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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for September 2012

Making Friends Abroad

An Ohio real estate agent learned last year that the best way to hit a curve ball is to go out swinging.

After severely injuring his hand and ulnar nerve during a bowhunting trip to Arizona early in 2011, Matt Sheterom thought he’d be sidelined for the rest of the season, at best. He feared he might never again be able to hunt with a bow.

But that was before he struck up a conversation with a fellow vacationer, also from Ohio, in the Dominican Republic. Their idle hunting chat resulted in his becoming fast friends with Steve Esker.

“When I told Steve I couldn’t hold a compound bow any longer and might have to forego the upcoming hunting season, he told me of all the shoulder issues he suffers and how he now hunts with a crossbow,” Matt said.

“We became fast friends, and he offered to help me in any way he could.”

[Read the rest of this article...]

Rena the Enabler

Rena Altman’s coworkers know she’s married to an addict.

That became perfectly clear last fall, when her husband, Dave, called her workplace. High as a kite, he badgered a secretary into patching his call through to her.

“I did it,” he said, a three-word sentence almost too much for him to utter. “The big one.”

Like most addicts, Dave takes no responsibility for his actions.

“It’s my wife’s fault,” he says.

In April 2009, Rena and her sister, Robin, were walking in a field close to their Pennsylvania home and came upon a shed antler.

“My wife took a picture of it with her phone and sent it to my niece as she and I were getting ready for a bass tournament,” Dave said. “She asked, ‘Should I bring it home?’”


“It was huge,” Dave said. “I couldn’t wait for them to get home so I could see it in person.”

Dave spent the next several weeks looking for the antler’s mate without success. He even dreamed about the buck.

But he didn’t really go out of his way to hunt it.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Trading a Broadhead for a Bullet

Does giveth, and they taketh away.

Don Barbour of Mishawaka, Ind., is all too familiar with this bowhunter’s proverb.

On the last afternoon of Indiana’s early archery season in 2010, he jumped a bedded buck and doe while walking to his stand. Because the wind was blowing in Don’s favor, they never smelled him, and it’s doubtful they saw him, which explains why they didn’t head for the next county.

The doe bedded down again on the other side of a fencerow, and the buck had no intention of leaving her. Don and her suitor stared at each other from a mere 40 yards, but the wall of vegetation between them was too thick to allow a shot.

Accepting fate, Don watched the buck through his field glasses. He counted six points on each side of its rack, but there was something weird about the brow tines. They were wrapped with weeds or something.

“I really wanted to get a shot at that buck, so I tried moving parallel,” he said. “After taking one step, however, I decided I couldn’t do it. The leaves were just too dry.”

A half-half later, the doe stood and bounded off toward the next nearest patch of woods, buck in tow.

[Read the rest of this article...]

Anyman's Land Produces Another Louisiana Record

A guy at last month’s Buckmasters Expo asked me which states are the top yielders of record book deer.

“No, wait. Let me guess: Illinois, Wisconsin and Texas, right?” he ventured.

“Nope,” I answered. “If you want the top three, they’re Kansas, Louisiana and Ohio.”

“I can see Kansas and Ohio, but Louisiana? Really?” he asked.

At just that moment, Cecil Reddick, the BTR’s regional director for Louisiana and Mississippi, wandered into the conversation and began counting off the 200-inchers taken in his home state last season.

“And several of those came off public land … in a state where licenses are sold over the counter,” I added.

“No way!” the man said.


Several of these bucks have been or will be featured in Rack magazine this year. Ricky Caldwell’s giant, taken off the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, is among them. In fact, his is the second new state record to come out of the Tensas in 2011.Ricky, his son and some friends own a small lot on the Tensas River, and they hunt the refuge where Ricky shot his very first deer back in 1965 – before the tract was sold to the government.

He’s a farmer, which means he has plenty of time for hunting between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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