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Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for 'Mike Handley'

16
Kentucky Yields Another Medusa Buck

Spending all day Saturday and Sunday, opening weekend of Kentucky's late blackpowder season, sitting inside his truck was pure torture for Michael Rothman.

The 44-year-old from Bonnieville works as a maintenance mechanic at Fort Knox, where he also serves as a "guide" for Unit 42 during special hunts. Being a guide basically means he checks hunters' paperwork, checks-in their deer and otherwise sits in his truck all day. It means waking up at 1:30 a.m., eating breakfast at a truck stop, and then going to the base.

He cannot leave until 5:30 or later.

On Dec. 8, the Thursday before he had weekend duty, Michael checked his trail cam and retrieved a photograph of a buck with antlers resembling a den of timber rattlers. He could think of nothing else afterward.

"I lost a lot of sleep," he said. "I'd close my eyes, and all I could see was this deer."

He was able to check his camera again on Dec. 12, while he and his oldest daughter, Megan, hunted. Much to his delight, the Medusa Buck had wandered in front of the lens on Dec. 10 and 11, so he knew it had survived the muzzleloader opener.

Michael took off the rest of the week to ... um ... nurse a sore back.

While sitting in Megan's double ladder stand on a frosty Sunday, Dec. 18, he found the perfect remedy for both back pain and sleepless nights. The pill was dispensed by his .50-caliber T/C.

If this strange whitetail looks familiar, it probably isn't. A very similar buck was taken off Fort Knox, where Michael works. But he shot this rascal on the family's 325 acres in Hart County. Ironically, he and Justin Corn, the guy who shot the other one, live only 20 miles apart.

[Read the rest of this article...]

09
New No. 1 for the Sunflower State

James Yelton of Glen Rock, Pa., thought he'd won the deer hunting lottery in 2010, when he harvested a 160-class non-typical while hunting Maryland's Eastern Shore.

But he was wrong.

Yelton's winning numbers came up THIS season while he and his wife, Helen, were hunting a friend's ground in Greenwood County, Kan. The payoff was a new state-record typical in the BTR's crossbow category.

Many hunters don't realize that Buckmasters offers the only national record book with a category specifically for deer bagged with crossbows. The Pope and Young Club doesn't accept these whitetails, and B&C doesn't differentiate a bowkill from one felled by gun or even found dead (theirs is based purely on score).

Yelton's mainframe 12-pointer, the only irregular point being a fork off its left P-2, has an official score of 172 4/8 inches; its composite (true gross) score is an incredible 194 4/8 inches.

“I've hunted 38 years to get one like this,” said the 51-year-old workaholic, who puts in 16-hour days – seven a week -- at his specialty flooring company. When winter arrives, he spends as much time as possible in the deer woods, including a week or two in Kansas.

[Read the rest of this article...]

03
Still a Steak, Without the Sizzle

You're more apt to see Brad and Angelina shopping the toy section of your local Wal-Mart than a 200-inch whitetail in southwest Louisiana's Calcasieu Parish, which explains why Jacey Broussard's deer got so much attention, not all of it desired.

Jacey first saw the buck while riding her horse in early November. Fully aware that nobody would believe how big it was, she dismounted, pulled out her camera and photographed it.

That was the first of many photos, the rest pulled from trail cameras scattered about the Broussards' 480-acre lease near Moss Bluff. Jacey was smitten with the deer, and she finally sealed the deal on Nov. 26.

Turns out, the deer had escaped from River Road Whitetails, a high-fenced ranch about four miles and a river away from the Broussards' hunting club. The owner didn't realize the Pennsylvania-born buck was missing until he saw photos. It had apparently escaped through a faulty gate.

While the hunt was completely fair-chase and the harvest legal, the buck isn't eligible for our record book because it is a known pen-raised deer. But Jacey's still smiling.

I would be, too.

[Read the rest of this article...]

27
Not-so-Little Brothers and Kid Sisters

Subscribers to Rack magazine will no doubt remember the Pennsylvania buck that graced the cover in November. The 16-point whitetail, which has a BTR composite score of 209 2/8 inches, was taken in Northumberland County by 16-year-old Hanna Harris of Danville.

Now it seems that the buck's little brother has hit the dirt, nearly the same dirt, in front of the SAME stand, and Hanna's kid sister, Paige, was behind the trigger. This deer hasn't been scored yet, but it's already bound for the cover of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine in 2012.

Two things are abundantly clear: Joe Harris grows big deer on his 280-acre farm, and his daughters know how to shoot.

Hanna's 2010 buck is the state-record Semi-irregular in the rifle category and the ninth largest ever felled in Penn's Woods. You can bet Paige's 2011 wallhanger is also going to push a whole lot of Pennsylvania bucks down a notch.

Jan. 28-29: If you live in northern Indiana, Illinois or Michigan and would like to have your buck measured for the BTR, you can avoid the $25 entry fee by bringing your deer to the 28th annual Hammond, Ind., Outdoor Sports Show inside the Jean Shepherd Community Center.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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