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Travis Mettler
Travis Mettler • 11/19 /2012 • North Dakota • Bow

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Steve W. Smith
Steve W. Smith • 1/20/2014 • Morgan County , Alabama • Rifle

Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Entries for 'Mike Handley'

19
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...]

13
Squirrel's-Eye View

Unlike the dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies, unlike the great white shark in "Jaws," and unlike the brawls between TV's professional wrestlers (with apologies to believers), the buck whose photograph appeared on Shawn and Nikki Bechtel's trail camera in 2011 was very real.

Husband and wife - it was she who taught him how to hunt - were instantly smitten with the deer they named Bullwinkle. Shawn had more time than his wife, and he had a slight advantage because he bowhunted from treestands. Nikki, afraid of heights, always hunted from ground blinds.

Nikki's time afield was mostly during weekends, since her drive home from work didn't allow any time for late-afternoon sits.

Regardless of how much time the two of them spent waiting, separately or together, Bullwinkle never once appeared while the sun was overhead. Not in 2011; not in 2012.

Shawn would not get to hunt in 2013, and Nikki lost her enthusiasm for it.

"My husband died in January of a serious and ongoing heart condition, and I nearly gave up hunting after that," she said.

[Read the rest of this article...]

05
Kentucky Giant

Had it not been for the local Wheelin' Sportsmen chapter and the Bernheim Forest's combined sponsorship of a hunt for the disabled in Bullitt County, Ky., Danny Moore would've spent Oct. 12 indoors.

His brother, Ronnie, also played a big role in setting him up in the blind from which he connected with a whitetail that'll be remembered for decades.

Danny's deer hunting days have been numbered since his health began declining and he started dialysis about 10 years ago. For one thing, the veteran hunter from Clermont cannot tolerate cold weather anymore.

"We were pretty excited when Danny was selected for the 2013 Wheelin' Sportsmen hunt and that I was to be his hunting partner," Ronnie told Dale Weddle, who measured the buck and is writing the story for RACK magazine.

To test a spot he thought held promise, Ronnie set out a trail camera that photographed a gigantic buck several times before the animal went AWOL. That's where he ultimately put up a pop-up blind, even though he feared the deer was long gone.

[Read the rest of this article...]

29
Kabobs with 19 Skewers

George Morrison of Ghent, Ky., doesn't usually measure deer by the inch. He's more likely to consider pounds.

That's precisely why Keith Grenzebach thought his friend George had mistyped the text message he read on Nov. 17, 2012, because George - an avowed meat hunter - doesn't normally shoot big deer.

A "20-pointer?"

George?

But it wasn't a typo, even if George had counted one of the many points twice.

George and Keith were hunting adjacent tracts on the second weekend of Kentucky's rifle season. Neither saw any deer that morning. They came out for lunch, and then returned to the woods close to 2:30.

Toward the end of the day, George grew antsy. As much out of boredom as with any strategy in mind, he decided to get down and still-hunt the 300 yards back to where he'd parked his four-wheeler.

"When I reached the top of the ridge, I immediately saw a flash of movement," he said. "There just happened to be a tree nearby with a fork in it. I rested my gun in the fork and, looking down to the left where the movement came from, I spotted a doe."

That he didn't shoot her - and he normally would - was fortuitous. Moments later, he spotted a huge buck rubbing a tree.

[Read the rest of this article...]

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