Big Buck 411 Blog

They Can’t Not Go Back

They Can’t Not Go Back

By Mike Handley

Southerners fortunate enough to experience the whitetail rut anywhere in the Midwest are hooked. They can’t not go back. The numbers and size of the deer, both in body and antlers, is a big barbed hook through any deer hunter’s lip. They’re also far more apt to respond to rattling and calling. That’s what happened to Chad Br... READ MORE

Homework Buck

Homework Buck

By Mike Handley

Fifteen-year-old Levi Pettit might not remember what any of his teachers said on Nov. 4, 2019, but he’ll never forget what happened AFTER he stepped off the school bus that Monday. Levi goes to Piketon Junior/Senior High School in Pike County, Ohio, which is on the West Virginia side of the state. When the bus doors folded open, he sped into ... READ MORE

Switcheroo

Switcheroo

By Mike Handley

Granted, Lauren Smith might not have been thinking clearly when she followed a blood trail to an enormous dead buck last November. This isn’t my deer, is it? She wondered. Why would someone sneak through the corn and switch deer? Her father, Paul, had no answers. He was sitting right beside her in the elevated blind, but he hadn’t even ... READ MORE

Like Son, Like Father

Like Son, Like Father

By Mike Handley

Last fall, Ohio’s Rick and Doug Kisamore joined a very exclusive club, whose members include fathers and sons with 200-plus-inchers in the record book. Doug shot his, a Portage County 23-pointer, in 2016. It tallied a whopping 240 4/8 inches. Rick’s 2019 buck from Summit County comes in at 216 3/8 inches. Rick had known about his buck f... READ MORE

Biting the Dust

Biting the Dust

By Mike Handley

Any self-respecting bowhunter can make an 8-yard shot, right? Scott McNown can. And many archers can thread 4-inch holes to put a broadhead precisely where they want, right? Scott McNown did. When the dust settled (literally) on Nov. 5, 2019, this Kansas deer hunter was calling and asking his wife to bring a four-wheeler. Together, they hoisted wha... READ MORE

Three for Three

Three for Three

By Mike Handley

Last year in Missouri, young deer hunters were able to hunt with rifles (with an accompanying adult) two weeks before the season opened for regular license-holders. Those days were Nov. 2 and 3. Kasey Sheat’s three sons got ’er done in one day. Opening morning, Kole shot a 4-pointer and Konner shot a doe, ensuring their father would hav... READ MORE

Iowa’s Latest Colossus

Iowa’s Latest Colossus

By Mike Handley

For two years, Jacob Darbyshire invested countless hours hunting a giant whitetail he’d nicknamed Major League. Before Oct. 29, 2019, the closest he came was looking at trail camera images. Their first in-the-flesh meeting did not go well for the deer. Two days before Halloween, Jacob and a friend, Bryan Bockes, went out to hang a new stand a... READ MORE

Detour for Deer

Detour for Deer

By Mike Handley

Ryan Boyer can thank his wife and the road department for the incredible whitetail he arrowed in 2019. The first two weeks of Ohio’s bow season were scorchers, so hot that Ryan went afield only twice. Hunting when the thermometer reads in the 90s might be fine for Floridians, but Buckeye State deer self-quarantine until after dark. On Oct. 16... READ MORE

Knock, Knock … No Joke

Knock, Knock … No Joke

By Mike Handley

When he was a tyke, Tyler Gladu might’ve been told not to talk to strangers. But that was then, obviously. Now 27, he’s fearless when it comes to striking up conversations with people he’s never met, or at least that’s the case when he stands to gain permission to hunt where he’s seen a world-class whitetail. His boldn... READ MORE

Post-op, Ohio-style

Post-op, Ohio-style

By Mike Handley

While many patients about to go under the knife worry about waking up, Ohio’s Jeff Mason was worried about missing his 2019 deer season, and that was the least of it. Jeff underwent lung surgery Aug. 1. “I was very apprehensive about the operation, knowing it might end my hunting forever,” he told Ed Waite, who’s writing the... READ MORE

If you hear dirt hitting leaves ...

If you hear dirt hitting leaves ...

By Mike Handley

Clark Campbell doesn’t mind stepping into the shower in the middle of the day, especially if he knows he’ll be in a deer stand 15 or 20 minutes after toweling himself dry. The 23-year-old from Guthrie, Oklahoma, doesn’t hunt where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. He goes to a friend’s acorn-rich 9 acres in the (... READ MORE

Who Bowhunts from the Ground?

Who Bowhunts from the Ground?

By Mike Handley

Minutes before Dillon Boone pushed himself up from the ground in order to get a shot at the monstrous whitetail sauntering into bow range, he’d been stewing over brother Taylor’s suggestion they hunt together, sitting only feet apart. Dillon had reluctantly agreed. In his opinion, they’d be too vulnerable, too easily seen and smel... READ MORE

Worth the 15-hour Drive!

Worth the 15-hour Drive!

By Mike Handley

As far as Christina Krajcsovics is concerned, the road to Heaven runs from New Jersey to Iowa, and it’s 15 hours long. Christina was the tag holder when she and her husband R.J. struck out for a friend’s 300-acre farm last October. He went along to film her hunt. The cold and snow kept the couple indoors on Oct. 28. To pass the time, th... READ MORE

Better than Pictures and Sconces

Better than Pictures and Sconces

By Mike Handley

Chris Frey’s wife used to hate the thought of seeing a deer mount in their New Baltimore, Michigan, home. Now, not so much. Prior to the 2019 season, Chris had little reason to test his beloved’s resolve. His best buck to that point was a forkhorn. The one he brought home on Friday, Nov. 29, however, was plenty reason to consider redeco... READ MORE

‘Nobody in His Right Mind’

‘Nobody in His Right Mind’

By Mike Handley

More than three decades of writing about deer hunting has taught me that nine of every 10 hunters who punch their buck tags on public lands shed a lot of boot leather. They wander far off the beaten path not only to avoid humanity, but also to discover where whitetails are most apt to weather the onslaught. Ben Still, 49, is among the 10% with a lo... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd