Brooke! 13-Year-Old Wins 2005 Truck-Buck Shoot-Out

Brooke Tomlin shocked the crowd and out-shot the field to win a brand new pickup truck in GON's big-buck contest grand prize Shoot-Out.

Daryl Kirby | September 6, 2005

In one of the most-exciting finishes ever for the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out, youth was served yet again, and this time it was a 13-year-old young lady who out-shot everyone to win a brand-new pickup truck. Brooke Tomlin’s exciting victory was the third time in 16 Shoot-Outs that a youth 15 years old or younger has won the event.

Going into the Shoot-Out, two very interesting and intriguing storylines had developed. First, there were two young ladies in the event — 4-year-old Samantha Linhart and 13-year-old Brooke Tomlin. Samantha, from Oakfield, won the Ladies Wild-Card with a Worth County buck that scored 150 2/8, and Brooke, from Covington, earned a spot in the Shoot-Out when her very first buck, a Newton County buck that netted 142 4/8, won the Youth Wild-Card.

Brooke Tomlin, 13, sits in her new pickup truck after winning the 2005 Truck-Buck Shoot-Out.

The other storyline was that for three years in a row the best shot and the winner of the truck qualified for the Shoot-Out by winning the primitive-weapons week. Trying to keep that streak alive was Phillip Harper, of Luthersville, who won Week 5 with a Meriwether County muzzleloader buck that netted 146 2/8. That wasn’t all to Phillip’s storyline. Phillip, also a member of the non-profit sportsman’s organization GONetwork, won his district in that big-buck contest. The grand prize of the GONetwork contest, determined by a random drawing among district winners, was another truck. Two contests, two chances at a truck, all in one afternoon! 

Second-place shooter Phillip Harper celebrates his new four-wheeler.

The Shoot-Out is the final event in each year’s Truck-Buck contest. The shooters earn a spot in the Shoot-Out by taking a Georgia buck that either is the best-scoring buck during one of the 17 weeks of deer season or wins one of four wild-card categories. To win the grand prize, a truck from John Megel Chevrolet, or the second grand prize, a Suzuki four-wheeler from Motions in Marietta, contestants have to prove their shooting skill.

The competition began slowly this year. After round four there were still 15 shooters remaining. Then four missed in round five, and four more in round six. As we got to round seven —  shot at an egg from 30 feet, there were only seven shooters remaining. One of those seven would win the truck and another would win the four-wheeler. Among those seven were Brooke Tomlin, Samantha Linhart, and Phillip Harper. In round eight two more fell, leaving a final five that included all three of our pre Shoot-Out storylines.

The young ladies stole the show at the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out. Brooke Tomlin (left), 13, out-shot everyone and won the truck after qualifying with the Youth Wild-Card. Samantha Linhart, 14, won the Ladies Wild-Card and tied for third in the Shoot-Out. (Update 2-6-2020: Samantha is still entered bucks in the Truck-Buck Contest. Here’s her 2019 entry.)

First up in round eight was Phillip, who missed the egg, but hit the rubber band, which broke, the egg fell to the floor, and it broke. That counts. Brad Campbell shot next, and the close-up camera showed that his pellet was so close a piece of paper wouldn’t slide between where his pellet hit and the egg stood. Shayne Goddard was next, and he too missed. That left only three, with Phillip already advancing and it beginning to look like he could win the truck right here. The youngster, 13-year-old Brooke Tomlin was next. As was her style all afternoon, she stepped up, took aim quickly, and fired — the egg shattered and the crowd erupted. Two were in round nine, and Samantha had her chance to advance next. The 14-year-old’s shot barely missed, setting up a shoot-out between Phillip and Brooke to decide who would win a truck and who would win a four-wheeler. In round nine, the shooters backed up to 60 feet —  with iron sights, shooting off-hand, at an egg. Phillip was first, and he made the shot. Brooke stepped up, quickly took aim, and she busted the egg, sending the crowd even higher. Again they shot at 60 feet, this time both missed. For the third shot at 60 feet, Phillip missed, and he opened the door, a door that Brooke slammed shut with a perfect shot and an amazing ending to an incredible Shoot-Out. 

All of the Shoot-Out contestants were winners. Thanks to Realtree, they all received one-of-a-kind Shoot-Out Finalist shirts. The winners during the gun weeks took home Browning rifles. The bow-week winners received Mathews bows, and the winner during the primitive-weapons week won a CVA muzzleloader.

The Truck-Buck contest returns September 10. GON subscribers have a chance to win a weekly prize and go to the Shoot-Out. If you are under 15, you apparently have a great chance to win a truck.

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