by Frank Richardson
(scroll down to the bottom of the page for the recipe)
I quickly pushed the bolt forward and down, placed the rifle back on the shooting stick and found the buck again in my scope.
My rapid breathing made the crosshairs dance around my target as I kept my finger on the trigger to make sure the buck was down for good.
I could see his rack sticking up over the bushes and could not wait to get a closer look at him. As I assured myself that the buck wasn’t going anywhere, I pulled out my phone to check the time.
The Georgia general gun season had been officially open for only eight minutes, and the buck that my son, Frank, and our friend Russ had named “Badonkadonk” was on the ground.
The story of the hunt for “Badonkadonk” starts back during a hot, humid morning in early August. Frank and I were up scouting our new hunting lease in South Georgia, trying to familiarize ourselves with a new piece of property and hopefully figure out some good spots to hunt in the fall.
There was plenty of deer sign and tracks to be found, as well as lots of trails, thickets and swamps to explore.
One area in particular caught my attention – it was a narrow, dead-end road that cut down into a section of young pines 15 feet or so tall.
I knew that any shot that took place here would have to be taken quickly, as the road was only 10 feet wide in some areas. There was an old box blind in the location, but the pines had grown up to the point that they obscured the view of much of the road. We had even talked to the lease holder about moving the stand a few feet to allow a better view of more of the road.
The first time we explored the area, a big-bodied buck ran out of the pines and directly away from us just when we got to where the stand was. While his rack was still in velvet and growing, we could tell he was a nice buck.
The thing both of us noticed was the size of his body, but, because he ran straight away from us, what we saw mostly was the size of his rear end!
Frank and I immediately nicknamed him “Badonkadonk” (after Trace Adkins’ 2005 song “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” in tribute to females possessing extremely curvaceous and ample posteriors).
A couple of weeks later, we were once again scouting the property, this time with our friend Russ along for the ride. Russ had also joined the lease and wanted to familiarize himself with the property as well.
As we walked down the road in the young pines, the “Badonkadonk” buck ran out on the same trail we had seen him on the last time – once again running straight away from us.
I knew where I was going to be sitting on opening morning!
A few weeks later, I found out that the leaseholder had not been able to get enough members, so right before season I was faced with the fact that Frank, Russ and I did not have anywhere to hunt!
Unable to make the financial commitment to lease the entire property myself, I contacted the landowner and requested that he give my phone number to whoever did get the lease for the season.
I waited several weeks and had just about given up on being able to hunt the property – and was even more disappointed about not getting to hunt “Badonkadonk.”
I finally received a call from the new leaseholder, and we immediately hit it off. I liked everything he had to say about the how he wanted to manage the property and the club, liked all of the other potential members that I met, and eventually Russ and I ended up joining the lease again.
Archery season was already almost over, and we had no food plots. Russ, Frank and I took several of my ladder and tripod stands and placed them in some good-looking spots so all members would at least have a place to hunt.
The box blind where “Badonkadonk” lived had been knocked over in the road, and with no way to stand it up in time before the opening of rifle season, I decided I would hunt from the ground.
The Friday before Georgia rifle season, we had a heavy rain that stopped just before dawn. I waited until 10 a.m. or so that morning to go set up my ground blind. My blind was quite fancy, consisting of a section of camouflage burlap attached to three 2x2s.
I pulled an old stool out of the fallen box blind to sit on and set up right next to the fallen box blind. As I walked down to the trail that “Badonkadonk” had used the previous two times I’d seen him, I saw his tracks in the sand.
That meant he had used the trail that morning, as there was no sign of raindrops in the tracks! I quickly and quietly got out of there and counted the minutes until legal shooting light on Saturday.
Saturday morning, I first dropped Frank off at his tripod (Georgia law allows teen hunters with Hunter Education certification to hunt unsupervised).
Once I was sure he was safely in his stand, I drove to my parking place. Thirty minutes before legal shooting time, I was sitting in my ground blind waiting for “Badonkadonk.” I anxiously checked my phone to see when the season would open, and finally, rifle season was open!
I used my binoculars to scan the woods in both directions in the dim morning light, but focused mainly on the trail “Badonkadonk” had been using.
I looked to the left, and as I turned back to the right...there he stood! The buck was coming out on the same trail he had been consistently using.
I immediately got my gun up and found him in my scope. I quickly determined it was the same buck we had been seeing – beautiful, tall antlers, blocky head, a bit of sway to his back and a big gut – all signs of an older, mature buck.
He also had that big ol’ butt!
As the crosshairs settled right behind his shoulder, I squeezed the trigger and sent a 165-grain Fusion bullet on its way. As the rifle barked, I saw the buck fall right in his tracks!
I quickly cycled the bolt and watched him to make sure he wasn’t going to try to get up, but “Badonkadonk” was dead before he hit the ground.
I tried to sit still, but before long I was down there admiring my buck. He had a nine-point rack, with long G2s and G3s. I smiled as I thought about my incredible luck of being in the right place at the right time and all of the hard work that we had put into finding that “right place.”
After picking Frank up from his stand, we went back to the ground blind for a quick photo session and to load the massive buck. Although we had no way to weigh him, we estimated the buck’s weight near the 200-pound mark.
After getting him loaded, we headed to Concord Processing where Frank gutted him and we placed him in the cooler to age. As Frank was dressing the deer, he found the Fusion bullet, fully intact, mushroomed out just under the skin on the far shoulder.
We had steaks cut, burger ground and some of Concord’s “Best Smoked Sausage on the Planet” made out of the buck we called “Badonkadonk.” In honor of Badonkadonk, I’ll share a recipe we now know as “Badonkadonk Burgers.”
• Ground, aged venison burger (I add no fat of any kind to my burger meat)
• Burger buns
• Condiments for topping burger
• Vegetable oil
Form burgers a little larger than the buns, and make them 1-1/4 inches thick. Cook to the desired temperature on grill over low heat, being careful to cook enough before turning so the burgers will not fall apart.
If you are concerned about the burgers falling apart, you can place them on aluminum foil until the outside is brown, but I do not find this necessary.
I prefer the burgers to be medium rare, but with low heat you can get them to medium or well done without burning them.
Wash potatoes and slice them into fries. Fry in vegetable oil. Enjoy!