Oct_26_07 While there are any number of music stars or professional athletes who are avid sportsmen, few (with the notable exception of Uncle Ted as in Ted Nugent) have done as much to promote the sport of hunting as country star Rhett Akins. Rhett, a former University of Georgia standout QB and Number 1 hit recording artist, scored a big personal hit in the hunting world recently when he arrowed this massive, typical 8-point in Illinois.

Like a naturally beautiful woman who doesn’t need make-up to prove the point, a clean, classic racked 8 is a real beauty to behold for any whitetail fanatic despite the massively junky non-typicals that seem to grab most of the attention these days.

Akins Oct. 1 bow hunt for the big buck was caught on film by childhood friend and Spectrum Outdoors owner and producer Sam Klement, who alerted the BBZ of Rhett’s “hammer knocker.” The buck green scored close to 170 inches and weighed just under 300 pounds. Akins arrowed the trophy during an afternoon hunt from just 10 yards away. He was using a Hoyt Xtec bow and arrows tipped with Rage broadheads.

The hunt will likely appear in a future episode of Realtree Roadtrips with Michael WaddellOct_26_07_2 as well as Realtree’s Monster Bucks.

Sam and Rhett hunted Illinois for close to a week with Timberland Outfitters while scouting out the possibility of bringing a Country Goes Huntin’ deer hunting event to the state. The two are co-founders of the Country Goes Huntin’ celebrity turkey hunt and benefit concert in Dothan, Ala., which since its inception about five or six years ago has raised thousands of dollars for a number of worthwhile charities. I was lucky to have been on one of the first ones during my tenure as editor of Turkey Call magazine. Since that time, the hunt has grown to include a who’s who of country music stars including Daryle Singletary, Craig Morgan, Troy Gentry, Tracy Byrd, Chad Brock, Gary Levox of Rascal Flatts, Tracy Lawrence and others.

Planning is underway for the 2008 concert so be sure to check the web site at for frequent updates on participating artists and dates.

In the meantime, Rhett, whose latest release People Like Me came out in June, is going to celebrate this most recent triumph in the field by getting a full body mount of the Illinois 8-pointer. It may even appear on stage with him at a future show! —Doug Howlett