Georgia has a new state-record crossbow buck!
Dennis Beck, of Duluth, is the fortunate hunter who recently learned that the Gwinnett County deer he killed on Oct. 31, 2015 now officially ranks as the best buck ever taken in Georgia with a crossbow. The 11-pointer nets 159 1/8 typical inches.
Dennis wasn’t able to hunt until late September due to surgery, but after finally being able to get back in a stand, he began hunting a big 10-point he had seen many times in the area. Dennis lives on 8 acres and hunts on the same property.
It rained almost every time Dennis got the chance to hunt, but he continued to see does almost every day, so he figured a big buck had to be in the area.
“I got in the stand one morning, saw several does and got my hopes up,” said Dennis. “Instead, I saw one small buck and got soaked.”
Dennis told himself that he would not go hunting in the rain again.
Days later, Dennis’s wife and mother saw a “big buck” cross the road near their home. Dennis assumed it was the 10-pointer he was after… not the huge 11-pointer that he would end up killing.
It seemed the 11-pointer had moved into the area around Dennis’ house and had no plans to leave. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, Dennis was looking out the window of his home and spotted the 11-pointer making a scrape on his property.
The following Saturday morning, on Oct. 31, it was misting rain, but Dennis was determined to go after the giant buck. He prepared for the weather and went to his stand.
“I saw several deer and knew bucks were chasing,” said Dennis. “I heard something break, and there was the 11-pointer coming across the ridge. I was just thinking, ‘Don’t look at his rack.'”
The buck came within 20 yards of the stand and turned broadside, and Dennis let the crossbow bolt fly. After running just 25 yards, the buck crashed.
“I was so shocked,” said Dennis. “This wasn’t the buck I was originally hunting, but I’m glad my patience paid off.”
Dennis’ huge Gwinnett County buck barely beats out the former state-record crossbow buck, an honor held by Bob Coombs with his 182-inch non-typical deer that he killed in Fulton County in 2006. Bob Coombs still has the record for Georgia’s best non-typical taken by a crossbow, but the overall record is now Dennis Beck’s Gwinnett County buck. To compare typical and non-typical racks for ranking purposes, divide the net scores by the B&C minimums, which are 170 for typical and 195 for non-typical, to get percentages. Dennis’ buck comes up with a percentage of 93.6, while Bob’s non-typical has a percentage of 93.3.
GON magazine compiles and keeps records of Georgia bucks in various categories, including records for all Georgia counties, and for bucks taken by muzzleloader, bow and arrow, crossbow, and on WMAs.