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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Fantasy Island is in the Mighty Mississippi

Fainting dead away might've been the only thing Joshua Bruce didn't do during the last morning of his 2012 hunt at Giles Island, a commercial hunting operation on the Louisiana side of the father of all rivers, though it's considered part of Mississippi.

Joshua shook, probably squeaked, banged his rifle on the shooting house window, lost the use of his fingers and fell down twice. If he'd had any nerve pills, he might've chipmunked a handful.

The disabled veteran from Alexandria, La., was as rattled as a mouse in cage full of cats, and with good reason.

"It took me awhile to realize I'd actually shot this buck," he said of the nearly 270-inch (gross) whitetail that was his ungluing. "I then spiked my hat, like a football player, and started dancing around inside the shooting house. It was not exactly my best moment as a sportsman.

"Later, when T-Bird and I were going to look at it, nothing on my body was working properly," the 32-year-old hunter continued. "My fingers couldn't hit the right buttons on my phone, and my legs wouldn't work. I fell down twice while walking to the deer."

T-Bird - real name Tony Klingler -- was his guide that morning, the man who told Joshua he could shoot, the man who knew that waiting increased the odds of the deer's being hit only by an echo. Before the bullet left the gun, both men knew exactly which buck was in the crosshairs: a deer everyone at Giles Island called The Rock.

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Man's First Bowkill Shatters Record in Texas

For four years, Robert Taylor and his son, Jerry, retrieved nighttime trail camera photographs of a buck that appeared to have 30 or more points. They saw it first in 2009, and it grew bigger every year.

Robert, a 50-year-old homebuilder from Aubrey, Texas, owns 4.7 acres north of Lake Ray Roberts in Grayson County. Until this buck showed, they hunted that place mainly because it was closer to home than the lease they hunt near Childress, where chances of taking much bigger whitetails are far greater.

Last season, Jerry wound up shooting a double-beamed 9-pointer, which meant his father had dibs. And when the buck of many points showed up for the first time on Dec. 11, Robert devoted 16 of the next 18 days to lying in wait for it.

He almost got his chance a day or two after they retrieved the initial photo, but a limb blocked the shot. Opportunity came knocking again on Dec. 29.

The buck appeared close to 5:00, jumped the fence and snuffled up a few corn kernels at the farthest feeder. It then went onto the food plot Robert's homemade treestand overlooks.

A short while later, it joined some does and another buck almost underneath the bodock tree supporting the wide-eyed hunter. When Robert released his arrow, the deer was merely 15 yards from him.

Even though he'd drooled over photographs and even seen the buck in the flesh a half-dozen times, Robert still didn't realize just how substantial his buck is until it was green-scored by a couple of Pope and Young measurers. After two or three hours of deliberating and measuring, they arrived at close to 250 inches, which meant it was a contender as a new state P&Y record -- on par with another 2012 buck arrowed earlier that season.

I had the privilege of measuring this buck for the BTR. Because of our rules regarding cluster and common base points, rules that rarely even come into play, the deer fares much better with us. As a 53-pointer, it carries a composite (true gross) score of 284 4/8 inches.

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Shane's World

You don't have to read this to get the story behind one of the biggest bucks that hit the dirt in Kansas last season. Just click HERE.

The 14-minute Youtube video opens with a couple of high-schoolers sitting in a den and setting the stage for a short deer hunt. They're a bit like the characters Wayne and Garth from the mid-1980s SNL skit "Wayne's World," although these teenagers were born long after Dana Carvey and Mike Myers left "Saturday Night Live."

There's footage of one of the guys, Shane King, rattling, followed by glimpses of one of the biggest free-roaming bucks ever filmed as it freshens several scrapes before presenting a shot.

What begins as a self-filmed, public-access-type broadcast from a homemade studio ends with the recovery of an enormous whitetail that might well launch Shane's career in the outdoors industry.

The senior at Salina South High School knew this buck was roaming the property he hunts. He'd seen it twice, both times well beyond bow range. The 18-year-old bowhunter was so obsessed with it that he passed up numerous deer afterward, including some chip-shots at animals that would've made the rest of us drool.

Shane and his buddy went to the 80-yard-wide strip of woods on Friday evening, Nov. 2.  Shane's stand was facing north, very near the field's edge to his right. Baxter, who had already tagged out for the year, was armed with a video camera and 40 yards deeper into the creek bottom in a climbing stand.

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The Scarlet Letter

Tony Yoder might prefer not to dwell on the day he white-knuckled his bow and torqued the shot at the biggest whitetail he's ever encountered. But every time he visits his brother, Winston, the memories come flooding back ... of seeing the monstrous buck, shooting at it, spending an entire day looking for it, and then seeing his arrow protruding from the dead animal's back two days later.

That arrow, however, was sort of a scarlet letter. Unlike his brother's, which was responsible for the buck's undoing, Tony's arrow was a monument to a botched shot, there for the entire world to see.

"That's why we call it the Big Deuce," says Winston, putting a positive spin on things. "Because it took two Yoders and two arrows to bring him down."

Tony's shot at the Illinois bruiser came on Monday, Nov. 5, the first evening of the brothers' planned 10-day hunt in Adams County. He was hunting from a ladder stand overlooking a food plot when the enormous buck strolled within range.

He and Winston found and followed a faint blood trail to the property's bedding area before deciding they'd have an easier time tracking in daylight.

"We looked all day Tuesday, to no avail. We didn't even hunt," Winston said.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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