photo of a deer killed by Todd Jonesphoto of a deer killed by Todd Jonesphoto of a deer killed by Todd Jones

Hunter: Todd Jones

Points: 8 (4L, 4R)

County: Bleckley

Season: 2018-2019

Hunt Story

Four years of encounters, 1,000s of pictures and finally the end has came for the Great 8. This buck was a ghost never doing the same thing twice. Hunters have tried for years to kill him, but he always stayed one step ahead. This buck first came on the radar in the fall of 2015 when he was a 18-inch 7-point at what I believed to be 3.5 years old. He looked like a buck that would have potential, so he got a pass. Then the fall of 2016 He stepped out at 50 yards. He was a beautiful 9-point with a big body. I just pulled my phone out and videoed him. At that time I believed him to be 4.5 years old, and I thought one more year and he would probably be a shooter. During the fall of 2017 he was hunted hard by many people but somehow always seem to slip away. Then around the first week of November he followed a doe to within 25 yards of my stand, but he was in the thicket behind my stand and I never had a shot with my bow. I just watched as he disappeared with his doe. I was excited to see him and thought someone would get him, but three days later I get a picture and one whole side of his rack had been broken off. I didn’t try to hunt him anymore after he broke his rack. I figured he probably wouldn’t make it to the next season. Then to my surprise the summer of 2018 he would show back up. He was now just a clean 8-point. I got pictures all summer long with him disappearing for weeks at a time. He would show up on camera about every 3 or 4 days the last few weeks. I had suspected him and some other bucks had been using a swamp on our property to hide out. I decided I would try and find a place closer to the swamp to hang a lock on stand. On Tuesday the wind was blowing perfect away from the swamp, so I decided to take a climbing stand and go see if I could figure out a good place to put a lock on. About 1 hour before dark I hear footsteps in the water and a doe comes out the swamp thicket and begins feeding on white oaks as she slowly closed the distance and was now standing 25 yards to the left of my stand. I'm watching the doe when I hear another deer coming from my right, and it trotted almost sounding like a buck pushing a doe. At this time the deer is just out of my sight, but I hear it walking. Then I hear the sound of antler locking together and realize it's two bucks. I slowly slid my grunt call out trying not to spoke the doe beside me. I slid the call over my shoulder and grunt twice. Then I hear a deer coming as he comes under the tree limbs, and I see him I know instantly it's the great 8 and he’s walking straight to me. The doe to my left trotted away as he approached and when he went behind a tree I drew my Obsession Bow back, and he walked into a opening 25 yards from my stand. I bleated and stopped him took good aim and touched off the trigger. I watched the Ramcat tipped Blackeagle arrow disappear right behind his shoulder. He ran about 80 yards and piled up. I truly had no clue how big he actually was till I walked up to him. He is now 6.5 years old and ended up weighing 236 pounds and has a outside spread of 21.5 inches.
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