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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for February 2014

Déjà vu

Stoked by trail camera photographs of an enormous Ohio buck, Lear McCoy spent a lot of time in a treestand in 2012, hoping to put his sight pin on the whitetail with sweeping main beams and gnarly bases.

He got his wish in November of that year.

Right at dusk one evening, the very buck he'd been hoping to see strolled to within 20 yards. A second later, Lear saw his arrow bury up to the fletching before the animal wheeled and left.

He thought he'd made the perfect shot, but he could find neither hide nor hair of the deer. A couple of weeks later, trail cam photos revealed why: It was still very much alive.

Shortly after 2013's first cold front hit the area Lear hunts, he retrieved new images of the deer, which had grown even bigger. So Lear began watching the forecast, waiting for the next significant temperature drop to signal when he'd go in and hunt the buck.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Sure Thing

Greg Reinhardt of Alexandria, Ky., isn't into scouting. He already knows exactly where he'll see the sunrise on opening morning of the Bluegrass State's rifle season.

He and his brother, Randy, refer to the honey hole as "the killing tree," although there aren't any trees there suitable for climbing. That's why it's his rifle setup. When carrying a bow, he goes someplace else.

"Every single hunter in the world would probably pass up that spot if he didn't have the experience we do with it," Greg told Dale Weddle, the BTR scorer who's writing the story for Rack magazine.

"It's usually a 10-o'clock-in-the-morning stand. When gun season comes in and the neighbors get to beating on (the deer) … here they'll come to our cedars," he added.

Sitting there is the closest thing the brothers Reinhardt have found to a guaranteed shot opportunity. The Killing Tree is at the end of a long ridge, offering a nearly 250-yard view down a little finger that leads toward a field.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Lemonade from Lemons

If a relative shoots the buck you've been pining to arrow with your bow, and then saw-wielding, human bush hogs interfere with Plan B, would you hang up your spurs for the season?

Jeff Osborne didn't.

Nothing short of a natural disaster could keep the hunter from Owenton, Ky., indoors during his state's 2013 rifle season.

On the Monday after opening weekend, when most hunters had gone back to work, Jeff headed out before daylight to hunt a spot he'd saved just for rifle season. But about 8:00, just when deer had begun moving through, a crew arrived to cut the brush on a nearby power line.

That afternoon, Jeff went to another farm and walked out a mile-long ridge. He liked the spot so much, he returned there on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Wednesday afternoon, after he'd spent the first 10 minutes sending a few text messages to friends, Jeff looked up and saw a monstrous buck.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Facebook Surprise

Imagine the patience required NOT to go to the very place you believe the buck of your dreams, the one you've skewered, has taken its last breath. Imagine setting an arbitrary 24-hour, chill-out period on the off-chance your chip shot wasn't as lethal as it should've been.

Then imagine logging into Facebook and seeing someone else's smiling face behind YOUR buck.

Mike McCabe doesn't have to imagine these things. He lived this up-and-down tale, literally UP and DOWN, last fall. But at least the paraplegic from Eaton, Ohio, finally got the buck that took him 105 sits to find in his peep sight.

He'd nicknamed this deer Stickers. It was one of two shooters his trail cameras photographed in 2012. He saw both that year, too, but one had broken off most of one of its beams, and Stickers never gave him an opportunity.

When Stickers began passing in front of trail cameras in 2013, Mike was astounded at how much more antler the deer had gained. He waited until the camera yielded daytime photos of the buck before he went after it.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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