Bruce: Big Buck Roundup

Rut Reporter Eric Bruce has been writing about hunting and fishing for newspapers and magazines for 25 years and hunts … Continued

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Rut Reporter Eric Bruce has been writing about hunting and fishing for newspapers and magazines for 25 years and hunts deer all over the South, including near his Georgia home. States covered: AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, FL.

Every deer hunter dreams of shooting a big buck. Much time and energy goes toward that goal. But few of us actually bag a trophy, and too many of us settle for a mediocre buck. Even fewer are fortunate to harvest a truly giant buck. While other regions of the country are known for their monster bucks, the South has its share and this season was no exception.

All across the South this year, some huge bucks have been taken that are near or over the Boone & Crockett mark. This may be attributed to the increased use of food plots and supplemental feeding and minerals, good acorn crops, and more emphasis on quality management and hunters willing to pass on a good buck to wait on a great buck. Some areas have a restricted buck harvest. Georgia requires that the second buck killed be (basically) an eight pointer. Whatever the reason, some whoppers have been killed in 2011.

A hunter in Lee county, South Carolina bagged the huge eleven pointer shown here in the pickup truck. The rack has split tines and a drop tine, making it the envy of every Palmetto state hunter. You can learn more about this buck at www.southcarolinasportsman.com.

Mississippi produces some true trophies, particularly near the fertile Mississippi River. Jimmy Riles bowkilled a 17-point, 200 pound 180-6/8 inch monster in the Magnolia State.

Georgia usually gives up a Boone & Crockett buck or two each season and it looks like the Peach state may have several this year, too. In the southern portion of the state near the Florida border, Brooks county produced an eleven-pointer on November tenth and a ten-pointer on November eleventh. Both look to score in the 170s. In the northern mountainous region of the state, at a public hunting area at that, a hunter killed a huge ten-pointer on the Coosawatee WMA.

Louisiana is having a banner year too. Their hunters have taken several giants, including two that scored over 200 inches. One hunter harvested a 223 inch non-typical that we are still gathering information on, but looks to be one of the biggest ever taken in Louisiana. A Westlake hunter, Jacey Broussard, killed a 31-point behemouth that scored 226 inches. She had caught the buck on trail cameras and had been hunting him hard for three weeks. Turns out, however, that the buck had escaped from a high-fence ranch nearby and is not eligible for the official record book, but is still a remarkable trophy that Jacey is proud of.

No doubt the rut motivated some of these monsters to get up and walk around during the daylight and into the sights of hunters. Good action is out there for the diligent hunter.