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Ryan Woller
Ryan Woller • 11/19/2012 • Marathon County, WI • Gun

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Lee Gamache
Lee Gamache • Winchester , NH

Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

27
Boot Leather and Resolve Lead to Happy Ending

If Ryan Stolz hadn't anticipated his buck's ducking the string, a phrase that's rightfully falling out of favor with the (compound) bowhunters who coined it, he might've had his mount a whole lot sooner. And he might've had more and much better photographs.

But at least he got his deer and will soon see the antlers affixed to a form with glass eyes, albeit with another buck's hair.

The bowhunter from Mondamin, Iowa, had dreamt about arrowing this whitetail with points aplenty long before he triggered his release on Oct. 1. He first heard about it during the 2011 shotgun season, when it was seen and missed during man-drives.

After the curtain fell on the 2011-12 season, seems like everyone in Harrison County saw the buck. Its sheds were found. And by summertime, every other tree was a hitching post for a trail camera.

Ryan took to the woods on Oct. 1, wearing his ghillie suit. After an uneventful morning, he went to a different spot, which afforded him a 50-yard shot at the local legend.

He connected, too, but the shot was a tad low.

"I expected the buck to duck the arrow, but it didn't," Ryan said.

Blood was sparse, but Ryan never threw in the towel. He spent much of the week he'd taken off from work to scour the countryside.

By the time he found his prize in a brush pile beside his dad's unpicked bean field, coyotes had torn into it.

[Read the rest of this article...]

20
Based on a True Story

Dear Dr. Phil,
My distant cousin, Nathaniel Yoder, named a deer after me. And then he killed it. Should I be worried?
Dave in Kentucky

Dear Dave,
How big was the deer?
Dr. Phil

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Okay, maybe the correspondence between Dave and Dr. Phil is a stretch, but the rest of it is true.

Nathaniel Yoder shot Dave - the deer, not his cousin - on Sept. 22, 2012. Of all the nicknames Nathaniel might've chosen for the buck, he chose Dave because his cousin became unhinged after seeing a trail camera image of the big Harrison County Typical standing over a mineral lick.

Nathaniel was pretty excited, too, and he couldn't keep it under wraps for long. He wound up passing it around at a family reunion, which is when Dave saw it.

"He thought the rack might gross 190. He got so torn up about it that we ended up naming the big buck Dave," Nathaniel grinned.

Nathaniel hunted only one afternoon during the first three weeks of the bow season. His second trip to the woods was on the afternoon of Sept. 22.

About 6:15, he heard and then saw a small 8-pointer that he hoped was the same 4x4 often photographed with the buck he called Dave. It was indeed.

As soon as the second buck stepped into the open, he recognized it immediately. After passing up a less-than-perfect opportunity at 30 yards, Nathaniel wound up with an 18-yard shot.

[Read the rest of this article...]

13
What a Difference a Year Makes!

Had the curtain not been about to fall on Kentucky's 2011 deer season, Hebron bowhunter Jim Hill might've taken the 30-yard poke at the 150-inch 10-pointer he'd nicknamed the Grapevine Ten. He chose not to, to let the buck live at least one more year, because he thought enough of his neighbors had tagged out so that it could.

That wasn't the case a couple of weeks earlier, when the whitetail's antlers became entangled in some vines just 25 yards from his treestand. The scene was almost biblical.

If the animal had remained still long enough, Jim's bowstring would've hummed. But it managed to free itself and leave forthwith, before Jim could say "Jack Robinson."

"After that, I nicknamed him the Grapevine Ten," Jim said. "In addition to the nice rack, he had a calcium deposit on a front leg that made him easily recognizable."

That summer, Jim planted a clover plot near the buck's stomping grounds, and he retrieved his first trail camera photograph of it in June. With two more months to grow, its rack was already as big as it had been in 2011.

By late August, the deer was passing in front of the camera four times a day before it changed food sources and disappeared.

Jim hunted the field edges throughout September and most of October, but he didn't see the Grapevine Ten until Oct. 28, when he moved deeper into the property.

[Read the rest of this article...]

06
Hello, Stranger

When the 13-pointer stopped mugging for Ashley Bugg's trail camera in January 2012, the hunter from Corydon, Ky., assumed the deer he'd been watching for two seasons was pushing up daisies.

"In the last photograph I had of the buck, it looked to be in bad shape," Ashley said. "Its gut was all sunk in. I still kept checking the camera and hoping, but that was it."

Writing off the whitetail as being dead, however, proved to be 11 months premature.

With no more than half an hour of daylight remaining on Nov. 16, a doe passed through the area Ashley was watching. A buck strolled onstage 10 minutes later.

A glimpse of the rack's left side was all Ashley needed in the way of incentive. He picked up his rifle, aimed and squeezed the trigger, knowing only that the whitetail was much bigger than the 9-pointer he'd been hoping to see from a stand.

There was no bang, however. Not even a click, unless the pop of a jaw falling open counts.

Ashley had forgotten to disengage his gun's safety.

He managed to regroup and take a shot nonetheless, even though he was a bit rattled and the deer was farther along in its quest for a girlfriend.

After a night spent wondering if he'd blown his chance, Ashley recovered the buck the next day. And he was doubly thrilled as he approached the fallen giant.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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