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Truck-Buck 2019-20: Runner-Up Wildcard Winner, Cody Dennard

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

Daryl Kirby | June 21, 2020

Runner-Up Wildcard: Cody Dennard, 158 1/8 typical
County: Houston         Date: Nov. 8, Week 8

Cody Dennard, 28, was born and raised in Perry and now lives just south in the small town of Elko.

“I’ve been in the woods and on the water since I could walk,” Cody said. “Hunting deer, ducks, hogs, turkey and doves with a little inshore and offshore fishing in the off-season has always been a major passion of mine. I also have a passion for getting the youth into the outdoors and sharing the knowledge and experience I have of hunting and fishing to our future generation, in hopes of helping preserve and maintaining our natural resources for years to come.

“On the afternoon of Nov. 7, I decided to head out to the woods early in hopes to see a little pre-rut activity in south Houston county. We had this deer on camera for the last couple of years on a daily basis, and this year he had grown into a massive south Georgia whitetail. Everyone knew it was the year someone would harvest this beautiful deer. So I settled down in a hardwood bottom overlooking a small food plot in a stand I had seen a ton of activity in the previous few weeks. After sitting for around two hours with not hardly hearing a squirrel ruffle through the trees and feeling defeated for the afternoon, I decided to climb down and walk out to use the rest room around 45 minutes before dusk, so I wouldn’t scent up the area. On my way out I heard a lot of noise coming from the bottom beside the road I was walking out on. I froze where I was, thinking it was probably a pack of hogs that were going to walk out in the road in front me. Around that time I heard another loud noise, and I knew exactly what it was. It was a set of horns hitting together, and it sounded like two big deer for sure. The next thing I know I see the deer step out about 50 yards in front of me. I made the shot, the deer took off, and my adrenaline instantly kicked in. It all happened so fast.

Runner-Up Wildcard: Cody Dennard, of Elko, and his best friend’s kids, Jace (older) and Gunner Bragg.

“We had hunted this deer so hard, and for me to just walk up on him on my way out was unbelievable. I gathered my thoughts and walked up to were the deer was standing. I found his track but that was it and I could not remember hearing the deer crash. My heart was sinking, thinking I missed somehow. By this time I had a couple for friends and family showing up to help look. After around 30 minutes of no luck, we started to walk the major trails we thought he took. About 80 yards in we found the first blood, and he started bleeding heavy. We followed the blood trail around 50 yards, and he was laying there. It was an instant feeling of gratitude knowing I had just harvested a once-in-a-lifetime animal that we had on camera for so long and had hunted so hard. But I surly couldn’t have done it without the help of Dan Bowling, Mitch Bowling and Justin Bragg. If it wasn’t for these three, we would never be able to grow, maintain and hunt the deer on this property. I’m very thankful for that.”

Cody’s 10-pointer netted 158 1/8, one of the best bucks of the season.

Incredibly, Cody didn’t win his scoring period, Week 8, but as the highest-scoring contest buck of the season that didn’t win a week, he’s in the Shoot-Out as the Runner-Up Wildcard and has a chance at the truck from long-time Truck-Buck sponsor John Megel Chevrolet.

As a wildcard winner, Cody has already earned 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 Houston County Buck Rankings

Rank Score Name Year County Method Photo
1 163 3/8 Todd Trice 2018 Houston Gun
2 163 2/8 Don Spillers 2016 Houston Bow View 
3 162 3/8 Bennie Collier Jr. 1980 Houston Gun
4 160 1/8 Eddie Watson 2002 Houston Gun View 
5 183 5/8 (NT) Morris McDaniel 1989 Houston Gun
6 158 1/8 Cody Dennard 2019 Houston Gun View 
7 158 Harold Chappell 1986 Houston Gun
8 156 6/8 Stuart Slappey 2015 Houston Bow View 
9 155 3/8 Boots Boling 1993 Houston Gun
10 153 6/8 Clark Green 2007 Houston Found

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