One of the biggest whitetails felled in the South in 2016 came out of the Peach State, proof that two heads (and guns) are sometimes better than one.
One of those heads belongs to Shannon Sledge, who owns a dairy farm near Ty Ty, Georgia. The other rested on the shoulders of a friend who’s also an employee, Skippy White.
Skippy had been keeping tabs on and hunting a giant whitetail on the dairy’s property for three seasons. In all that time, he neither saw nor retrieved trail camera photographs of it while the sun was shining.
Shannon had no history with the deer prior to Nov. 2, when his giddy friend called.
Skippy had just seen the previously nocturnal buck heading into a 10-acre woodlot, presumably to bed, and he thought the two of them – he and his boss - stood a better chance of shooting the deer before it died of old age.
Shannon arrived at the Worth County farm two and a half hours after the phone call. Skippy, who imagined they would simply climb trees at opposite ends of the tract, had two stands ready.
When Shannon vetoed the idea because he couldn’t spend the rest of the afternoon hunting, they devised a new plan.
Skippy was the only one carrying a climber when they struck out for the buck’s bedding area. Shannon held both a shotgun and his rifle.
They wound up following a power line to the woodlot. When they reached a little creek, Shannon noted some above-average hoof prints and declared he would stop there, but he changed his mind almost immediately because of the limited view.
After walking a little farther, Shannon took up a position near a pocked deer trail, and Skippy continued on for another 50 yards. The plan was for Skippy to ease into the woods and hopefully jump the buck.
The deer’s choice of when to rise from its bed and which way to run afterward would determine which of them might get a shot.
It fell to Shannon.
He shot at the fleeing deer with his rifle, but it never slowed. He then shouldered his shotgun and sent three loads of 00 buckshot at the animal, and that did the trick.
The 206 2/8-inch buck collapsed soon thereafter.
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Worth the Hike: Shannon Alvis / BTR Composite Score: 199 2/8 inches.