5 Booners Cap Best Season Ever For Georgia Giants

Many hunters may have rated the overall season as poor last year, but it was stellar for big bucks.

Daryl Kirby | July 30, 2012

Sam Brannen with his Worth County Booner, a monster buck that netted 171 7/8.

Based on the bucks that made GON’s exclusive Fab 40 list, we just experienced Georgia’s best deer season ever for high-scoring bucks. Georgia produced five bucks that scored high enough to make the elite Boone & Crockett record book, which tied the all-time record for Booners killed during one season.

The best non-typical killed last season was the buck pictured here, a Sumter County non-typical that netted 199 4/8. Harold Gunn is pictured with his amazing buck.

The season’s best bucks are featured in the GON’s Fab the prestigious annual compilation of the state’s top bucks.

Typically, a buck that nets around 145 will make the Fab 40. Last season, the No. 40 buck netted 148 2/8.

The 2011-12 season was way above average in another category. There were 13 bucks on the list that netted better than 160 (and comparable non-typicals of 183+ inches). That’s the most ever recorded during a Georgia deer season. The average for the past 20 years is just under six bucks per season of that caliber.

Another measure of quality is the number of bucks per season that net above 150. The record of 37 was set during the 2009-10 season. Last year just missed that mark with 36 bucks that netted 150 and better. That’s 64 percent above the average of 22 bucks per season that net better than 150.
A highlight of last season was five Boone & Crockett bucks, which tied the all-time record—sort of. During the 1990 season, six B&C bucks were killed; however, one was killed by a poacher at night and was confiscated by DNR Law Enforcement. For the records, we only count the five legal Booners from 1990.

Brooks County burst from obscurity down along the Florida border to record the best single season ever for top-end bucks from a single Georgia county. Last season, Brooks County produced two of the Top-5 Bucks, including the No. 1 and No. 3 bucks, both Booners, and had four bucks in the Top-20.
Two counties had three bucks in the Fab 40 last season. Fulton County continued to yield amazing suburban bow-bucks, last year producing the No. 13, No. 17 and No. 39 bucks of the season. Laurens County also had a fantastic season with three bucks that made the Fab 40. Counties that had two bucks in the Fab 40 were Crawford, Dougherty, Meriwether, Putnam and Worth.

Worth County likely will hold on to its status as the top trophy-buck county in Georgia. We won’t know for sure until we crunch the numbers for the article “Best Counties For A Big Buck,” which appears annually in the October issue of GON. But with a Booner and the No. 9 buck from last season, it’s likely Worth County will continue for a third straight year with the No. 1 ranking.

If you kill a potential Fab 40 buck this season, call GON at (800) 438-4663, or e-mail us at [email protected]. If it’s one of those top-end Fab 40 bucks, GON may hit the road to take cover photos, and at the very least we need to know about the big bucks if they’re to make next year’s Fab 40.

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