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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Deer for the Doppelganger

Sometimes it pays to stop and smell the hay -- words to live by, according to an Arkansas tree-trimmer who counts friends like a banker counts money.

During a break from chasing turkeys in Kansas in the spring of 2010, Robert Weaver decided to cool his heels and watch someone cutting hay. The big John Deere looked like a house on wheels, and he'd never seen such a piece of machinery back home in Pine Bluff, Ark.

He noticed, too, that another of the guys there kept stealing glances at him. The man pretended he wasn't staring, but then he dropped the pretense.

"He finally just lit up and said, 'You're him!'" Robert laughed. "He thought I was Larry the Cable Guy. You know, the 'get-er-done' fella?

"He didn't believe me, at first, when I told him no," he added.

The two men became fast friends afterward.

"I guess you could say I've got the gift of gab," not-Larry said.

Robert didn't need another place to hunt in Kansas; didn't seek it. He and a friend stay at a log cabin on 200 acres, and they hunt it as well as some small walk-in tracts. But he wound up with a new set of hunting rights anyway.

The second season Robert hunted his new friends' place, he found the Holy Grail of deer hunting, which is about what it takes for him to squeeze the trigger in Kansas.

"I'm not going out there to shoot a 140- or 150-inch whitetail," he added. "I'll eat a tag sandwich before I shoot a 3 1/2- or 4 1/2-year-old deer. I've got plenty of those back home in Arkansas."

[Read the rest of this article...]


For as long as people have had the ability to post and view photographs over Al Gore's Internet, deer hunters have tried hoodwinking their buddies.

Such pranks have almost become the world's largest caption contest, in which it's not uncommon to see the same photo of a giant buck that, according to various e-mail subject lines, was killed in no fewer than 17 states. It's progressed to the point that many people summarily dismiss claims unless the photo includes a license plate or carries a time-date stamp.

Jim Wilson of Chase City, Va., learned this lesson the hard way, when he almost became the laughingstock at his workplace for daring to show coworkers a photo taken by his new trail camera. If anyone actually believed that the impossibly wide-racked whitetail was photographed on his 27 acres, they kept mum.

By the end of October 2012, however, all their tongues were wagging.

On the evening of Oct. 30, after Hurricane Sandy had interrupted Jim's quest for a couple of weeks, Jim watched this buck come in on the trail he'd walked to his ladder stand. He'd doused his boots with Tink's #69 after parking his vehicle.

"At 5:00, I looked up and saw big boy trotting down the same path I'd walked, his nose to the ground. He was at 50 yards and closing fast," he said.

Knowing the buck would soon be in thick cover, Jim took the shot with his crossbow when it was at 28 yards.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Man-drive Yields Runner-up to Minnesota Record

Having a Gould point a shotgun at you, if you're a deer or a clay target, is a good way to get dead.

This is abundantly clear to all who know brothers Aaron and Steve from Alexandria, Minn., who travel the country with their Winchesters to wow audiences with their reflexive marksmanship.

Aaron, capable of busting clays between one-armed pushups, proved last fall that he doesn't need target loads and choke tubes to bring home the bacon. He can also get the job done with one piece of lead.

That is, if he can find the time away from exhibition shooting to spend in the woods back home.

Aaron missed his chance in 2011, the first time in 18 years he'd not joined the family for the firearms opener. But he made it last year, thanks in large part to knowing there was a 200-plus-incher roaming the tract they normally hunt.

They had a shed and trail camera photographs of it.

On the second man-drive during the season's second day, he saw it in the flesh.

"As usual, I was a walker," Aaron said. "As we approached to within about 150 yards of the standers, I could hear deer moving through the brush in front of the walkers who were (skirting) the swamp to my right. The deer could smell the standers upwind and were trying to find a way out of there."

[Read the rest of this article...]

Plenty of Joy in Mudville

Jeremy Schmeidler might no longer play baseball, but that doesn't mean he's incapable of hitting a wicked curve ball out of the park.

Nine days into the Sunflower State's 2012 bow season, the 33-year-old from Hays, Kan., decided to ditch the game plan he'd so carefully crafted in favor of a whim. Rather than gamble with a less-than-ideal wind and a hunter-savvy buck, he rolled the dice by spending the evening inside an abandoned house on his 750 acres.

Doing so meant that if Jeremy even saw Wild Thing, the buck he so desperately wanted, he'd have no knowledge of his approach and only a minute to react if he did. It would almost be like taking a blind swing at a fastball.

Jeremy retrieved a trail camera photograph of this buck in May. Although it was very early in the antler growing season and the deer's main beams hadn't grown far beyond the budding brow tines, the mass was incredible. Also, the bases were encircled by irregular points.

"It was very obvious this buck was turning into something special," Jeremy said. "By the first week of August, he was a bonafide giant. We were 100 percent sure he would top the 200-inch mark."

Jeremy's quest for Wild Thing was filmed for the TV show "Full Draw Adventures" – nine innings worth of footage to produce an episode that's supposed to air in July.

A week after a very close call, they got the ending they wanted.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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