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American Whitetail Authority

Competition Deer Hunt image

Last October (2010) The Gopher Plantation was selected to host American Whitetail Authority’s Pro Series on a hunt segment of their competition.  Greg Koch, founder of AWA, came up with a very innovative way to determine the best deer hunter in the contest.  Greg put together a “catch and release” deer hunting tourney.  Greg realized that a lot of professional hunters don’t have to develop the skills required to consistently take deer.  “Most of these pro hunters rely heavily on guides to put them on a big buck”, Greg said.  In the AWA Pro Series, guides are not a factor.  The competitors had to do all their own scouting and stand selection themselves.  The only thing the guides did was transport hunters to and from the woods.

Competitors were each supplied with a 20 ga. slug gun equipped with a digital hunter scope and blank ammunition that smokes when fired.  The competitors used 20 ga. blanks to achieve this without injuring the animal.   When the blank is fired, smoke is emitted from the gun.  The video is backed up to the last frame before smoke appears and scope cross hairs on the deer determine shot placement.  Shot placement on vital organs adds points.  Poor shot placement such as a gut shot deducts points. 

Competitors had two days to scout and three days to hunt.  Ten competitors start out in the tourney.  After the first day of the hunt SD cards are removed from the scopes and each hunter is scored by a number of factors, accuracy, age class, etc.  At the end of the second day of the hunt, scores are tallied and hunters with the five lowest scores are eliminated.

At the end of the last day, the three hunters with the highest cumulative scores advanced to the AWA World Championship.  The three hunters to advance from the Gopher Plantation segment were Carson Yates 1st, Russell Barngrover 2nd, and Kim Newman 3rd.  Russell Barngrover went on to win the AWA Championship.  We at the Gopher Plantation would like to congratulate all the competitors and AWA.  For more info on AWA check out their website by clicking here..

To read a nice article about the owner of Gopher Plantation that was written by AWA clcik here.


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Douglas. GA 31533