Georgia Bowhunter Films Hunt For 150-inch Buck
It's amazing enough to kill a 150-inch buck in Georgia, but when you do it with a bow and on film by yourself, it's quite an accomplishment.
Garrett Yates, 19, of Ringgold, arrowed a 150-inch Meriwether County buck on Nov. 14 while self-filming the hunt.
Garrett usually spends his time deer hunting in Kentucky, but since he killed a buck on opening day of this past Kentucky deer season, he had the opportunity to hunt Georgia more.
Garrett had three shooter bucks he knew about on the Meriwether County property; one was a big 9-point. Garrett and his buddies couldn’t come up with a name for this big 9-point buck, so all they called this deer was “Big Buck.” The deer named Big Buck was the deer Garrett really wanted to kill.
“I had three years of history with Big Buck,” said Garrett. “The prior deer seasons, I only would get pictures of him here and there. The 2015/2016 deer season was a complete change.”
Garrett had multiple pictures of Big Buck this past deer season. Big Buck showed up enough for Garrett to almost pattern this deer.
“I knew the general location Big Buck was staying in and knew where he was bedding,” said Garrett. “On Halloween weekend, I had two encounters with Big Buck, but he wouldn’t present a shot.”
Garrett is a freshman at Dalton State. He has to work around college to hunt, which means he gets to hunt Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“I decided to go down to the Meriwether County property on Thursday, Nov. 12, after school,” said Garrett. “As I always do, I shoot my bow once I get to the property to make sure my bow hasn’t been bumped or moved while traveling. I pulled my bow back half way, and the next thing I knew my bow was in three pieces.”
Garrett knew his bow was not fixable. Garrett contacted his dad back at home, asking if he could use his bow.
“My buddies luckily brought my dad’s bow down to the property,” said Garrett. “I shot it a few times, and it was dialed in.”
On Friday, Nov. 13, Garrett went hunting that morning hoping to kill Big Buck or one of the other shooters. Garrett ended up seeing a big 8-point at 150 yards, which was one of the three shooters Garrett was after.
“On Friday evening, I saw a few does, but it was very windy,” said Garrett. “That evening after shooting light, I decided to move my stand 150 yards toward where I saw the big shooter 8-point that morning, and hopefully he would come through in the same spot.”
While trying to move the stand in the dark, Garrett got turned around. He ended up traveling out of the way from where he wanted to put his stand. After finding the correct tree, Garrett had no hope for seeing a deer after all the walking he did.
The next morning arrived, and Garrett woke up two hours before daylight.
“I ate and drank some coffee before I headed to the stand,” said Garrett. “Since it was during the rut down here, I decided to pack a sandwich and drinks to sit all day.”
Garrett got set up in his new stand location 45 minutes before daylight. The temp was in the 20s, and Garrett had high hopes Big Buck would come through this morning.
“The first deer I saw was a couple does 200 yards to my right,” said Garrett. “I immediately thought I hadn’t moved far enough to where I was seeing the deer yesterday morning and evening. I even considered moving after the does left, but I decided to stay put. About 20 minutes later, a buck came by trailing the does. It didn’t have much of a set of antlers.”
A few hours went by without seeing a deer until a doe came flying by Garrett about 200 yards to his right. A few minutes later, the big shooter 8-point Garrett saw the morning before came by and was trailing the doe.
“I started grunting at the shooter 8-point,” said Garrett. “But it wouldn’t even phase him. The big 8-point went out of sight. Fifteen minutes later, to my right, I saw big G2s. I knew it was Big Buck. Big Buck was going in the same direction as the shooter 8-point and the doe had gone. Once again, I tried grunting at Big Buck, but it would not phase him either, and he went out of sight.”
A few more hours passed and Garrett decided to eat lunch at 1 p.m. Garrett was just about to take a bite when he saw movement coming from the direction he saw Big Buck go in a few hours earlier. Luck would have it—Big Buck was coming back.
“I snorted and wheezed at Big Buck, and he stopped and looked,” said Garrett. “From then on, it was the end of the game for Big Buck. Big Buck was coming in on a leash! Since I film all my hunts, first thing came to mind was to get my cameras situated and ready.”
Garrett was using a Canon Vixia HF G20 on a Muddy camera arm and a Manfrotto fluid head. For his GoPro, he was using a Muddy Micro Mount.
Big Buck came from 200 yards all the way to 15 yards and presented Garrett a quartering to him shot.
“I got drawed back,” said Garrett. “Stopped Big Buck with my mouth. I put the top pin where it was suppose to go, and I connected! First thing I went for was my camera to follow him out of sight. Big Buck went 75 yards and fell over in sight.”
After the shot, buck fever started to set in. Garrett was thrilled and excited that he finally had the opportunity to kill the buck he had been after for a long time.
“I immediately started calling my buddies to let them know Big Buck was down,” said Garrett. “Then I did a quick interview on the camera of what happened and how it went down. I was literally dropping my camera equipment to get out of the tree to recover this giant!”
After 30 minutes, Garrett was climbing down. He got half way down when he saw his buddies running through the woods to see this buck.
“We started following the blood trail, even though I saw this buck go down,” said Garrett. “I got about 20 yards from where he was laying and spotted him. Big Buck had run into a tree and wrapped its horns around it. I was truly amazed at the mass on this buck.”
After doing the recovery video, Garrett and his buddies took plenty of pictures of the giant 9-pointer.
“We drug Big Buck a quarter mile back to the truck,” said Garrett. “I got back to camp and got a green score of 150 inches on Big Buck. He was by far the biggest buck I have ever killed.”
That afternoon, Garrett and his buddies celebrated by studying Big Buck, watching college football, and the best part, cooking backstraps on the grill.
“By far, this was one of the best day in the woods I’ve ever had,” said Garrett. “Maybe one day I can top it!”
Meriwether County holds some big bucks, and no doubt, Garrett has proved it once again. Garrett has accomplished something very special. Self-filming while killing a 150-inch buck is very hard and a true accomplishment.
The great buck has not been officially scored yet, but once it is, it will be added to GON‘s County-by-County Big-Buck Rankings.
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