Twenty-seven year-old Fletcher Culpepper of Worth County, Georgia almost didn’t even go hunting on the morning that he nailed one of the biggest bucks the state of Georgia has ever seen. On Monday morning, Culpepper harvested an approximately 260-pound, 22-point deer with an unofficial green score of 233 and two-eighths inches. Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Biologist Brian Vickery said the deer was four-and-a-half years old.
“It was just a massive, massive deer,” Vickery said in a phone interview. “It’s a world class animal in any state in our nation. It’s a trophy of a lifetime.”
The final score will be official in 60 days after state Biologist Bill Cooper fulfills the process to green-score the buck, which includes letting the antlers dry for 60 days. People suspect it will be in the top five whitetail deer ever recorded in Georgia.
Culpepper’s luck came as blessing in disguise. He just had surgery on his right shoulder two weeks ago. Fortunately, that gave him a week off of work so on Monday morning when most hunters were out of the woods and back at work, Culpepper had the woods all to himself.
He spent most of the morning in a stand and never even spotted one deer. He decided to move to his father’s stand where just the day before, Culpepper’s brother had heard two bucks fighting. He was still climbing up the stand when he first noticed the big buck that appeared. He got in the stand, took a few seconds to get ready and took the shot on his right shoulder, despite the surgery.
Culpepper used a Remington .30-06 rifle to make a clean hit from 80 yards away.
“And I didn’t feel a thing. My shoulder feels great,” he told local station WALB News 10 with a laugh. His father, Danny Culpepper helped Fletcher locate the deer. Danny found it first and was awed by its size. “He [Fletcher] kept saying it probably wasn’t that big, and I kept saying it was,” Danny Culpepper said.
By noon that day, Fletcher already had pictures of the buck up on Facebook and the social media buzz spread like wildfire. Within hours, Culpepper was getting calls from Ohio, Florida and Atlanta in his home state asking about the buck.
The body is already at the processor, the head with the taxidermist and the rack with the the state biologist drying out before it can be green scored.