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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for February 2011

Two New Records for Kansas

In the shadow of 2009, the best year on record for world-class whitetails, last hunting season wasn’t particularly noteworthy. But I know a couple of gents in Kansas who’ll say it ain’t so.

Both men shot new state records in 2010.

At 170 inches (not counting the 18-inch inside spread), the buck taken by Wesley Allen Eagleburger on Dec. 1 is not only the Sunflower State’s new No. 1 Perfect in the rifle category, but it’s also the biggest harvested there by any means. The Norton County specimen is a gorgeous 5x5 with one small kicker on the left side, altogether nearly 6 inches bigger than the previous record set in 1998.

Two months before Eagleburger earned his spot in the book, Tracy Atchison smoked a new No. 1 Perfect for Kansas in the blackpowder category. It tallies 163 4/8 (sans spread), 5 1/8 inches more than the previous king of the hill shot by David Prine in 2009.

The above scores might not sound impressive nowadays, when 200-inchers are far more attainable than they used to be. But mature whitetails rarely sport perfect antlers. The older a buck gets, the more likely its rack is to sprout a few stickers and kickers.

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A Giant Among Many

Michael Hanlon’s buck isn’t going to break any records, but it sure turns a lot of heads. If the velvet doesn’t get your attention, the left side’s tall tines and the right’s strange configuration — a three-point typical frame with an extra 22-inch beam on the backside — are sure to make you breathe through your open mouth.

Probably another corn-fed buck from the Midwest, right?


Ask any hunter to name the top whitetail states, the ones coughing up the most book deer, and the answers will likely include Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin and Iowa. I’d be very surprised if anybody mentioned Louisiana, which is where Hanlon arrowed his buck.

The Sportsman’s Paradise conjures many images: crawfish, bayous, alligators, killer hurricanes, LSU and Bourbon Street. Deer don’t really come to mind, but they should.

My introduction to the real Land of Giants came in 1999, when I met Cecil Reddick at a Tallulah, La., truck stop. We drove south into Vidalia, where Cecil (now the BTR’s regional director for Louisiana and Mississippi) measured a nearly 300-inch whitetail shot back in 1947. I was there to get the story.

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Mississippi Has a New Record

As suspected, Will Rives’ Jefferson County, Miss., buck – posted here on the Braggin Board 13 days after he arrowed it – is indeed a new state record within the BTR. But not as a Typical.

The 17-pointer carries a super strong 6x5 mainframe, but the six irregular points contribute just enough to the rack’s score so that it winds up a Semi-irregular by Buckmasters’ yardstick. The official score, which doesn’t include inside spread, is 183 4/8 inches. That’s the figure we use to rank deer. The composite (true gross) score is 200 6/8.

I’m fairly certain that Will’s buck will be recognized as a state-record Typical with the Pope and Young Club, too, although deductions will knock its score down to the low to mid-170s.

If Will were to take a hacksaw to that gorgeous rack and remove the kickers, it would gain 15 to 20 inches with B&C. Is that crazy or what?

That, friends, is why the BTR came into being. Speaking of which...

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Catahoula Moose

Benjamin Landry of Louisiana is the latest deer hunter to wrap his hands around one of nature’s rarest whitetail racks. The palmated antlers of the Catahoula Parish buck he shot on Jan. 22 might not have exceptionally long points, but there are several, and the last two circumference measurements on each side should nudge this rifle harvest into our record book.

I heard about this rascal from Greg Hicks, who pens many of the stories at Benjamin tells this one in his own words, however, which reminds me: Wouldn’t YOU like to be paid to write hunting stories?

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