October 18, 2021
Last season, Georgia deer hunter Benny Overholt passed a good non-typical buck in velvet that he estimated to be five years old.
The deer walked within 10 yards of his tree stand, and Overholt was able snap a quick photo of it as it passed by.
Fast forward to the 2021 pre-season when the same buck started showing up on trail cameras, and Overholt noticed there was something decidedly weird about it. He determined that the deer never shed its rack after last season, and even remained in velvet the entire time.
So, as a 6 ½-year-old, the buck was essentially sporting a double rack, and still completely in velvet. Overholt knew, if given the opportunity this season, he wouldn't be passing the shot again.
Benny Overholt's 'Unbelievable Georgia Deer'
Date: September 13, 2021
Location: Macon County, Georgia
Method: Compound bow
Overholt spotted the buck on opening day of Georgia's archery season, Sept. 11, but it never came close enough for a shot. On Sept. 13, Overholt moved in to hunt the deer again, despite the fact it was 80 degrees out and his expectations were low. Still, the deer had been moving in daylight, so he knew he had to hunt it.
"I ran a lot of cameras to pinpoint his bedding area," Overholt said. "We had a lot of good trail-cam pics of him. It was just a matter of him being up in daylight hours."
The stage? A pine thicket that was thinned two years ago. This was the buck's bedroom, and Overholt's stand location was positioned to intercept the deer as it traveled through a hedgerow toward a stand of oaks with falling acorns.
Settling into the treestand, he hoped for the best. The hunt passed by slowly. Then, around sunset, Overholt spotted movement about 65 yards away. He looked through his binoculars and immediately knew it was the velvet giant.
"When I saw him, I prayed to the good Lord to help me make a vital shot," he said. "I got shook up but had time to calm down before the shot."
The deer walked to 33 yards and stopped for a shot opportunity. Overholt came to full draw, settled the pin and loosed the arrow. It connected. The big deer bolted for cover, as did another deer that had been following it.
The velvet giant ran 120 yards and crashed. The mystery of why the buck had remained in velvet and never shed its rack from last season was solved when Overholt noticed that its testicles had shriveled up.
"It was truly humbling to harvest such a magnificent creature," Overholt said. "It was all the good Lord's blessing. My wife, two oldest boys, Dad, four brothers and my best hunting buddy all helped make this hunt special. A lot of people knew about the deer because of how unique it was. It was just a blessing to be the one to experience it. I seriously doubt I will ever beat this one in rack size. He really is an unbelievable Georgia deer."
Overholt is still waiting on the rack's official score and isn't sure himself what it will tally up to. Needless to say, it'll be a lot. A whole heck of a lot.