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Doug Webber • 11/06/2012 • Grant County , North Dakota • Bow

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Kris Melancon • 11/19/10 • Concordia Parish, Louisiana • Rifle

Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

The Wind and the Willows

On Nov. 18, the Monday following an unsuccessful opening weekend of New York's 2013 shotgun season, Tom Sheridan left the auto body repair shop early in order to rush home and hunt the remains of the day. The wind was supposed to cease gusting that afternoon in Onondaga County, and he was eager to be in a deer stand.

"I hate to hunt in the wind," the 51-year-old said. "And we'd had wind gusts of up to 40 mph."

He left work at 3:00, drove home to Jamesville and suited up, and then walked outside. His stand is less than 200 yards from his door.

The wind hadn't died, but he took off anyway.

About 10 minutes into his trek, Tom thought he spotted something "weird" in the nearby brush. Originally, he thought the wind was simply whipping the woody vegetation, but then he realized that section of brush was a whole lot whiter than the rest.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Going the Distance

South Louisiana hunters are accustomed to racking up miles whenever they set their sights on big deer. The Sportsman's Paradise might yield some of the most bodacious bucks on the planet, but coming across one in Acadiana is like looking for alligators in Minnesota.

That's why 25-year-old John Zaunbrecher Jr. of Eunice, La., doesn't think twice about driving 12 hours to hunt ground with more promise.

On opening day of rifle season in Randolph County, Mo., John put up a brand new ladder stand and decided not to hunt from it until the wind was right. The following Monday, it was.

Thirty minutes after climbing into it, he saw a young buck chasing a doe. Behind them was a much bigger buck.

John tried grunting to stop or at least slow down the wide-racked whitetail, but it ignored him. He then tried "roaring" at it by manipulating the call, also brand new, something he'd never tried before that day.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Much to be Said for Autopilot

Don't you just love it when the "pretty good" buck you thought you shot winds up being a giant? That's a rhetorical question, of course, since most deer hunters are far more apt to experience the opposite.

Dustin Shaffer, however, could answer that question.

When a buck charged out of a honeysuckle patch last season with ears back, looking to kick some whitetail butt, Dustin had no time to count the points on its rack. The appearance of the animal was so sudden, so unexpected, that he barely had time to point his rifle at it.

The Kentuckian's autopilot squeezed the trigger.

[Read the rest of this article...]

New World Record Velvet Buck by Crossbow

Opening day of bow season in Louisiana, when even a tee-shirt can feel like a parka in the often oppressive heat, might still attract hunters itching to get started. But hopes aren't generally high, even if trail cameras are clicking away, night and day.

Such was the case in 2013, when Charles Falkenheiner woke before dawn.  Even though his buddies had generously offered to let him have first crack at an enormous buck they all wanted, Charles thought his first vigil from a stand would be an exercise in futility.

For one thing, he'd convinced himself that accessing the stand before dawn would likely mean spooking the very deer he hoped to see. Plus, the prevailing wind was not going to help matters.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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