To start with, the Evans man had a disappointing 2012 deer season, when he was grounded while recovering from surgery.
“It was the first year I can remember where I didn't take a single deer,” he said. “I hoped this year would be better.”
Last Saturday morning, Jones and his 19-year-old son, Aaron, headed up to his hunting club in Warren County, where members trophy manage their property.
Soon after daybreak, Aaron killed a handsome 11-pointer, the best buck he had ever taken.
Adam Jones was as proud as he could be of a son who started hunting as soon as he could see over a deer stand.
“He’s been going with me since he was 4, and killed his first deer when he was just seven,” Jones said.
As exciting as the father and son’s morning hunt was, the afternoon had an even bigger surprise in store.
Adam Jones climbed into a lock-on stand deep within a creek bottom dripping with acorns. Evening approached, and something was coming.
“I could see it was a nice buck,” he said. “I could tell it was a shooter, but had just a short window to decide.”
After an 80-yard shot and a few tense minutes of waiting, Jones went to examine his buck. He was stunned at what he found.
The old deer, an 11-pointer, was the biggest whitetail he had ever seen – or killed.
As he would learn later, the buck’s main beams were 24 and 25 inches, anchored by a cluster of seven-inch brow tines. The rack’s G-2 points measured 12 and 9.5 inches.
“Everybody was awestruck,” he said. “Nobody in my family has ever killed anything that big.”
The bucks were taken to Southland Taxidermy & Deer Processing in Augusta, where Trey Nevils green-scored Adam’s buck at 158 and two-eighths Boone & Crockett points, which – if reconfirmed after the required 60-day drying period – would make the buck a new record for Warren County.
Aaron’s buck scored in the 125 range.
The best part of the hunt, Adam said, was the unlikely combination of a father and son each killing trophy bucks.
“Can you believe it? My son and me both killed an 11-pointer the same day, and both deer are the biggest ones we’ve ever gotten,” he said. “Aaron was even more excited about my deer than his deer.”
SPEAKING OF DEER: Here in Georgia, 81 percent of all hunters are deer hunters, according to the Wildlife Resources Division, which needs your help on the next round of revisions to the statewide deer management program.
Issues to be addressed during public hearings and public comments include how many deer we should have in Georgia, and what are the best ways to balance hunting opportunities with agricultural damage, vehicle collisions and ecological concerns.
As part of the planned revision of Georgia’s 10-year Deer Management Plan, public meetings will be held around the state, including two that are fairly close
One meeting will be held from 2:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Greene County Library in Greensboro, Ga.; and another meeting will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga.
The meetings will follow an open house format, and participants can discuss seasons and bag limits, urban deer densities, hunting methods and hunter access to public lands.
For more information on the Georgia Deer Management Plan or to view the key issues, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings or call (770) 918-6416.
SRS HUNTS REINSTATED: Some of Savannah River Site’s deer hunts cancelled because of the government shutdown have been rescheduled.
The Wounded Warrior and Mobility-Impaired deer hunts for the 2013 season will be held Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, with the primary hunts rescheduled for Friday, Dec. 20, and Saturday, Dec. 21.
Specific details will be posted at www.srs.gov and letters will be sent to hunters previously selected for 2013 hunts, with invitations to join the rescheduled hunts.