Billy Joe Padgett Buck: Georgia's All-Time Biggest (245 4/8)!

I was filming a hunt for my Buck Stops Here TV show last November down in Georgia with the QDMA boys. One day at lunchtime the guy who had killed the highest scoring buck ever in the Peach State agreed to meet me on the side of a dirt road and tell me how he did it. Billy Joe Padgett roared up in his pickup; the monster mount riding shotgun was a jaw-dropper. “Let’s make this quick,” Billy Joe said, “I gotta get back on my deer stand.” 

Telfair Co., November 1998, the day before Thanksgiving. Billy Joe’s dad was hunting his favorite stand on a lease and heard some grunting, but he couldn’t see the buck for a shot. The elder Padgett decided to go dove hunting the next day. Billy Joe, 23 then, told his dad he’d hunt that stand. Both Padgetts had seen a giant in the area, but never within shooting range.

A little after 7:00 on Thanksgiving morning, the enormous buck popped out of a creek bottom just 60 yards from Billy Joe’s stand. Somehow he kept it together, raised his gun and fired. “I jumped out of the stand, hollering I just shot a moose!” Billy Joe recalls.

Amazing rack. It’s a typical frame with kickers, stickers, double brow tines (38 pointsl) and unreal mass all over. Hellacious buck anywhere, and one you might expect from Iowa, Illinois or western Canada. That the freak lived 4 or 5 years on a heavily hunted lease in Georgia is fantastic and makes the story all the better.

Also, I love the simplicity of the story. No fancy tactics or gear or bravado. A kid went to a stand where he and his dad had glimpsed a big buck and killed him at 60 yards. Cool. 

BTW, the original mount hangs in the Cedar Lane Supper Club in McRae, GA and has become a sort of hunting monument. A lot of people stop in to see the biggest buck ever shot in the state. Stop and check it out if you’re in the area. They cook a mean a steak too. Comment







Cliff's Gravatar SIMPLICITY!!! I like that word. A mature trophy whitetail harvested with simplicity...Great story Mike and good job Billy.
# Posted By Cliff | 9/11/09 1:05 PM
Dean Weimer's Gravatar Love that chocolate rack. Super mass! Way cool.
# Posted By Dean Weimer | 9/11/09 1:15 PM
Flatlander's Gravatar ...................WOW

thats about 115" bigger than i would be happy getting this year :)


# Posted By Flatlander | 9/11/09 1:45 PM
parrish's Gravatar WOW.....amazing rack....I love the dark colored horns and the mass!!!!.....I congrats to the hunter and love the story too.
# Posted By parrish | 9/11/09 1:48 PM
jstreet's Gravatar Amazing!
# Posted By jstreet | 9/11/09 2:03 PM
Scott from MI's Gravatar Freak Nasty! Wow what a buck. Love all the texture to the rack...lots of bumps and stickers. Think i'd poop down both
legs if i saw that deer from my tree stand!
# Posted By Scott from MI | 9/11/09 2:26 PM
Luke S.'s Gravatar Wow. Just Wow.
# Posted By Luke S. | 9/11/09 4:06 PM
David in NC's Gravatar I love midwest hunting, but its good to hear about monster bucks coming from other parts of the country. The majority of Americans live on the east coast, and its good to know there are some monsters out here too. Those stories are what keep us dreaming of monsters because you never know what's out there.
# Posted By David in NC | 9/11/09 4:46 PM
DougInWisconsin's Gravatar Those aren't antlers, they're war clubs. Way to go Billy Joe!!!
# Posted By DougInWisconsin | 9/11/09 5:10 PM
Rodger's Gravatar Hey, Mike, is the mount y'all are holding a plastisized mount?
# Posted By Rodger | 9/11/09 5:44 PM
Jeff Brewer's Gravatar Dear Mr. Hanback, what is the biggest buck you have ever taken in Georgia?
# Posted By Jeff Brewer | 9/12/09 2:48 AM
ChadM's Gravatar U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E Whitetail ANYwhere. Georgia has some phenomenal genetics and big deer, but that animal takes the cake.

Well done.
# Posted By ChadM | 9/13/09 10:58 PM
Jason's Gravatar That record will stand for a long time in this state. Eleven years ago and still a great story. This deer never gets enough coverage. And to think that we have a legend like Billy Joe Padgett living among us. He killed one just last season that scored about 150 (posted in the 2008 truck buck section at So, it wasn't a fluke...the man kills big deer. Mike, thanks for bringing this deer and hunter back to light for everyone. You have a great website with a good layout and awesome content. Keep it up, brother.
# Posted By Jason | 10/10/09 1:22 AM
comprar Aion kinah's Gravatar Personally, I think this is a kind of complex. But in other doesn't work, so you should know some more ways to save your day.
# Posted By comprar Aion kinah | 11/5/09 2:16 AM
John Padgett's Gravatar I was huntin in Telfair the mornin Billy Joe killed this buck and even caped the buck out. Billy Joe's dad and my dad are brothers and we were all raised to work our tails off on our farms, but then do the samething deer huntin. Anybody can kill a good deer if they have quailty deer property and trophy manage. Along with trophy management and seat time you can put a trophy of your dreams on the wall. It just takes discpline from the hunter to produce. I have been a bow only hunter for over 10 yrs and have passed a few that most would shoot with a rifle, but to get a trophy on the wall remember QDM.
# Posted By John Padgett | 11/6/09 4:52 PM
Deborah's Gravatar I remember this one well. I worked at the late Judge Harvey Davis' office in Ocilla. Billy did a tremendous job! My entire family are avid deer hunters and I really enjoy seeing young people enjoying to hunt.
# Posted By Deborah | 12/11/09 4:20 PM
shad goplin's Gravatar WOW that thing is huge if i would see that i would freak out and the song is did u see the thirty pionter not i shot the thirty pointer
# Posted By shad goplin | 11/19/12 6:26 PM