I know all of you probably recognize the famous hunter pictured with this monster buck. Yeah, it’s Jeff Foxworthy the man who is America’s favorite redneck, but when it comes to deer hunting you can bet your bottom dollar that this country boy is “smarter than a fifth grader.” Foxworthy deer hunts with a passion, but this article is not about Jeff’s love for hunting or the outdoors. I want you to take a closer look at the buck in the picture and tell me where you think this “Mac Daddy” bruiser was tagged. I am willing to bet that a lot of you probably guessed Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, or even somewhere like Saskatchewan in Canada. Well, you’re bad wrong if you thought it was any of those places. Don’t feel too bad, because the buck looks like a hefty corn-fed beef cow with a rocking chair hanging off its head.
I thought the same thing when I first laid eyes on Foxworthy’s giant. Can you believe this buck was taken by Jeff on his farm in Georgia? He had actually rattled this buck in a couple of seasons earlier, but decided to let the deer walk to grow another year. On that hunt, the buck looked like a three or four year old that would have already scored around 150. Foxworthy’s decision paid off when he rattled in the buck a few seasons later and was able to take the shot. The buck scored 178 6/8 and was a direct result of proper deer management. Foxworthy’s intense management plan enabled him to tag one of his favorite bucks of all time from his own property.
The key to success is providing year-round nutrition, thick bedding cover, easy access to water, and selectively harvesting deer from your land. A combination of tagging enough does each season and allowing younger bucks to mature is the secret ingredient. Foxworthy spends a lot of time growing food plots, digging water holes, and extensively studying trail cam pictures to better understand the whitetails on his property. By the way, there are no high-fences or imported bucks on the Foxworthy farm just good management practices. This Georgia monster is picture proof that deer management really works.
Recently, I have had a lot of luck managing a small piece of leased property in southern Kentucky. You don’t have to own thousands of acres or spend enough money to hit bankruptcy to properly manage a piece of land. In many cases, the biggest problem you will run into is convincing your neighbors not to shoot everything that moves. However, any aggravation you experience is well worth the benefits when you start producing bucks like the horse Foxworthy tagged. Give deer management a try this season and good luck.—Travis Faulkner