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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for February 2012

Mikey Will be Missed

Michaella Monroe, the Kentucky teenager who shot the giant 24-pointer that was featured in the July issue of Rack magazine, was killed in an automobile accident last month. She was riding with two classmates when their truck overturned on Mike Brown Road. Shelby Bockting, 17, also died at the scene. The third girl, 16-year-old Jenna Rigsby, was airlifted, hospitalized and released. Michaella, known as "Mikey," was still in diapers when her father, Paul, began carrying her deer hunting with him. She shot her first deer, an 8-pointer, when she was 5. "Daddy held the gun, but I aimed it and pulled the trigger," she told Lisa Price, who wrote the story for Rack. "The scope hit me in the nose, but I didn't care. I just wanted to go find the deer." She was also hunting with her father in 2009, when she shot the largest buck taken in Kentucky that year. It was Oct. 11, the second day of the state's youth season. They'd glimpsed the buck the previous day, while retrieving a deer shot by her little brother Cody. About 15 minutes before dark, the buck with the familiar rack sauntered out of the woods. She missed on her first shot, but connected with the second. She also shot a doe while they were waiting to track the buck. After not finding any sign of a hit that night, Mikey, her dad and grandfather, Danny Aldridge, resumed looking and found the deer the following morning.  "When I got up to it, I just fell to my knees in the water," Mikey said. "That's when I saw my grandfather standing above me on the bank."

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Lethal, But Not Legal

In this David-and-Goliath story, nobody wins because the slingshot was too small.

Most states with rifle seasons for deer spell out which calibers are acceptable by imposing a minimum. The same goes for other game animals like waterfowl and turkeys, though it's shot size vs. bullet caliber.

In Louisiana, the smallest rifle ammo sanctioned for deer is a centerfire cartridge in the .22 family. This does not include the rimfires used for plinking and toppling squirrels.

Billy W. Jordan, 54, of Winnsboro, La., learned that lesson the hard way last month when officers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries knocked on his door. Jordan allegedly admitted he used a rifle chambered for the .204 Ruger to take a giant whitetail on Dec. 28 that set tongues wagging well beyond Catahoula Parish, where he shot it, and his hometown in Franklin Parish.

The fine for such a violation ranges from $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail. Also, any animal harvested by illegal means usually becomes the property of the state.

Jordan's troubles might have ended there had he not entered the nearly 25-inch-wide 15-pointer in four big buck contests. That he claimed to have shot the deer legally, even if he thought he had, is also considered "contest fraud," which also carries a fine of up to $3,000 and up to a year in jail per count. Plus, he will be assessed civil restitution of $2,033 for the value of the deer, according to the LDWF.

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Who Needs a Zoom Lens?

One minute, 37 seconds, from the magnificent buck's surefooted arrival to its hasty and wobbly departure.

That's how much video footage a pair of teenagers recorded of the biggest whitetail to come out of Knox County, Ohio, in seven years. Brothers a year apart, one filmed while the other shot it with his bow.

The excellent clip, which was posted on YouTube three days later, pretty much tells the story in pictures, since there's no speaking. The only sound is the thwunk of Perry Kise's bow a split-second before the giant buck -- already ill at ease -- puts pedal to the metal.

Even without a camera rolling, 17-year-old Perry is short on words. Brother Ryan, 18, is a little more talkative. It's clear the harvest was a team effort.

The brothers were hunting the family's 45 acres, Perry behind the bow and Ryan behind a video camera. They'd agreed early on that Ryan would do the filming until Perry shot a deer, and then they'd switch roles.

They first spotted the distinctive buck on Wednesday, Oct. 26, while hunting the piney side of their property. It was at 100 yards and heading away from them, probably en route to a fruit orchard about 200 yards into the neighboring Amish farmer's land.

About three hours before dark the next evening, the Kises set up on the other side of the farm, closer to where they'd seen the buck and where their father had built a box blind in the brush.

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Redecorating in Truro, Iowa

From all reports, Emma Foreman's mother does not like taxidermy. But having to stare at the glass eyes of a mounted buck is a small price to pay for the smile on her 11-year-old daughter's cherubic face.

She probably doesn't want to think about what'll happen if Emma's little sister or brother happen to shoot deer as big as the one Emma smoked on Sept. 17, 2011.

Had Gerrit Foreman not just begun a two-day shift at the Clive Fire Department nearly 40 miles from their home in Truro, Iowa, he would've taken his daughter hunting on opening day of youth season. But it fell to Uncle BJ to don his bright orange chauffeur's cap.

He took her to the same Warren County treestand where Emma had taken two bucks in seasons past. They arrived at the edge of the hay field to discover the farmer had burned some brush beside the stand; the pile was still smoldering. BJ thought sitting there would be a waste of time, but Emma wanted to climb into the stand anyway.

Gerrit received the day's first text message and photo a short while later.

"It was a picture of Emma with a kitten in her lap," he said, "and the text message said, 'Emma wants to know if she can take this home with her.'"

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