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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for June 2013

No Snooze for Bob

Bob Weber of Ottawa, Ill., would've gladly remained under the blankets on Jan. 19, but his 12-year-old stepson, Jake, doesn't have a snooze button.

The boy rousted him at 4:30 a.m., eager to usher out the 2012-13 season. Bob, who'd been fighting an upper respiratory infection, might've preferred to stay indoors, but Jake's birthday also fell on that weekend, and he wasn't about to deny him an opportunity to shoot a deer.

Rather than go to their usual box blind, they hunted from the ground. About an hour after sunrise, Bob circled well out in front of his stepson with the intent of pushing a deer into the boy's lap.

He hadn't gone far when he saw about 20 does heading northwest up a ridge, away from Jake. There was no way he could get in front of them.

Bob suspected that one or more bucks might be following the herd, so he rested his muzzleloader against a tree and scoped the area behind the does. Sure enough, he spotted three bucks, the largest about 50 yards behind the others - all too far away to shoot.

It took awhile, and the stalk was stop-and-go, but Bob wound up creeping within 60 yards of and shooting the big one.

"Afterward, I walked back to Jake to tell him what had happened," Bob said. "As I neared my stepson, the cough I had been suppressing all that time finally erupted.

"Jake laughed and said, ‘You sound like John Coffey from ‘The Green Mile,' hacking up something fierce!'" he added.

The boy was elated. Bob was, too, when he finally stopped coughing long enough to smile.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Two Up, One Down

Whenever two hunters share a stand, deer are twice as likely to see or smell danger, right?

You can count Phillip Carter and Roger Hill among the non-believers. The brothers-in-law weren't in the same stand, but they were sharing a tree when a state-record whitetail foolishly wandered too close.

And, no, the deer wasn't blind or in need of a decongestant.

These guys spent most of the 2012 season hunting a giant buck on a new piece of ground they were test-driving. But when they learned a neighbor shot it, they reluctantly refocused their attention on their shared 80-acre homestead.

Seeing two trail camera photographs of an even bigger buck in their back yard made them forget about the mount that could've been.

A week after gawking at those pictures, Phillip and Roger went out together on Dec. 30. They were aloft by 3:30.

Not quite a couple of hours later, Phillip hissed, "There he is!"

When the magnificent buck was at 50 yards, Phillip wanted to launch an arrow. But Roger convinced him to wait.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Ever Try a Whort-Sneeze?

If you see shelves bearing "Sneeze(s) in a Can" in your favorite sporting goods store this summer, don't laugh. Just pull out your wallet and thank Larry Finley.

After losing the battle to stifle a sneeze last November, the deer hunter from London, Ky., barely had time to wipe his nose before a 226 7/8-inch (composite score) whitetail ran into his bullet.

Larry is among 13 friends who lease 880 acres on the Ohio River in Pendleton County.

Because many members had stumbled across sign indicating a very large buck was living within their jurisdiction, not even the worst weather imaginable could keep them home when the rifle season commenced.

"It was warm that weekend, actually the worst hunting conditions you could ask for," remembered Larry, who chose to hunt from a borrowed ladder stand overlooking a sign-riddled hollow he'd discovered the first year he joined the club.

Opening Saturday was a bust, but Sunday's hunt was a short one.

"My allergies were killing me," Larry said. "After a while, I sneezed … not very loud. Next, I was just sitting there with my head back when I heard a shot."

When he sat up and looked around, Larry saw this buck charging downhill. He didn't think twice before squeezing the trigger.

After sitting there for about 30 minutes, Larry got down and began to look for blood. When he found some, he returned to the clubhouse to recruit helpers.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Jekyll-and-Hyde Rack

Powerless to do anything but gawk, Jeff Yelton's gaze shifted back and forth from the deer with the strange rack to his watch. Always one to follow the rules, the hunter from Chesterton, Ind., knew it wasn't yet light enough to legally squeeze his muzzleloader's trigger.

He was almost convinced something was wrong with his too-slow watch.

He KNEW something was wrong with the animal's antlers.

The left side of the rack was normal, if not extraordinary. If Jeff had bothered to count the points, he'd have tallied six long (typical) ones on that side alone.

But it was the right side that kept him from counting, which demanded attention. All that junk couldn't be antler, could it?

Jeff's question wasn't answered until four days later, because the deer disappeared before the man's timepiece gave the okay to shoot.

Jeff was back in that power line stand on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Close to 8:00, he saw the second buck of the morning about 150 yards down the right-of-way.

He eventually realized it was the buck with the messed-up antlers, and when it came to within 80 yards, he squeezed off a shot.

The right side of this Porter County, Ind., buck's rack is 26 inches larger than the impressive, 6-point left antler. It's easy to see why Jeff was confused when he first saw the deer.

Its BTR composite (true gross) score is 198 7/8.

A miscalculation of where the buck was standing when the bullet struck almost resulted in Jeff believing he'd missed. Ed Waite tells the whole story, which should be a lesson to all, in RACK magazine this fall.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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