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Bret A. LaFrance
Bret A. LaFrance • 11/26/2012 • Hampshire , MA • Shotgun

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Terry Swanson
Terry Swanson • 10/15/11 • Jefferson Co. KY • Muzzleloader

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Entries for 'Mike Handley'

Possum-playing Buck Unravels Kentucky Hunter

Dennis Nickell and his friend, J.T. Rawlings, knew an enormous buck had been seen near the 160-acre farm they hunt in Fleming County, Ky., in 2013. A neighboring landowner had retrieved trail camera photographs of the animal when its impressive rack was still in velvet.

Despite spending many hours in a treestand with his bow in September and early October, the Flemingsburg hunter never glimpsed the buck from the photos. He was beginning to think it had vanished until a state trooper spotted it in a nearby bean field.

That sighting put the spring back into his step.

On opening Saturday of the modern gun season, not by accident the beginning of Dennis' annual vacation, he watched the sunrise from a stand overlooking a bench on a long ridge that runs through the tract he's hunted since 1990. The wind was gusting, and he spent much of that morning holding on for dear life.

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Elusive Buck Lets Down His Guard

Chad McCoy was not surprised when a buck wearing at least 160 inches of antler activated his trail camera's shutter in October 2011. He'd just acquired the property in Ohio, and the photograph merely confirmed his hunch that the piece of ground held potential.

He saw the same buck trailing a doe a month later, but that was the first and last time he eyeballed it that year. Even so, he nicknamed it King.

Chad and his brother, Lear, retrieved several nighttime photographs of King in 2012, but neither saw him on the hoof. The images revealed that he'd grown considerably.

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Why Tony Ran into the Rain

The moment Tony Losey looked out of his popup blind's window and saw something other than the raindrops he'd been watching all morning, he forgot he was holding a bag of pistachios. Or maybe he just lost his grip.

One moment, the Belleville, Mich., hunter was sitting in his dry dome, enjoying his snack. The next, nuts were flying everywhere while he stared in disbelief at the enormous buck that had wafted out of the nearby sea of poplars.

Not that he really needed to, since he was hunting with a shotgun that day, but Tony put his rangefinder on the deer anyway. It was all he could do to hold the unit steady, and he doesn't even remember what distance was displayed.

He was much more calm when he shot a 12-pointer a week earlier, the day Michigan's 2013 firearms season opened.

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When a Buck Loves a Doe

The soundtrack to David Howard's successful 2013 season would have to include Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman."

David had a three-day window to bowhunt his lease in Todd County, Ky., last October – usually not the best time to catch whitetails on their feet when the sun's shining.

He arrived a day early, which gave him a few hours to discover several fresh rubs and scrapes, and he decided he'd hunt near an overgrown field ringed with the latter.

He saw lots of activity while standing on the same tree limb (he doesn't do treestands) the first couple of times he ventured forth. He also heard bucks fighting deeper in the adjacent woods.

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