In the early 1990s, GON wrote an article profiling the deer hunting in Heard County that was titled “Land of the Giants.” It’s been a while since a true giant buck has been recorded from Heard County, but that changed last week.
Michael Selman, 39, took the buck of a lifetime on Nov. 10 at his hunting lease in Heard County. Michael harvested a 17-point buck, that he had been seeing for a couple of years on trail-camera photos but had never gotten a glimpse of him in the stand.
Michael, who lives in Pike County, said the morning began on a quiet note, but it quickly intensified when he spotted the buck he had been hoping would show up.
“I got in the stand about an hour before daylight, and the wind was right for me to hunt that particular stand,” said Michael. “I didn’t see a thing—not a squirrel or anything—until about 8 o’clock.”
The buck walked out into a clearing and presented Michael with a perfect broadside shot as soon as he stepped out.
“He came out of a creek bottom out into the clearcut by himself,” said Michael. “He stopped and presented me with a 150-yard shot. He went straight down right after I shot him.”
Michael and his friends who hunt on the same lease had hoped the deer would show up at some point. He had named the buck “Sawyer” because Michael’s son, Sawyer, had said he was going to kill the buck for his dad.
“As soon as I saw him, I knew that was him,” said Michael. “I put my binoculars on him and saw those kickers and knew that was him. We had started getting pictures of him back in July, but as soon as he shed his velvet, he was gone. We haven’t seen any sign of him until the day I spotted him.”
Michael says the hunt was one he will always remember.
“I’ve hunted out-of-state for many years and never even seen a deer this big,” said Michael. “I’m still on cloud nine. This is a hunt that I’ll never forget, for sure.”
The giant buck has 17 scorable points and posted a gross (total inches) score of 178 4/8.
The rack will have to “air dry” for 60 days from the date of harvest before it can be officially measured by a certified scorer and added to GON‘s official County-by-County Rankings. County records are kept using net (after deductions) Boone & Crockett scores.
The Heard County No. 1 record buck netted 176 4/8 (typical), and it was killed in 1977 by Jim Richards. The top non-typical buck ever from Heard County netted 185 1/8, and it was killed in 1976 by Dan Attaway.