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Entries for 'Mike Handley'

'Desperation Move'

Before Kenny Grant took up bowhunting in 2012, he put little faith in plastic things that go urrrp or mehhh. After all, riflemen don't generally need to coax too-far whitetails to come closer.

Had it not been for one of the little plastic calls, however, he might still be daydreaming about the 200-plus-incher he set out to arrow in 2013.

Kenny gave up deer hunting 13 years ago, following a divorce. He got custody of his now college-age children, and he simply had no time for it.

When he decided to return to the sport, he decided not to travel and hunt like he used to do, but to stay closer to home. That decision was made easier when the state of Texas re-opened Collin County to deer hunting (an archery-only season).

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Mature bucks' antlers might grow half an inch or more a day during the spring and summer months, but that doesn't mean they'll double in size from one year to the next. After all, unless they're on the downswing, whitetails have to regrow what was shed (or something similar) before adding mass, length or extra points.

That wasn't the case with a south Georgia buck in 2013, however.

The deer never shed its 2012 rack, which means all new growth - nearly 100 inches - sprouted from the crown it was already wearing.

Mikell (pronounced Michael) Fries would've been elated to arrow the distinctive whitetail in 2012. Not only had the 38-year-old bowhunter never taken a deer in velvet, but the 135-inch rack was also much larger than average for Evans County, Ga.

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'I've Got Your Deer'

When Mitchell Oney answered his cell phone on the evening of Kentucky's 2012 rifle opener, he was probably relieved that his wife Michelle, who was hunting nearby, hadn't somehow been injured.

He still swallowed hard after she spoke.

"I've got your deer. Do I shoot him?" she asked.

Mitchell had been obsessed with this buck for two years, and there was no mistaking it among trail camera images because of its 30-plus-inch-long main beams, one of them sloping downward. Husband and wife were hunting between 300 and 400 yards apart, on the same ridge, and she was looking at the buck.

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Buckeye Bookends

Rob Ross and his 13-year-old daughter, Ginny, will never forget Ohio's 2013 deer season, when both shot record-book bucks from the same homemade ground blind, two weeks apart.

Ginny was first to fill her tag on the afternoon of Nov. 23, and her father was beside her.

"We didn't see this buck until it was practically in our lap, only 30 yards from our blind," she said, the words tumbling lightning-fast from her mouth. "We'd been there for only half an hour."

The deer stood behind a bush for maybe 10 minutes, which was almost painful for Ginny. When it finally cleared the bush, she squeezed the trigger. Twice. But because the safety was still engaged, it took a third squeeze to do the job.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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