Over the years, Bucky Mitchell has heard plenty of comments relating to his particular technique of deer hunting. While it is undeniably a unique concept, his method is really not much different from any other type of stand hunting.
“I have always enjoyed deer hunting, but I simply couldn’t find any type of stand that I could comfortably sit in for much longer than an hour,” Bucky explained. “I knew I would never have much success with that type of limitation.”
The hunter continued to tinker with different ideas and various types of stands. But ultimately, the answer to his dilemma turned out to be right under his nose.
“I had an old, somewhat worn rocking chair at my house, and one day I decided to see if it would fit in the back of my Kubota ATV. It did; I hunted from the chair that afternoon and have continued to use the same setup on just about every hunt since.”
Additionally, this mobile stand technique is a near perfect fit for the particular tract of land he hunts in Brooks County. The entire area consists of several large agricultural fields surrounded by woodlands.
“I have always believed in hunting the field edges and leaving the woods undisturbed,” Bucky said. “Basically, I find a spot where I have a good view of the field and nearby woodline, and I back the Kubota up under the nearest large tree. I prefer one that has low overhanging limbs, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Since deer are accustomed to tractors, trucks and farm machinery around the fields, they completely ignore the ATV.”
For Bucky, the 2016 season began like most others; he observed a good bit of deer activity, but most of the sightings were does and small bucks.
“I did spot two bucks that I would categorize as shooters, particularly one big 10-pointer,” Bucky noted. “But both deer were well over 300 yards away. I shoot a very accurate Winchester Model 70 in .270 caliber, and I have taken deer at over 200 yards. But I consider that to be my maximum range, simply because I don’t want to risk wounding and possibly losing an animal.”
During the first weekend in November, Bucky positioned his ATV along the border of a very large peanut field. With the season now beginning its third week, he was hopeful of possibly seeing some early rut activity. However, as time passed the only deer he observed was a doe and small buck feeding about 200 yards away along the opposite woodline.
“Generally, I have found that watching deer already in the field is the best indicator of other deer nearby,” Bucky said. “But that certainly wasn’t the case in this instance. When I happened to glance several yards down the woodline, one of the biggest bucks I have ever seen was also standing in the field. Initially, I assumed the buck had come out to check the doe, but surprisingly he showed no interest in the other deer.”
Immediately picking up his rifle, Bucky quickly maneuvered into shooting position. With the big deer now at approximately 175 yards and exhibiting no signs of nervousness, the hunter waited momentarily until the buck moved into a broadside position before squeezing the trigger. Once again the accurate rifle proved its worth.
“It was one of those situations that developed so quickly that afterward the entire experience seemed a little surreal,” Bucky remarked. “I really never had time to get nervous. Sometimes a buck shot at a long distance turns out to be not quite as big as originally believed, but that wasn’t the case on this occasion.”
The rack of Bucky’s impressive whitetail has a 6×5 typical frame, with long beams and an inside spread that exceeds 19 inches. Additionally, it exhibits a great combination of mass and tine length. Preliminary antler measurements indicate a final net score that will top 170, placing it in the Top-5 listings for Brooks County.
Brooks County is located in extreme south Georgia along the Florida border, just west of I-75 and Valdosta. According to GON’s Big-Buck Rankings for Georgia Counties, a system that rates all of Georgia’s 159 counties for big-buck production, Brooks County ranked No. 14 in the state heading into this deer season (see the October, 2016 issue of GON magazine).