18-Point Buck Falls In Wilkinson County

This 170-inch buck, known as "Big Daddy," was estimated to 8 1/2 years old.

Craig James | November 2, 2017

David Grisham with his Wilkinson County buck that should score around 170 inches.

Even though GON Truck-Buck entries come from all corners of the Peach State, many of the really giant bucks seem to have some common denominators that lead to their harvest. Proper nutrition, intensive management, and plain old being in the right place at the right time are a few.

On Oct. 28, all of the above came together for David Grisham in Wilkinson County at around 6:40 p.m. when he downed a very impressive 18-point buck that he and his friends had nicknamed “Big Daddy.”

“I had just joined this lease with some longtime friends this year. It’s 700 acres, and they have been carefully managing this property for several years,” said David.

The other members had been getting trail-cam pics of Big Daddy for four years and had yet to get a shot on him. David first got the buck on one of his trail cameras during daylight hours back in September and remained optimistic at best when it came to his chances at taking the buck.

David got a daytime trail-cam picture of the buck in September.

“With my crazy work schedule, I’ve only had Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings to hunt. With such little time to be in the stand, I didn’t feel great about my chances,” said David.

The approaching rain on Oct. 28 changed the course of the buck’s fate as David elected to make a last-minute change in his hunting location. Instead of hunting the stand where he had gotten pictures of Big Daddy, he instead opted for a box blind bordering a hay field near a lake on the property. If the rain started, at least David would be dry.

A little after 6:30 p.m., the huge old buck appeared about 150 yards away across the field. After verifying it was indeed Big Daddy, David quickly shouldered his .308 rifle.

“He appeared out of nowhere it seemed. It was like he was a ghost,” said David. “I focused on the crosshairs and gently squeezed the trigger. As soon as I fired, Big Daddy ran off, but I felt like I had made a good shot.”

Two other members immediately came over and started to help David search for the deer. After finding no blood, doubt began to creep in.

“About 30 minutes into the search, I smelled what I knew had to be him, and about a minute later, we located the deer in some extremely thick brush just a few yards from the lake. I had hit him perfectly, but he just didn’t bleed out any.  A few more yards and the buck might have been lost in the lake forever,” David said.

Hunting club members had been getting pictures of Big Daddy for years.

After a lot of celebration, David and his friends hauled the deer back to camp where he weighed just shy of 200 pounds. Initial measurements indicate the buck is in the 170-inch range with an impressive non-typical rack that sports 11 points on the right side and seven on the left.

After removing the jawbone and having several individuals examine it, and further examining pictures of Big Daddy from back to 2014, David and his friends estimate the buck to be 8 1/2 years old.

“I’m excited to be entered in the GON Truck-Buck contest, and regardless of how my buck fares, I’m excited to have harvested him. If I never kill another one this big, it will be okay with me,” David said.

To view more of David’s Truck-Buck photos, go to



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