Walton County Surprise Buck Makes Late-Season Appearance

Cameron Johnson didn't really a know a deer of this caliber was on the family farm—until he was standing over him.

Mike Bolton | February 4, 2022

Cameron Johnson missed most of the Georgia deer season because he was out of the state. When he finally got home and got to hunt, the only thing on his mind was getting a doe and putting some meat in the freezer.

Luckily for Cameron, his plan didn’t work out.

Cameron Johnson was hunting on Jan. 7 in Walton County when this surprise buck showed up on the family farm.

“I was in Montana for 10 weeks guiding elk hunters and doing some bird hunting with some friends,” the Social Circle resident explained. “It was two days before the end of the Georgia season. I wanted to see a friend at a local processor I hadn’t seen in a while, and I wanted some meat in the freezer, so I decided to go out and find a doe.”

Instead of stumbling across a doe, a gnarly 19-point buck stumbled across Cameron.

“It really wasn’t cold enough for me to hunt,” said Cameron, who hunts on the family farm in Walton County. “I walked out the back door and got on what we call the Jolly Rancher trail. I like to stalk hunt. I walked to a place that overlooked a 10-acre wheat field. My two brothers had killed deer there. There was an old fence there on the edge of the hardwoods, and I sat on the bottom rail of the fence. It was a place where I could see the field and any does that might cross a road near there.”

Cameron said he sat on the fence rail for about 35 minutes as the sun began to set. 

“I was comparing Georgia sunsets to Montana sunsets,” he said. “The sun was setting and the wind started coming out of the southeast. It was coming out of the field and up the hill where I was. I looked over my right shoulder and there were four deer going into the field. One was a spike, and the lead doe looked right at me. I huddled as close to the fence post as I could and she went on.

“About 45 seconds later, I looked back to my left and I thought to myself, ‘Good Night son.’ It was the most antlers I have ever seen.”

The monstrous buck looked right at Cameron, but he huddled to the fence post motionless. The buck walked 30 yards into the field. Cameron shot, and the buck dropped in its tracks.

“I sat there for two minutes before I went over there, and when I got to him, he was bigger than I thought he was,” he said. “I thought, ‘Dang, that’s a good-looking deer.’ I like gnarly racks and this one definitely fit the bill.”

The buck is a main-frame 11-pointer with eight abnormal tines. We’ll have to wait until March for an official scoring to see how he stacks up with the other Walton County bucks on GON‘s Georgia Deer Records list.

“He’s at the taxidermist right now. I knew when the taxidermist saw it and got excited that it was a good one. He scored it at 188 inches (gross-green).

“It was a buck that we really didn’t know was there. A guy shooting hogs said he saw a buck that was ‘real pointy,’ but that was all I knew. I was kind of hunting a ghost.” 


Walton County Best Bucks Of All-Time

1166 4/8 Alfred Mauldin1997WaltonGun
2163 3/8 Keith Price2013WaltonGunView 
3159 7/8 Scott Carter1992WaltonGun
4182 4/8 (NT)Michael Thomas1996WaltonBowView 
5158 1/8 Mike Adcock1978WaltonGun
6178 1/8 (NT)Bryan Burel2014WaltonGunView 
7154 7/8 Richard Rollins1997WaltonGunView 
8154 Jarrod Daniel2014WaltonGunView 
9153 5/8 Buddy Johnson2001WaltonGun
10153 2/8 Charles White1986WaltonGun

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