Hunter: Will Gretsch
Points: 12 (6L, 6R)
I first saw this deer summer of 2022 when he was grazing on wheat that I had planted the previous winter. He was in a bachelor group of bucks, and at the time was a main frame 10-point with a kicker coming off his right side G2. I named him Moe, and the big 8-point he was constantly with was named Curly. I put out a trail camera over a deer feeder, and watched him for months last summer leading up to bow season. The Friday before Labor Day weekend in 2022, the track of land next to me sold and my new neighbors moved some equipment in to clean up food plots and roads. This made Moe move to a different territory, and I only caught him on camera once the rest of last year. I did not see him at all while hunting last season. Before that incident, I had pictures of him feeding every day. This year, the wild hogs were so bad I decided not to put out any feed until one evening I saw a bachelor group of bucks. The first night I put feed out I got a picture of Big Moe and this year he went from an 11-point to a 12-point, still a main frame 10, but with kickers coming off each G2. After getting consistent pictures of him every day, I set up a stand and knew if I could pattern him I would have a chance at shooting him as long as no one interrupted his feeding pattern. The first night I saw him while hunting was Friday night before the Georgia vs South Carolina football game. He and the other deer got spooked, and I rushed a shot, hit a limb that broke my arrow. That was sickest feeling I’ve ever had, knowing that I missed a buck of a lifetime that I have been after for 2 years. I told myself that I would back off his area and give him space to get comfortable. The very next day he was in front of my stand feeding at 6:30 p.m. I knew then he wasn’t spooked at me being in the area. I told myself if I get another chance at this buck, I would take my time and make a good shot with a clean shooting window. So the next encounter I had with Big Moe was the following Wednesday, and he showed up at 7:10 and actually walked within 20 yards of me, but never stepped into a shooting window for me. It nearly killed me to watch him walk away for a second time. Two days later, Big Moe showed up again. This time he kept his distance for about an hour before slowly working his way from my left to in front of me, and gave me a 25-yard broadside shot. I shot him directly in the shoulder blade, and new I would need a good dog to track him. I called my good buddy Blake Arnold and he brought Ash over to track Big Moe. We didn’t find any blood for at least 150 yards. Ash was on his trail, and trailed him for 267 yards where we found him lying in the middle of Clouds Creek. I cannot express the joy that overcame me when I laid my eyes on him. It’s bittersweet seeing the journey end after chasing after such a majestic and beautiful buck for 2 years. Big Moe is a once-in-a-lifetime buck for me, and a memory I’ll cherish forever. Based on rough measurements he will be the new Oglethorpe County typical bow buck record. What makes Big Moe so special for me is I purchased this land in 2020, clear-cut part of it, and converted part of it to pasture. After so much sweat equity into this property, it’s such a wonderful feeling to harvest a buck of a lifetime.