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Jim Roberts / Maple Creek Saskatchewan, Canada / 2009 / Rifle 300 Weatherby

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Entries for 'Mike Handley'

05
Hoodwinkle

For as long as people have had the ability to post and view photographs over Al Gore's Internet, deer hunters have tried hoodwinking their buddies.

Such pranks have almost become the world's largest caption contest, in which it's not uncommon to see the same photo of a giant buck that, according to various e-mail subject lines, was killed in no fewer than 17 states. It's progressed to the point that many people summarily dismiss claims unless the photo includes a license plate or carries a time-date stamp.

Jim Wilson of Chase City, Va., learned this lesson the hard way, when he almost became the laughingstock at his workplace for daring to show coworkers a photo taken by his new trail camera. If anyone actually believed that the impossibly wide-racked whitetail was photographed on his 27 acres, they kept mum.

By the end of October 2012, however, all their tongues were wagging.

On the evening of Oct. 30, after Hurricane Sandy had interrupted Jim's quest for a couple of weeks, Jim watched this buck come in on the trail he'd walked to his ladder stand. He'd doused his boots with Tink's #69 after parking his vehicle.

"At 5:00, I looked up and saw big boy trotting down the same path I'd walked, his nose to the ground. He was at 50 yards and closing fast," he said.

Knowing the buck would soon be in thick cover, Jim took the shot with his crossbow when it was at 28 yards.

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28
Man-drive Yields Runner-up to Minnesota Record

Having a Gould point a shotgun at you, if you're a deer or a clay target, is a good way to get dead.

This is abundantly clear to all who know brothers Aaron and Steve from Alexandria, Minn., who travel the country with their Winchesters to wow audiences with their reflexive marksmanship.

Aaron, capable of busting clays between one-armed pushups, proved last fall that he doesn't need target loads and choke tubes to bring home the bacon. He can also get the job done with one piece of lead.

That is, if he can find the time away from exhibition shooting to spend in the woods back home.

Aaron missed his chance in 2011, the first time in 18 years he'd not joined the family for the firearms opener. But he made it last year, thanks in large part to knowing there was a 200-plus-incher roaming the tract they normally hunt.

They had a shed and trail camera photographs of it.

On the second man-drive during the season's second day, he saw it in the flesh.

"As usual, I was a walker," Aaron said. "As we approached to within about 150 yards of the standers, I could hear deer moving through the brush in front of the walkers who were (skirting) the swamp to my right. The deer could smell the standers upwind and were trying to find a way out of there."

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21
Plenty of Joy in Mudville

Jeremy Schmeidler might no longer play baseball, but that doesn't mean he's incapable of hitting a wicked curve ball out of the park.

Nine days into the Sunflower State's 2012 bow season, the 33-year-old from Hays, Kan., decided to ditch the game plan he'd so carefully crafted in favor of a whim. Rather than gamble with a less-than-ideal wind and a hunter-savvy buck, he rolled the dice by spending the evening inside an abandoned house on his 750 acres.

Doing so meant that if Jeremy even saw Wild Thing, the buck he so desperately wanted, he'd have no knowledge of his approach and only a minute to react if he did. It would almost be like taking a blind swing at a fastball.

Jeremy retrieved a trail camera photograph of this buck in May. Although it was very early in the antler growing season and the deer's main beams hadn't grown far beyond the budding brow tines, the mass was incredible. Also, the bases were encircled by irregular points.

"It was very obvious this buck was turning into something special," Jeremy said. "By the first week of August, he was a bonafide giant. We were 100 percent sure he would top the 200-inch mark."

Jeremy's quest for Wild Thing was filmed for the TV show "Full Draw Adventures" – nine innings worth of footage to produce an episode that's supposed to air in July.

A week after a very close call, they got the ending they wanted.

[Read the rest of this article...]

14
Fantasy Island is in the Mighty Mississippi

Fainting dead away might've been the only thing Joshua Bruce didn't do during the last morning of his 2012 hunt at Giles Island, a commercial hunting operation on the Louisiana side of the father of all rivers, though it's considered part of Mississippi.

Joshua shook, probably squeaked, banged his rifle on the shooting house window, lost the use of his fingers and fell down twice. If he'd had any nerve pills, he might've chipmunked a handful.

The disabled veteran from Alexandria, La., was as rattled as a mouse in cage full of cats, and with good reason.

"It took me awhile to realize I'd actually shot this buck," he said of the nearly 270-inch (gross) whitetail that was his ungluing. "I then spiked my hat, like a football player, and started dancing around inside the shooting house. It was not exactly my best moment as a sportsman.

"Later, when T-Bird and I were going to look at it, nothing on my body was working properly," the 32-year-old hunter continued. "My fingers couldn't hit the right buttons on my phone, and my legs wouldn't work. I fell down twice while walking to the deer."

T-Bird - real name Tony Klingler -- was his guide that morning, the man who told Joshua he could shoot, the man who knew that waiting increased the odds of the deer's being hit only by an echo. Before the bullet left the gun, both men knew exactly which buck was in the crosshairs: a deer everyone at Giles Island called The Rock.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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