Upson County 170-Inch Buck

Jeff Rooks harvests “The Big 10” and is hoping it will rank in the Top-10 for Upson County.

Savannah E'Dalgo | November 17, 2016

Jeff Rooks, of Griffin, harvested a deer of a lifetime in Upson County on Nov. 12. The deer is a main-frame 10-pointer with 18 scoreable points.

“I’ve never even seen a deer that big much less been fortunate enough to have one walk out in front of me,” said Jeff.

Jeff said him and seven others lease land in Upson County.

“We had him on trail camera. There are seven of us, and we lease like 260 acres. It’s in three separate tracts, and the smallest tract is a 52-acre tract of planted pines, which is where I was hunting and where we had the deer on camera,” said Jeff. “I knew he was in there walking around. I just figured a deer that big walks at night and not in the daytime, but he did that morning. I was able to stay calm enough to harvest him.”

Jeff dropped a friend off at a stand the morning of Nov. 12 before climbing into his stand at 6:20.

“Where I’m hunting, it’s planted pines. I can see 150 yards to my left and right because they have already been thinned out. I can only see 60 yards directly in front of me,” Jeff said. “I was sitting there looking at the area, and I’ve sat in that stand before, and all the deer usually came from the left or directly in front of me. But this morning I looked down to the right, and I saw a big deer step out in the bushhog path, and he turned and started walking to me, and all I could see was wide, tall horns at that point.”

The deer had been given the name, “The Big 10,” and little did Jeff know that he would be the lucky one to take him down.

“I got my gun ready, and he closed the distance to about 125 yards, and he turned to his right, which left his left broadside opened to me, and he walked through a thick spot and then stepped down to a clearing in those pines. I shot, and he went straight down,” said Jeff. “There’s another big 8-pointer we have on camera back there. At the time when I shot, I just knew it was the biggest deer I killed in my life for sure.”

Jeff got down from his stand and realized he took down “The Big 10.”

“I called another friend of mine, who has a farm down in Meriwether County, who killed a big 10-pointer Friday night, so I assumed he wasn’t hunting on Saturday morning. I called him to find out where he suggest I take it because I knew this deer was a trophy, and I’ve never killed one this big, so I wanted to make sure the mount got to a proper place,” said Jeff.

Jeff said Justin Collins, who works at Cedar Rock Outdoors, came out with his tape and measured the rack. The deer had 18 scoreable points with a bunch of 1- to 1 1/2-inch stickers.

The main-frame part of the rack tallied 162 inches, and with all the stickers he green-scored at 170 total inches.

“That’s of course before deductions,” said Jeff.

The buck’s inside spread was 16 1/2 inches. Jeff is hoping the buck will still be in the Top-10 of all time for Upson County. According to GON’s Big-Buck Rankings, it currently takes a deer netting above 150 1/8 inches to make the Top-10.

“It’s the deer of a lifetime,” said Jeff.

If you have a picture of a deer you killed, GON would like to see it. E-mail your picture and full caption info (name and hometown, county, and details on the buck) to [email protected].

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