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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for December 2013

Kabobs with 19 Skewers

George Morrison of Ghent, Ky., doesn't usually measure deer by the inch. He's more likely to consider pounds.

That's precisely why Keith Grenzebach thought his friend George had mistyped the text message he read on Nov. 17, 2012, because George - an avowed meat hunter - doesn't normally shoot big deer.

A "20-pointer?"


But it wasn't a typo, even if George had counted one of the many points twice.

George and Keith were hunting adjacent tracts on the second weekend of Kentucky's rifle season. Neither saw any deer that morning. They came out for lunch, and then returned to the woods close to 2:30.

Toward the end of the day, George grew antsy. As much out of boredom as with any strategy in mind, he decided to get down and still-hunt the 300 yards back to where he'd parked his four-wheeler.

"When I reached the top of the ridge, I immediately saw a flash of movement," he said. "There just happened to be a tree nearby with a fork in it. I rested my gun in the fork and, looking down to the left where the movement came from, I spotted a doe."

That he didn't shoot her - and he normally would - was fortuitous. Moments later, he spotted a huge buck rubbing a tree.

[Read the rest of this article...]

In Praise of Point-and-Shoots

Greg Deckling, like most bowhunters, realizes the importance of practice. If you can't launch at least a few arrows prior to opening day, there's really no point in going.

Even if the sights are dead-on, it takes a little conditioning to be able to draw and hold a compound bow.

The college junior has no place on campus to shoot his bow. But because he lives in Ohio, where crossbows and red-dot sights aren't restricted to the aged and infirm, the lack of practice didn't keep him out of the woods when the season opened last year.

So they'd be able to hunt together, Bill Deckling offered to let his son use a crossbow that had belonged to a friend who'd lost his battle with lung cancer the previous December.

Even so, Greg missed the morning hunt because he'd forgotten to buy his deer tag. It was a major bummer, too, because he was excited at the prospect of encountering one of the several nice bucks his father had been monitoring to that point.

Later in the day, with a fresh license in his wallet, Greg climbed into a stand about 100 yards from his father's.

"About 6:40, I heard what sounded like a deer running through the cornfield behind my stand," he said. "I didn't see anything, at first. I was wondering what the noise had been and where the deer, if it was a deer, had gone.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Rattling, Hard and Loud, Lures Monster within Bow Range

After what happened to Joe Godar on Nov. 9, 2012, it's a pretty safe bet that the Ohio bowhunter will feel naked if he climbs another tree without some kind of rattling antlers.

He and a friend were hunting his property in Highland County that day, the first of three they managed to steal away from their jobs. Although the weather forecast wasn't exactly optimal, they set out to hunt from daylight 'til dark.

About 12:30, Joe ate the lunch he'd packed and shrugged out of a layer of clothes. Before resuming his vigil, he decided to try some aggressive rattling.

"When I sat down and glanced to my left, I saw a buck - a shooter - at 75 yards," he said. "Surprisingly, I did not panic. I didn't really have to deal with buck fever. I just knew and accepted that, for once, I was in the right place at the right time, and it was no time to make a mistake."

[Read the rest of this article...]

Where There's a Will

Like the frog that refuses to let go and be swallowed by a heron, 41-year-old Mike Miller of Marion, Ark., will not go gently into that abyss known as self pity.

He'd rather count points than woes.Before a stem cell transplant from his twin brother, Mark, finally pinned it to the mat, Mike wrestled with leukemia for 18 months. During that time, in 2002 and 2003, the prognosis changed almost weekly.

He wound up beating the cancer, but chemotherapy and radiation treatments left him almost unable to get up and move. Whenever he does, he's rendered almost breathless. And his long-distance vision is impaired.

But he considers himself lucky, since doctors originally predicted he'd not be able to walk.Any one of Mike's myriad ailments would be a perfectly acceptable excuse to quit hunting. But he won't. Friends, family and trading his compound for a crossbow have allowed him to keep at it.

Mike was thrilled in 2012, when his trail camera yielded photographs a nocturnal Cross County buck he and his brother had been hoping to tag for a couple of seasons.

The first chance he got to sit over the food plot - the first time there was a favorable wind – was on Oct. 6. But that hunt was a bust.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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