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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Golden Oldie Reshuffles Records

 It might've been shot way back in 1942, but the giant whitetail known for decades in Alabama as the Belmont "48-pointer" has never graced the pages of our magazines or record book.

That's about to change, beginning with this blog.

Thanks to Lyle Gilbert, who now owns the mount that has been passed from generation to generation within the Spidle clan, and to BTR master scorer Steve Lucas, the outstanding swamp buck taken by the late Jim Spidle has taken its rightful place in "Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records."

An official score of 225 3/8 inches places it in Alabama's No. 2 spot for Irregulars felled by shotgun; it's the third-largest taken by any means; and, unless I'm mistaken, it's certainly the oldest on record for this state.

Though it was regarded as a 48-pointer for more than four decades, it wasn't. When Jim Spidle shot the deer with the gnarly rack, a point was counted as such if you could hang a ring on it. Nobody measured the deer's antlers while he was alive. Alabama had no record book, Buckmasters' founder hadn't been born, and the Boone and Crockett Club hadn't even dreamt up its current measuring system.

When "Alabama Whitetail Records" publisher Dennis Campbell, then a B&C measurer, put the first tape to the antlers in the mid-1980s, they netted 230 7/8 inches as a 37-pointer. The 11 other ring-holders were less than the requisite inch long.

The Spidle Buck ranked third in the maiden edition of Alabama's record book, which then used the B&C method (later forsaken for a system based on gross scores). Had records been kept the year Spidle harvested his whitetail, it would've been a state record.

There's a neat story behind this deer. Look for it Rack magazine next fall.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Gar Hole Buck Garners Golden Laurel

The Ross County, Ohio, buck taken Nov. 10 by Chris Brazzell will be the 21st recipient of Buckmasters’ Golden Laurel Citation, which is awarded annually to the most significant entry into our record book.

The 11-pointer is a magnificent mainframe 5x5 with a very small kicker on the right P2, which wasn’t enough to define it as a typical rack. With an official score of 181 2/8 inches, the Brazzell Buck is a new world record among Perfects in the compound bow category.

Photographs do no justice to this exceptional whitetail. Its beams are an identical 28 5/8 inches, half the uprights measure more than a foot long, and the first circumferences average out to 6 4/8 inches apiece. And while inside spread does not affect a rack’s ranking within the BTR, it gives this monster deer a composite score of 200 2/8.

Making the accomplishment even sweeter for Chris is that he arrowed the brute on public ground he’d never have hunted without an invite from his pastor, land so uninspiring that the Louisiana hunter even texted his friends: “Man, I’m in a gar hole.”

[Read the rest of this article...]

Defining HOG

 As impressive as its antlers are, especially with the extra beam on the left side, Scott Thrasher’s Bienville Parish buck probably won’t crack the top 50 whitetails felled in Louisiana in 2010. But photographs of the enormous animal have generated just as many, if not more, oohs and ahs than any other Louisiana deer circling cyberspace.

If there was a Deer Hunter’s Dictionary, this rascal’s photo would appear under “hog.”

If you’re surprised such a big-bodied deer came from Louisiana, don’t feel bad. I once thought as you do.

I was so high up an oak overlooking a Louisiana clear-cut that morning, I could feel the whoosh whenever a chevron of geese flew past. So when a shooter 8-pointer tried to sneak through the tall weeds about 50 yards behind me, it didn’t look any bigger than any other I’d seen or harvested throughout North America.

The deer might’ve been 50 steps from the base of the tree, but the shot was closer to 70. I was that high.

A few minutes later, as Cecil Reddick and I were approaching the dead buck, my eyes bulged.

“Look at the size of that deer!” I gasped.

Cecil thought I was talking about its 141-inch rack, which was way cool. But I couldn’t see the antlers at that point. I was talking about the buck’s haunches.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Young Guns

A trio of outstanding northern Missouri bucks was showcased in this space last week, testament to the caliber of whitetails to be found north of Interstate 70, which connects the dots of St. Louis and Kansas City. Even without poring through records, I know the Show Me State was among the top yielders of book bucks in 2010.

I failed to mention, however, that a fair share of last season’s gigantic deer were shot by unlicensed hunters ... as in those too young to buy a regular hunting license. Seems more and more deer hunters are taking advantage of the state’s youth hunt to take kids afield, and the little ones are making their shots count.

I’ve grown accustomed to writing at least one magazine story a year featuring a kid and a colossal whitetail from Missouri. This time around, even more ink will be dedicated to half-pints and their bucks with 10-gallon racks. Two of the best were taken by little girls named Morgan -- Wallace and Reed – on Oct. 30.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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