Hunter: David Jackson
Points: 16 (8L, 8R)
I applied for the Fort Gordon lottery and was selected, which works great for me since I work on the fort. As soon as I was selected, I began scouting with my focus being, as always, on the water. I then focused on food, bedding areas, pinch points, funnels, saddles, thickets, edges, food plots, beaver ponds, clearcuts, transitions, staging areas, high pines and all the trails between them. I was hunting some high pines on Thanksgiving Day and caught a really nice 8-point following some does to a green field. This was my 'single.' The following Sunday I was hunting my powerlines and caught a buck buck and two does crossing. There is a good 'triple.' Fort Gordon allows hunters to harvest two does in the firearms areas. I had let dozens of does pass and had room in the freezer, so I decided to hunt some heavily used doe trails. Sitting about 30 feet up a pine, overlooking to a greenfield, things were looking good. A half hour before dark, three does came walking by, so, there is my 'double' after two well-placed 12 gauge slugs. I go into the next to last weekend with the bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. Times are tough. The rut is over, the woods are full of hunters, some deer have been shot at, some have missing family members. Nocturnal is the norm. I speed scouted an area I had never been in and found exactly what I was looking for. Although the wind was not quite favorable, I decided to go for it. I had read in GON about using smoke for cover, and since controlled my scent better than anything else I have ever used. I climb a pine tree so I can see the edge of a bedding area next to an hour of browse before getting to a greenfield. Right at the last 10 minutes of legal hunting time, four does walk out with a buck following. He was facing toward me and did not take a step for 5 minutes. I was hoping for a broadside 90-yard shot, but he would not move. With time running out, and supreme confidence in my Mossberg 835, I shot the buck in the chest, and he folded up. I immediately unloaded and lowered my gun, climbed down and walked over to find my 2018-2019 season ending, walk-off Grand Slam Fort Gordon 16-point buck!! The rack is a main frame 10-point with matching spikes off the back, as well as matching split spikes off the back, as well. This is certainly a unique rack with lots of character. He weighed 160 pounds live weight and was obviously wore out from the rut and running from hunters. Late season is hard on deer and deer hunters as well, but rest assured, the deer are not going to give up. This has been the best season I have ever had. A single (75 yards), double (70, 90 yards), triple (165 yards, 174 yards, 284 yards) and a Grand Slam (90 yards) makes for a lofty goal to surpass, but just as the deer do not quit, I will not.