have a setback and be sitting in a shooting house opening day of gun season had gone through the roof. Oct. 8 was coming quickly and everything was a go for my reconstruction surgery. I was suppose to be there five to seven days, but I was fortunate things went well, and I was released after three days.
“I’m getting frequent pictures of the buck, and I could tell he was moving more and more, so all seems to be falling into place just like I had hoped. On Oct. 17, we left home looking forward to Saturday morning the 19th (opening day of gun season.) I didn’t sleep much that night to say the least. My alarm didn’t have to go off.
“As the day was breaking, I could see something very large in my food plot standing at my feeder about 200 yards away. Low and behold after several minutes of ‘what in the world has happened,’ I’m realizing it’s a cow, a big black cow, that turned out to be a black bull. He had found the mother load of corn and soybeans and wasn’t too willing to leave my food plot anytime soon. Now I’ve seen some crazy stuff in the woods, so I’m still thinking one of us still may have a shot at seeing Ole Big, but as time passed and my anger got to messing with me, I started calling my neighbors who had cows. After making contact with the rightful owner, I’m thinking I could run him home like other cows in the past, and this to shall pass. I have some of my plots fenced to keep the hogs out, and my mode of transportation is a electric cart, so I shimmy down the steps of my stand in search of a peaceful outcome with this new obstacle. I’m 12 days post-op trying to be patient and stay calm while easing around looking for a mashed place in my fence, but found no issues. I enter the food plot in my cart, leaving the gate open thinking I’ll ease this bull on back home and the evening hunt will be better. Mr. Bull wasn’t that excited to be leaving all the feed in the trough, but after some screaming and aggressive driving, he finally took to a slow gallop and bounded over the 4-foot fence like a gazelle. I chased him through some pines, and he seemed to have gotten the message.
“Saturday night was uneventful, only seeing a few deer. Sunday morning before we head to the stand I’m going through my pictures on my phone of the night before and there were no pictures of the buck that was a regular at the feeder. I did have a picture of this bull walking past a camera heading to the food plot. Another morning sit where I was loosing patience and needed a resolution soon. My neighbor tried the next two days trying to call or run the bull home, but he was one of those bulls that if he didn’t want to be fenced, he wasn’t fenced. So now I’m on three days of a bull in my plot, and the next idea was to build a catch pen inside the gate with a cattle trailer. After another day, I finally realized I had to remove the remaining feed in order to have any chance of a capture. Now this is four days and I still hadn’t seen Ole Big pass by any camera, and all I was seeing in this stand was a bull. This was starting to wear on me like you couldn’t imagine. Two years of working and all the stuff leading up to the season. On Saturday morning the 26th and this bull being on his second day with no feed, it hit me—go get some feed. Soon as I started pouring feed on the ground in the catch pin he walked as slow as a bull could walk toward the pin. I then poured the rest of the bag in the trailer, he finished what was on the ground and went in the trailer as pretty as you please! So I’m 18 days post-op, hustling as fast as I can to enter the catch pen and close that trailer gate. When I slammed the door, he turned around in the trailer, and all I could think of was if he hits this door I’m a goner! To my anxious joy, he was more interested in the leftover feed in the trailer than a escape plan. I was darn sure glad to have the beast captured. My neighbors had him out of there by 1 p.m. and assured me he was going to another location, not to disturb me again. During that whole dumpster fire I never mentioned what had been at stake to my neighbors. I was just glad they helped me end that nightmare.
“So, Saturday night’s hunt was like a whole new opening day hunt. I had hope! That evening was slow, but to my astonishment Sunday morning’s trail-cam pics showed that Big passed three of my cameras seven times. He was on the move looking for does, and I was so relieved he was OK and still close. Sunday evening about 5:30 I heard a shot across the road, and my heart sank… I had to tell myself it wasn’t him over there, or could it have been? This roller coaster ride wasn’t over. It had been long and exhausting.
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but in the next few minutes it all was about to change. I had my gun in a Caldwell DeadShot aiming down a shooting lane in the pines because that’s always where he came down to that food plot. There is no telling how many times I visualized him coming out exactly where he did. As soon a I saw him come out, he ran a doe back in the pines. I’m on my scope and trigger waiting, and that’s when a few seconds later I saw horns. He walked out broadside put his head down, and I squeezed the trigger.
“He’s not the biggest buck in the woods, but he was like a family member or a friend. He knew my trucks, tractors and carts I guess, and he was comfortable to bed up in a small spot in my place most of the time. He had everything there he needed to keep him here. I’ve got a load of pictures of him for our memories. Everything finally fell into place for this to happen. I’ve been blessed to be and an American and to live in Georgia, I thank God every day!”
Sonny will be shooting in the finals to win a new Silverado pickup truck from long time Truck-Buck sponsor John Megel Chevrolet. He has a $1,140 Browning deer rifle and a prize package which includes Antler Addict Mineral and 4S Draw from 4S Advanced Wildlife Solutions, a safety harness from Hunter Safety System and Shoot-Out shirts from Realtree.
GON’s Official All-Time Crawford County Buck Rankings
|1||210 1/8 (NT)||Walter Keel||1971||Crawford||Gun||View|
|2||170 3/8||Rabun Thigpen||2011||Crawford||Gun||View|
|3||169 7/8||Alan Williams||1975||Crawford||Gun|
|4||167 3/8||Grant Allen||2000||Crawford||Gun|
|5||163 3/8||Sam Allen||2014||Crawford||Gun||View|
|8||160 6/8||James Roberts||2020||Crawford||Crossbow||View|
|9||160 3/8||Curt B. Jamison||1974||Crawford||Gun|
|10||179 4/8 (NT)||Bryan Byington||2009||Crawford||Gun||View|
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