October 24, 2021
Breaking News Bucks 2021
Need proof that intensive land management, low hunting pressure and balanced deer herds can produce top-end bucks virtually anywhere? Well, take a hard look at some of the biggest bucks recently tagged in the South. In the last decade, it’s been amazing to see the monster whitetails harvested south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Quickly written off by most serious whitetail hunters, the South doesn’t carry the same allure as the Midwest or other trophy destinations. That’s likely due to higher general hunting pressure, prolonged firearm seasons with generous numbers of buck tags, and less overall participation in land management to improve habitat.
However, in places where those variables are controlled, we’ve seen southern whitetails reach their true potential. One buck taken in September 2021 proves this point.
On Sept. 23, Tyler Jordan, host of Realtree Road Trips and son of Realtree founder Bill Jordan, arrowed an incredible buck with a gross score of 186 inches while hunting in Georgia at Realtree Farms. The buck has a typical 6x6 mainframe with a split G2 on his left side, excellent width, tall tines, and lengthy main beams.
The bowhunter was specifically targeting the mature buck, in hopes of tagging what he knew would be the best whitetail the family’s farm has produced to date. Certainly, years of dedicated land management, including food plots, timber improvement and selective deer harvests, helped produce the great buck.
“In the 20 years our family has managed Realtree Farms, we’ve never come across a bigger deer than this one,” Tyler explains. “We watched him on camera all summer up until we went and hunted him on opening day.”
The buck was a no show at the start of Georgia’s archery season, and Tyler opted to wait for the perfect weather conditions before hunting the deer again.
“We decided to give the buck a break until we had him on a pattern again,” says Tyler. “A week later, he was back in there, but the wind was wrong. So, we had to wait until we either had a north or west wind. We finally caught that break on Sept. 23, with a northwest wind blowing hard and a 15-degree temperature drop.”
Tyler’s move paid off when the buck appeared and gave him a shot at 25 yards. Concealed in his tree stand, wearing Element Gear in Realtree’s new Timber camouflage pattern, Tyler made a great shot with his Hoyt Ventum compound, and the buck expired quickly.
After the successful hunt, Tyler celebrated with friends and family. They all reflected on two decades of hard work bettering the property and increasing its potential to grow and hold free-range trophy bucks.
“We try to manage this place with a few of our neighbors to grow the biggest deer possible, and we don’t shoot any buck under 5 1/2 years old,” Tyler adds. “Countless deer we’ve let walk to try and reach for this kind of potential, but it hasn’t been easy. Several deer have been taken in the mid 150’s and 160’s on our place over the years, but nothing near the size of this buck.”
For more details and photographs from Tyler’s hunt for this once-in-a-lifetime Georgia giant, stay tuned for a full-length feature, coming soon in North American Whitetail magazine