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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

16
When It's Okay to be Late for Work

Because Darren Schrock of Elkhart, Ind., had one clear weekend to hunt his state's 15-day firearms season in 2013, he was devastated to learn that rain was in the forecast. Determined not to miss his chance altogether - even though he bowhunts, too, and the bow season extends into January - he arranged with his employer to hunt Thursday morning, Nov. 21.

Darren wouldn't have been so determined if he hadn't encountered a centerfold buck a couple of weeks earlier that was just beyond bow range. He wanted more than anything to see that deer again, when distance wouldn't be a hindrance.

"I couldn't get the deer out of my head," he admits. "It was definitely the biggest, live free-roaming buck I'd ever seen!"

He didn't have much time that Thursday morning, but he headed out to the same swamp stand where he'd seen the buck earlier. It was a 400-yard trek, and he sweetened the trail by applying estrous doe scent to his boots about four times en route.

[Read the rest of this article...]

09
A Series of Fortunate Events

After a long day on the job, Mark Sharp wasn't sure he wanted to go bowhunting after work on Nov. 8, 2013. Although that's usually a good time to be in a deer stand, he hadn't seen much activity to that point.

While trying to decide what to do, the man from Washington Court House, Ohio, checked the wind direction several times that day. Still, it was hard to commit.

He wound up calling his brother-in-law during the drive home for their daily discussion of what they'd seen in the woods the previous day.

"He convinced me I should go out that evening," Mark said. "He said, 'It is Nov. 8, dude. You HAVE to!'"

Mark opted to go to a farm he'd hunted only twice that year, a place that had seemed devoid of deer. A buddy had mentioned that the neighbor had finally harvested his corn, which meant the resident whitetails would've been pushed back into the timber.

[Read the rest of this article...]

02
Pleasantly Surprised

It's a pretty safe bet that he wasn't thinking about deer hunters when George Will, the Pulitzer-winning newspaper and magazine columnist, once said "The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised."

Dave Shedron, a 61-year-old volunteer firefighter and bowyer in Walton, Ind., won't argue with that.

So convinced last season that the buck at the top of his Most Wanted list was seconds away from slinking - or streaking - out of his life, Dave ignored the don't-look-at-the-rack rule and gawked.

"I was so sure my hunt was done, that it wasn't going to happen, that I began counting points for my big-one-that-got-away story," he laughed.

[Read the rest of this article...]

23
Déjà vu

Stoked by trail camera photographs of an enormous Ohio buck, Lear McCoy spent a lot of time in a treestand in 2012, hoping to put his sight pin on the whitetail with sweeping main beams and gnarly bases.

He got his wish in November of that year.

Right at dusk one evening, the very buck he'd been hoping to see strolled to within 20 yards. A second later, Lear saw his arrow bury up to the fletching before the animal wheeled and left.

He thought he'd made the perfect shot, but he could find neither hide nor hair of the deer. A couple of weeks later, trail cam photos revealed why: It was still very much alive.

Shortly after 2013's first cold front hit the area Lear hunts, he retrieved new images of the deer, which had grown even bigger. So Lear began watching the forecast, waiting for the next significant temperature drop to signal when he'd go in and hunt the buck.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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