November 22, 2023
Breaking News Bucks is presented by ARCUS hunting brands. To find out more click here.
Hannah Jones is passionate about the outdoors. She guides bird hunters in Georgia for bobwhite quail, and she is also an avid whitetail hunter with a passion for big bucks. During the 2021 season, she had an encounter with a buck that caught her attention.
“He had a great frame but looked young, so I videoed him then,” she recalls. “And I ended up passing him several times that season.”
During the summer of 2022, the buck grew into a shooter. And Hannah got her chance at the buck the next season.
“I had him at 18 yards,” Hannah says. “But my peep was turned in my bow string, and my shot sailed high!” The arrow hit the deer, but a later search by a friend with dogs failed to make the recovery. That didn’t set well with Hannah, and she really thought the deer was dead when the old buck managed to avoid her cameras for nearly a year. Then she got a photo of him a week before the 2023 season opened.
“It was definitely him,” Hannah claims. “He was back, and I was ready to finish what I had started.”
Hannah set up more cameras in a bottom where she found some big rubs, thinking the giant buck could be hanging out there. She also added corn and a camera, but hogs kept eating most of the bait before the deer could get to it. The morning before the season opened, her buck was at the pile.
“I hunted the next morning and evening and didn’t have any luck,” Hannah says. “But I took three hogs over the weekend, and that was enough to get them to leave!” Hannah hunted a few times the next week and weekend without seeing the deer, but he was still around. And she was determined to get her hands on that rack!
On Sept. 22, she headed to the stand again for an afternoon hunt, adding some fresh corn before she got in her climber. At 7:15 p.m., two small bucks approached the pile, and a 150-inch 10-point stood off to the right. “I was very tempted to shoot that one, but then I noticed the bigger deer at the edge of the corn,” she adds. “My heart was pounding so hard I couldn’t pull my bow back!”
The breeze shifted slightly and one of the younger bucks began stomping. “That was enough to get me back on track, so I made a quick shot,” Hannah recalls.
The giant buck took off after the shot. Upon inspection, the arrow smelled like guts, so Hannah backed out and called for the dogs again. The tracker said it would be best to wait overnight.
“I got no sleep at all,” Hannah admits. “But the dogs only went a few yards and had him recovered!”
The dark-stained rack has nice brow tines, six points on one side and five on the other. The mature buck’s antlers also sport a forked G2, pushing the gross score to 173 inches.