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Ware County Buck Should Be New Bow Record

One of the best quality-managed clubs in this part of the state gives up a bruiser bow buck.

Craig James | October 17, 2018

On Monday, Oct. 15, Jason Lee, of Waycross, managed to arrow what is certain to be the new Ware County record bow-kill. Hard work, long hours on the stand, and according to Jason, some last-minute luck all came together to bring down the legendary deer that had been nicknamed Flame. Here’s the story of how it came to be.

Jason, an avid hunter, joined a quality deer management club in Millwood two years ago.

“Our club is the best quality deer management club in this part of the state. It’s been managed for trophy bucks since 1986, and some really great long-time members have made it what it is today. With restrictions of a 16-inch outside spread, an 18-inch main beam or being four years of age or older required for harvest, bucks are able to reach their maximum potential,” said Jason.

Last December, Flame was first sighted on a trail camera at one of the feeders on the club and immediately had everyone’s attention.

Early this summer Flame showed up again on camera, this time in full velvet.

“When I saw the first picture of him this summer, I knew I wanted to hunt that buck, I knew he was the buck of a lifetime, especially for this part of the state,” said Jason.

Jason set out to do just that, targeting an area near where the buck had been caught on camera accessing the feeder.

“I first put a camera in the river bottom in early August and immediately starting getting pictures of him, but they were all at night,” Jason added.

Knowing he was in the right place, Jason starting hunting the area as soon as bow season opened. He was seeing lots of deer, but Flame continued to elude him. Then things changed when Flame made his first appearance on camera during daylight hours.

“I got a picture of him on Thursday morning (Oct. 4), and I hunted that spot Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and afternoon, and Saturday morning. I decide to skip Saturday evening to watch the Georgia-Vanderbilt game that came on at 7:30,” said Jason.

That’s when Flame made another daylight appearance at 7:25 p.m. just minutes before kickoff.

“I could have kicked myself when I saw that picture. I knew I wasn’t going to get many chances on a buck like him in daylight,” said Jason.

The next week, Jason was tied up with work and family functions and was unable to do any hunting.

“I was excited to get back in the stand on Monday, Oct. 15, because even though I hadn’t had any more pictures of Flame, another large 8-point had been coming in just after daylight,” Jason said.

Shortly after daylight, Jason said a spike and a doe came in to feed on corn.

“The spike was nosing her and bumping her around real good, and then a young 8-point came in and ran him off,” said Jason. “After a while, the 8-point started looking back and acting real nervous. I figured it was the other good 8-point I had gotten on camera, so I stood up and got ready for a shot.”

Then antlers appeared through the saplings, and Jason said he knew immediately it was Flame.

“The second I saw him, I about had a heart attack. I just hoped I would get a shot,” said Jason. “Flame continued to come closer, when suddenly the younger 8-point busted me. Knowing I didn’t have long, I quickly drew, aimed and let it rip.”

The results weren’t what Jason hoped for as his arrow was lodged in a tree 20 yards away, and Flame began to run off.

“That’s when Lady Luck showed up. He just stopped suddenly. I could see I had a clear shot on him, and luckily I had ranged nearly every crack and crevice in those woods during many long hour on the stand,” said Jason.

With 30 yards standing between him and the buck of a lifetime, Jason drew back his Hoyt Carbon Spyder bow, took careful aim and released his arrow. The results were better this time. Jason heard his arrow thump as it hit the deer, then watched it do a mule kick and run out of sight.

Overcome with emotion, Jason sat down in his climber and began to text some family members and friends to tell them what had happened.

“One of my good friends, Stacy Frazier, told me to get down, get out of the woods and not to go back for three hours. That turned out to be some really good advice,” said Jason.

Three hours later, Jason came back but couldn’t locate his arrow. A few minutes later, and 40 yards away, he began to find tiny drops of blood on the leaves of the river bottom floor. He continued tracking the deer and found two pools of blood where the buck had stopped and bedded down.

Jason Lee, of Waycross, with Flame, a bruiser Ware County buck that will be the new No. 1 bow record for the southeast Georgia county.

Jason Lee, of Waycross, with the new Ware County bow buck.

“I’m still worried at this point, as I’m carefully following drops of blood on the ground. Then I nearly stepped on him. I immediately got on my knees and thanked God for this magnificent animal,” said Jason.

Flame was green scored as a typical 10-pointer with a gross score of 146 2/8 inches, and he is expected to net around 140. The current bow record for Ware County was taken in 2005 by Douglas Carter. That buck netted 129 4/8 inches.

If the deer nets 140, it would be the overall No. 3 buck for this southeast Georgia county (any weapon).

“I thank God for the opportunity to harvest such a magnificent animal. Being able to do it with my bow was icing on the cake,” said Jason

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