A Whopper Florida Buck on 5 Acres

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Cody Beasley took a big buck on his home property after he’d previously allowed three other hunters to take deer from his stand

Rack Report Details
Buck: 153 7/8”
Time of Year: October 22, 2022
Place: Hernando County, Florida
Weapon: Athens Vista 33 bow

This 153 7/8-inch buck taken by dedicated bowhunter Cody Beasley would be a trophy in many areas of the country on managed farms, but it’s an exceptional buck for the fact that it was killed on a 5-acre property in Central Florida. Image courtesy of Cody Beasley

Cody Beasley just has 5 acres to hunt around his small home property, but he makes the most of it. Beasley, a self-proclaimed “bowhunter at heart,” grew up on a hay farm in the Sunshine State with access to tons of property during his teen years. He always had numerous opportunities to shoot deer.

“I shot lots of deer while growing up,” he said. “It was all about numbers back then. I got that out of my system, though, and became more interested in pursuing mature bucks. I had opportunities to see a lot of deer and up to four or five young 8-pointers on many outings. But today, I only have 5 acres of private land to hunt on right by home.”

As whitetails go, Florida is known for little ones. That’s partly because of genetics — these deer just don’t get very big — but also because the hunting pressure is heavy, and most bucks over 100 inches are shot the moment they step in front of a hunter. But every once in a while, Florida puts out a whopper like the one that Beasley arrowed on October 22.

Starting on October 18, Beasley’s trail camera captured the 150-class Florida buck many times un-til October 22 when he arrowed the buck. Image courtesy of Cody Beasley

“I didn’t know that the buck was in the area until October 18,” Beasley said. “I had just gotten a wireless trail camera positioned, and then I got two pictures of him that afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in perfect daylight. I know some hunters are against it, but I feed the deer, which is legal to do in Florida. I use Record Rack deer feed, and that buck absolutely loved it. At that point, I knew that my chances of harvesting him were pretty high.”

As you’d expect from a dedicated bowhunter, Beasley dots all of his i’s and crosses his t’s. He takes scent control very seriously. From laundry to scent-free bathing to spraying down with scent eliminators, he does it all.

“On October 22, I decided that I needed to go to the woods, check my camera, and see what was going on with it,” he said. “I also took all of my hunting gear with me. When I arrived at the camera, my phone downloaded about 400 pictures from it. The big buck was on the Record Rack feed in many of the pictures.”

The Beasley buck features some neat kickers. Image courtesy of Cody Beasley

Needless to say, those pictures made the decision whether or not to hunt an easy one for Beasley, and so he climbed into his treestand. Once there, he continued reviewing the pictures. He noticed that the buck was consistently hitting the feed between 5:30-6 p.m. each afternoon.

“Sure enough, he came out at 6 p.m.,” Beasley told. “He was walking right down the deer trail toward the feed. I didn’t get nervous when he came out or as he walked in because I had lots of cover behind me. He got extremely close; I shot him at only 10 yards. My shot was great, and he ran only about 25 yards and died right in front of me. It was unreal, especially for here in Florida. I’ve also hunted in Georgia and Alabama, but this is the biggest buck I’ve ever taken. It’s still hard to believe.”

Even though he has only 5 acres, Beasley, a softball coach, allows friends to hunt on his property, too, or take their kids hunting and shoot does. When the feeder goes off, he said that 17-18 does commonly come out all at once, plus some young bucks usually end up in the mix. Three people had already harvested deer on the 5 acres prior to Beasley’s successful hunt. He feels that the big buck was a “reward,” as he put it, for first providing others with opportunities to hunt.

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