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Brad Burroughs • 01/09/2013 • Marion County , Alabama • Rifle

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Entries for 'Mike Handley'

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.

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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...]

One Good Turn

When Mark Owen decided to help a fellow deer hunter get back in the game, he expected nothing in return for his kindnesses.

He certainly didn't expect to be handed the Holy Grail.

Mark sells bull semen for the artificial insemination of dairy cows, and he has customers throughout northern Ohio. While visiting with a client in June 2013, they discovered a mutual love of deer hunting, but the man - who made it clear he was a meat hunter - confessed that he wasn't very hip.

"I volunteered to see what I could do to help," Mark said.

They scouted together, and Mark brought him a couple of trail cameras. The first time he checked the units, there were hundreds of photographs of deer.

They tried some different camera setups after that. And in late July, they collected photos of a huge buck with a substantial drop tine.

"We nicknamed him Mr. Caveman because of the huge club of a drop tine," Mark said. "We even joked that he was a magazine cover deer."

[Read the rest of this article...]

Why Randy Brown Wants His Stand Back

Nick Brown thought he'd caught a break when the buck passed behind a tree, which allowed him to draw his Mathews Drenalin. But that was before the animal stopped, forcing the 28-year-old bowhunter to hold both string and breath.

Nick wanted that deer like Democrats wanted a regime change throughout the Bush years, like the Republicans have wanted to unearth a Kenyan birth certificate ever since 2008.

He knew that Campbell County, Ky., buck with the velvety rack. He'd been watching it take shape for more than four months via trail camera photographs. That's how Nick, a firefighter from Alexandria, Ky., came to place a stand right there, overlooking the deer's regular travel corridor.

Nick and his father, Randy, have access to several farms. The one Nick hunted in 2013 was actually his dad's longtime honey hole, a little 15-acre parcel between bedding and feeding areas.

"I kind of stole it from him," Nick grinned.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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