GON Truck-Buck Contest 2023-2024 Official Rules

GON Staff | July 30, 2023

• Only qualified, paid subscribers of Georgia Outdoor News, or their qualified spouse (legal husband or wife), or dependents (as defined by IRS rules for federal tax-filing purposes) are eligible to enter a deer in the Truck-Buck Contest (hereinafter “Contest”). To be a qualified, paid subscriber, Georgia Outdoor News (hereinafter “GON”) must have received payment for a full annual or two-year subscription prior to the deer being harvested. When a current subscriber’s subscription lapses, his or her eligibility ends. When the subscription is in the name of a company, only the chief owner of the company (and spouse and dependents) is eligible for the Contest.

• All current subscribers are eligible to enter a deer in the Contest, and they remain eligible until their subscription ends. GON is not required to notify a subscriber that his or her subscription is about to end.

• Only whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are eligible for the Contest.

• Only deer harvested in Georgia may be entered in the Contest.

• Only deer taken by legal means may be entered in the Contest.

• Only deer taken under ethical, fair-chase hunting conditions may be entered. Specifically excluded are deer taken inside of a pen with a deer-proof fence, regardless of the acreage enclosed.

• Only deer harvested on land where the hunter has a clear right and permission to hunt and landowner rules are followed may be entered in the Contest.

• Hunters who have been convicted of a game violation of the Georgia Game & Fish Code, that conviction occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2021, are specifically excluded from participation in the Contest.

• Hunters who exceed the Georgia legal bag limit for deer during the 2023-2024 deer season are specifically excluded from the Contest.

• Only the hunter who harvested the deer may enter the deer in the Contest.

• A deer must have been reduced to bag within 24 hours of the initial shot. Any deer that is “Lost” to a hunter for more than 24 hours after the initial shot is deemed “Lost” for purposes of this Contest and cannot be entered.

• A “Found” deer (that is any deer that comes into the possession of a hunter by any means other than a hunter actually sport hunting, legally shooting, and harvesting a deer within 24 hours) is not eligible for entry in the Contest.

• Deer legally taken under a Deer Control Permit or under any other legal but non sport-hunting authority are ineligible for entry into the Contest.

• Should a dispute arise over eligibility of an entered deer, or regarding the ownership of the deer, the disputing party must notify GON in writing, by registered mail or email, within five business days of the harvest of the deer, giving reasons for the dispute. In the event of a dispute, GON will hold the prize(s) in escrow until the parties can resolve the dispute, or until 90 days prior to the Shoot-Out. At that time, GON will move to resolve the dispute by such methods and means as it deems necessary, and each side will be held financially liable before the fact, for any and all costs that may be incurred by GON in its efforts to fairly resolve the dispute. Failure to satisfy any financial obligation before the fact will be sufficient cause to reject any and/or all claims by a disputing party. Additionally, GON reserves the sole right and jurisdiction to resolve any and all disputes, and by entering a deer in the contest, each entrant recognizes and agrees to accept the judgment of GON and its agents and assigns as final and indisputable and further agrees to abide by all rules of the Contest. Meanwhile, each disputing party agrees to all other terms, conditions and rules of the Contest.

• Eligible hunters and subscribers accept without condition the rules of the Contest and, by participating or attempting to participate in the Contest, promise and agree to hold harmless Georgia Outdoor News, its employees, officers, agents and assigns, for any damages of any kind whatsoever.

• The Contest consists of seventeen (17) scoring periods (“weeks”) and four wildcard categories. There are no longer winners from the Northern and Southern deer zones. The first scoring period (week) begins on opening day of archery season, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 and ends Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 at the end of legal shooting hours. Deer shot during this first scoring period must compete in this period. A correctly completed entry form plus necessary photographs of the hunter and deer must be received by GON within seven (7) business days of the day the deer was shot. For example, a deer shot on Saturday, Sept. 9 is not officially entered into the Contest unless GON receives the online entry or mailed entry not later than close of business Tuesday, Sept. 19. This same entry deadline time-frame exists on each subsequent weekly scoring period. The scoring periods are: (Week 1) Sept. 9-15; (2) Sept. 16-22; (3) Sept. 23-29; (4) Sept. 30 – Oct. 6; (5) Oct. 7-13; (a compound bow will be awarded to each of these five scoring-period winners); (6) Oct. 14-20; (a CVA muzzleloader will be awarded to the winner) (7) Oct. 21-27; (8) Oct. 28 – Nov. 3; (9) Nov. 4-10; (10) Nov. 11-17; (11) Nov. 18-24; (12) Nov. 25 – Dec. 1; (13) Dec. 2-8; (14) Dec. 9-15; (15) Dec. 16-22; (16) Dec. 23-29; (17) Dec. 30 to end of legal deer season. (A Savage deer rifle will be awarded to each of these 11 winners). Suburban counties open to archery hunting until Jan. 31 or on WMA hunts after regular deer season closes are eligible and included in scoring-period 17.

• All deer entered in the weekly scoring periods that do not win that week of the Contest are also considered for four season-long wildcards. Wildcard winners earn the right to participate in the Grand Prize Shoot-Out, but do not win weekly prizes. Wildcard categories are Public-Land Wildcard for the best buck taken on a Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Georgia State Park, National Wildlife Refuge, Corps land or National Forest in Georgia; Ladies Wildcard for the best buck taken by a female hunter; Youth Wildcard for the best buck taken by a youth hunter 15 or younger on the date the deer is harvested, and Runner-up Wildcard for highest-scoring buck of the season that doesn’t win a week.

• Only deer taken by legal traditional or compound bow and arrow or crossbow may be entered in the first four scoring periods. Only deer taken by legal traditional or compound bow and arrow, crossbow or legal muzzleloading firearm or youth 15 and younger who use modern firearms may be entered in the fifth period. Deer taken by any legal sport hunting method may be entered in Weeks (scoring periods) 6 through 17. [Exceptions: Deer taken on a special public-land hunts with a weapon before that weapon’s regular statewide season begins is eligible only for the Public-Land Wildcard.]

• To win a scoring period, a qualified paid subscriber (or spouse or dependent) must enter his or her deer, meet all applicable rules, and the deer entered must possess the best-scoring rack (as determined by GON and its agents using scoring methods described by the Boone & Crockett Club in their publication titled “Measuring and Scoring North American Big Game Trophies”) entered during the applicable scoring period. (Note: racks scored as non-typical must exceed the score of the best-scoring typical rack by more than 14.7 percent to win.)

• Each scoring-period winner and Wildcard winner is qualified to compete for the Grand Prize but must attend the Shoot-Out to earn weekly prizes.

• Each subscriber, each subscriber’s spouse and each legal dependent of a subscriber can enter two bucks in the Contest, plus any legally taken bucks from public hunting lands where state tags are issued.

• Before the deer is caped or skinned, have digital photos taken of you with your buck. Smart-phone cameras work well. Deer that are caped or skinned before any photos are taken are not eligible for entry.

• A subscriber—or spouse and dependents—may win only one scoring period per season. In addition, once a subscriber (or his spouse or dependents) becomes qualified to compete for the Grand Prize truck, that subscription can no longer qualify for additional opportunities to compete in the Shoot-Out. Should such an event occur (a subscriber, his spouse or qualified dependent winning more than one scoring period), the scoring-period prize and the qualification to compete in the Shoot-Out would accrue to the next-best-scoring buck entered during that scoring period.

• In the event of a first-place scoring tie during a scoring period, each entrant will become eligible to compete in a preliminary Shoot-Out (all other conditions being satisfied) to determine who makes the main Shoot-Out and earns the Weekly prizes. The same is true in the event of a first-place scoring tie in a Wildcard category.

• Each Contest entrant must use our online entry process or sign the affidavit attesting to the facts regarding his or her qualification to enter the Contest and the circumstances of the hunt and harvest of the deer. For mailed entries, the affidavit is contained in the Contest Entry Form, which can be found online and in some issues of GON magazine. The online entry or affidavit, along with required paperwork and photos of the deer and hunter (taken according to entry-form instructions or sent through online process), must be received by GON within seven (7) business days of the day the deer was shot.

• Each entrant into the Contest must present the intact, unmodified and unmounted antlers and skull plate to GON at a time and place to be specified at a later date, and allow GON and its agents to score the rack. Failure to present the intact antlers and skull plate at the appointed time and location will result in disqualification of the deer and the entrant from the Contest. Mounted heads will not be measured during Truck-Buck scoring events.

• Each entrant must secure the antlers and skull plate and keep them in his/her control. The antlers and skull plate are not to be modified other than natural air drying. Any modification of the antlers and/or skull plate will result in disqualification. Specific prohibitions include, but are not limited to, (1) Freezing the rack for an extended period so it doesn’t air dry; (2) Wedging, bracing or by any other means securing the antlers/skull plate so as to increase the spread or to prevent the spread from decreasing naturally; (3) Wetting the antlers/skull plate or keeping the rack submerged in any fluid so they don’t air dry; (4) adding to, modifying or removing any antler material.

• Each entrant into the Contest must agree to make himself/herself available to GON at a time and place to be specified by GON and submit to and successfully pass a polygraph examination. Failure to be present to take, to take, or to pass this polygraph examination will result in disqualification and loss of eligibility to compete for or receive any award.

• The winner of the Grand Prize truck will be determined by a contest of shooting skill (called the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out). All weekly winners and all Wildcard winners must be present at and participate in the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out to be eligible to win the Grand Prize truck.

• Only hunters who took the winning deer may participate in the Shoot-Out; there can be no substitutions for any reason.

• Any individual hunter who has previously won the Grand Prize truck in the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out is ineligible to compete in the Shoot-Out for a period of 10 years following the winning year.

• GON reserves the right to make additional rules should circumstances not covered herein arise and to waive or otherwise modify any rules stated herein if, in the judgment of GON, said action would improve or not materially harm the Contest.

• By entering a deer in the Contest each contestant agrees to abide by and be bound by each and all of the rules of the Contest.

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