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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for 'Mike Handley'

16
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...]

09
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.

Way.

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...]

03
Arrow of Last Resort

Bill Pulse’s buddies used to laugh at and call his old second-hand bow the “Banjo Tech.” His Whisker Biscuit rest was frayed. His three-arrow quiver held two with old fixed-blade broadheads and one tipped with an expandable his brother gave him, which, because he’d never shot it, was his arrow of last resort.

Despite peer pressure, the Missouri bowhunter didn’t see the need to upgrade. He liked his setup just fine, thank you very much.

When the 2012 season opens, however, the Kansas City firefighter might have a bigger quiver and more arrows. And all of them might be wearing the same brother-approved, expandable heads.

While hunting last year, he dropped one of his arrows from his stand. And when the buck of his dreams later presented a gimme shot, he drilled a tree with his second.

Fortunately for Bill, his third and final arrow flew true, and the never-before-shot, hand-me-down broadhead turned the buck’s heart into a doughnut.

He was participating in a managed deer hunt along the bluffs of the Missouri River in Platte County, on land owned by Park University. The area stretches from Riverside to Weston, Mo.

[Read the rest of this article...]

27
Old Dog Learns New Trick

Shawn Greathouse is certainly not a novice bowhunter. He’s Colorado’s director for the Archery Shooters Association, a former national champion 3-D shooter, and his trophy room looks like a wing in the Smithsonian.

You’d think a guy like him would know everything there is to know about hunting just about anything with four legs and a season.

What made 2011 memorable, however, was a trick he learned on the fly from a friend in Kansas.

Shawn and his landowner friend, Brian Becker, were discussing where to hunt one foggy morning.

“Sit anywhere you want,” Brian laughed, knowing that it would be difficult to see a tree, let alone a deer. But he also recommended rattling, adding that he’d had good luck in ladder stands by lowering a pair of antlers on a rope and jiggling them a couple of feet off the ground.

It worked like a charm, and Shawn notched his tag after letting the air out of a tremendous buck.

But that’s not the deer in this photo.

When he got back home to Colorado, he took his bow to public ground. A day later, his new jiggling trick lured in a muley buck.

Another hunter stuck it, but the shot wasn’t lethal. A little more than an hour after the dejected man left, Shawn made a 53-yard shot look terribly easy by skewering an even bigger whitetail than the one he got in Kansas three days earlier.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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