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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for January 2012

Cooler Than Cool

Soon after Terry Poland and his 12-year-old son, Joshua, scaled the double ladder stand in Corcordia Parish, La., the kid began thinking out loud.

"Daddy, any bucks I kill from now on (he'd taken seven or eight deer in the four years leading up to then), I want a skull mount. I think those look cool," he said.

"Sure, son," Terry agreed.

Before the sun set, Joshua forgot all about the coolness of skull mounts.

The Polands were hunting the same club where, as a guest, Joshua shot his first doe when he was 8 years old. Terry had joined the club in 2011, mainly because it's only an hour's drive from their home near Delhi. Plus, they attend church with a longtime member.

That was their first time to hunt together this season, and they hadn't been in the stand long when a buck knifed through the palmettos on the other side of a cypress brake they were watching. After staring at it for a long time, Terry finally decided it was at least an 8-pointer, which is the club's minimum, and told Joshua he could shoot it.

Finding it in the palmettos afterward took awhile, but when they did, they were amazed. What both guys had figured for a barely legal 8-pointer had morphed into a 200-plus-incher.

"We had no idea ... none ... that the buck was this big," Terry said. "I thought it was an 8- or 10-pointer, probably 140 or 145 inches."

The Polands might have been new faces in the club, but the deer was no stranger to some of its members. Two hunters had trail cam photos of the strange buck; one even had video footage. Another hunter had passed up the deer earlier because he just couldn't verify that it was an 8-pointer until it was too late.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Where There's a Will...

Don't tell Will Rives that lightning won't strike twice.

Last year, the bowhunter from Natchez arrowed a new Mississippi record Semi-irregular -- 183 4/8 inches on the Buckmasters scale (with a composite score of 200 6/8). Although the deer actually fared better with the BTR, a Pope-and-Young score of 172 put it in their top spot as well.

Two weeks ago, Will stuck what might be a new No. 1 Typical for both the BTR, a second state record with us, and P&Y. Mississippi Sportsman Magazine reports that his most recent buck has been rough-scored at 187. I don't know if that's a net or gross figure.

"I called my wife and told her, 'You won't believe it. I killed another one like the one I got last year. Something bad is about to happen,'" Will laughed. "To be lucky enough to kill two of them ... is about the odds of winning the Power Ball."

Will told the Sportsman he chose the spot because he'd found one enormous track under an oak. He was aloft by 2 p.m. on Jan. 2 when the deer came to snarf up acorns. The shot was 23 yards.

The buck carries a mainframe 5x5 rack with a forked left brow tine. The bases reportedly measure between 6 and 6 1/2 inches. It hasn't been taped for BTR yet.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Kentucky Yields Another Medusa Buck

Spending all day Saturday and Sunday, opening weekend of Kentucky's late blackpowder season, sitting inside his truck was pure torture for Michael Rothman.

The 44-year-old from Bonnieville works as a maintenance mechanic at Fort Knox, where he also serves as a "guide" for Unit 42 during special hunts. Being a guide basically means he checks hunters' paperwork, checks-in their deer and otherwise sits in his truck all day. It means waking up at 1:30 a.m., eating breakfast at a truck stop, and then going to the base.

He cannot leave until 5:30 or later.

On Dec. 8, the Thursday before he had weekend duty, Michael checked his trail cam and retrieved a photograph of a buck with antlers resembling a den of timber rattlers. He could think of nothing else afterward.

"I lost a lot of sleep," he said. "I'd close my eyes, and all I could see was this deer."

He was able to check his camera again on Dec. 12, while he and his oldest daughter, Megan, hunted. Much to his delight, the Medusa Buck had wandered in front of the lens on Dec. 10 and 11, so he knew it had survived the muzzleloader opener.

Michael took off the rest of the week to ... um ... nurse a sore back.

While sitting in Megan's double ladder stand on a frosty Sunday, Dec. 18, he found the perfect remedy for both back pain and sleepless nights. The pill was dispensed by his .50-caliber T/C.

If this strange whitetail looks familiar, it probably isn't. A very similar buck was taken off Fort Knox, where Michael works. But he shot this rascal on the family's 325 acres in Hart County. Ironically, he and Justin Corn, the guy who shot the other one, live only 20 miles apart.

[Read the rest of this article...]

New No. 1 for the Sunflower State

James Yelton of Glen Rock, Pa., thought he'd won the deer hunting lottery in 2010, when he harvested a 160-class non-typical while hunting Maryland's Eastern Shore.

But he was wrong.

Yelton's winning numbers came up THIS season while he and his wife, Helen, were hunting a friend's ground in Greenwood County, Kan. The payoff was a new state-record typical in the BTR's crossbow category.

Many hunters don't realize that Buckmasters offers the only national record book with a category specifically for deer bagged with crossbows. The Pope and Young Club doesn't accept these whitetails, and B&C doesn't differentiate a bowkill from one felled by gun or even found dead (theirs is based purely on score).

Yelton's mainframe 12-pointer, the only irregular point being a fork off its left P-2, has an official score of 172 4/8 inches; its composite (true gross) score is an incredible 194 4/8 inches.

“I've hunted 38 years to get one like this,” said the 51-year-old workaholic, who puts in 16-hour days – seven a week -- at his specialty flooring company. When winter arrives, he spends as much time as possible in the deer woods, including a week or two in Kansas.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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