Big Buck 411 Blog

‘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

Gift That Keeps on Giving

Gift That Keeps on Giving

By Mike Handley

Carmen Lafromboise’s husband, Tony, gets the prize for best Mother’s Day gift. A handmade card might’ve been nice, but it can’t compete with a new crossbow. Shooting lessons were included. Tony wanted to be sure his 49-year-old sweetie was adept at shooting it. Very adept, since they’d booked an out-of-state, weeklong ... READ MORE

Kentucky’s Finest from 2019

Kentucky’s Finest from 2019

By Mike Handley

Spencer Loftus might have switched zip codes in 2018, trading life in Whitetail Wonderland for a Massachusetts hamlet. But that didn’t stop him from returning to his old Kentucky home with his bow. Before he left that year, he set up several trail cameras, which his father agreed to monitor. They amassed several summertime photos of an incred... READ MORE

Desperate Times and Measures

Desperate Times and Measures

By Mike Handley

Hunting the same property day after day can be like pining for pizza in a chicken joint. Eventually, you’re going to grow weary of looking at wings, thighs and drumsticks, and drive across town so hot mozzarella can burn the roof of your mouth. Sick of seeing the same immature deer every time he went afield in the weeks leading up to Thanksgi... READ MORE

Maiden Season

Maiden Season

By Mike Handley

Very few people possess the chutzpah to pick up a rifle for the first time and centerpunch a target, especially a living, breathing one. But that’s exactly what 18-year-old Madelyn Calvert did in 2019. The Warrensburg, Missouri, teen had never hunted before last season. And she’d never shot a gun prior to Nov. 20, the day she ridded Cha... READ MORE

Homeowners with Benefits

Homeowners with Benefits

By Mike Handley

Before closing on their new Kentucky home and land last September, Jimmy and Scarlett Tapp put out trail cameras. A day later, they began amassing photos of a giant whitetail they began calling Stickers, for obvious reasons. The landowner had retrieved images of the deer the previous season as well, when it was carrying 50 or 60 fewer inches. &ldqu... READ MORE

The Buck That Came Back from the Dead

The Buck That Came Back from the Dead

By Mike Handley

When Broc Atwood learned one of his neighbors had shot a buck in 2018 that scored in the 180s, he was heartbroken. The 42-year-old fireman from Danville, Illinois, had trail camera video clips of such a deer in 2016 and 2017, when it would’ve been slightly smaller. He had collected no images that year. Mystery solved, he reckoned. Imagine Bro... READ MORE

Switching Targets

Switching Targets

By Mike Handley

The slammer whitetail Scott Stauffer took to the taxidermist last fall was neither the first nor second on the Ohio hunter’s pre-season wish list. He forgot about those as soon as he acquired trail camera photographs of No. 3. The first deer he put at the top of his list was a mature 10-pointer that might’ve scored in the 150s. The anim... READ MORE

Hook on a Feeling

Hook on a Feeling

By Mike Handley

Dusty Nelms might be three weeks away from finally learning what his 2019 Oklahoma buck scores, at least by the B&C yardstick. Since Nov. 26, he’s received only wild guesses, no two alike. The state Department of Wildlife Conservation is hosting a day-long Rack Madness scoring event in Oklahoma City on Feb. 25. Qualifying animals will be... READ MORE

Backyard Bounty

Backyard Bounty

By Mike Handley

When James Goldman unwrapped a new trail camera for Christmas in 2016, his father told him he could test-drive it in his backyard. The elder Goldman had been feeding birds there, but he’d seen deer tracks as well. “I wound up putting it on a tree facing his back porch,” the Louisiana hunter said. “I was just hoping to see a ... READ MORE

Tripod Destined to be a State Recurve Record

Tripod Destined to be a State Recurve Record

By Mike Handley

Thomas Naegele normally uses his old recurve bow to shoot does for the freezer. On Nov. 2, however, he arrowed much more than meat. The 30-year-old Hillsdale, Michigan, archer was hunting that afternoon with his father, Mark. They were in separate stands on the elder Naegele’s 2,500-acre lease, which is sandwiched between an organic beef farm... READ MORE

She Got Heads, He Got Tails

She Got Heads, He Got Tails

By Mike Handley

Iowa’s tag lottery determined whether Taylor Byers or her husband, Caleb, would be behind the trigger when the 2019 muzzleloader season opened on Oct. 12. Both applied for tags, but only she drew one. That meant he would be filming her in their quest for a buck they’d nicknamed Dakota. “We’d gotten trail camera photos of thi... READ MORE

Goofy Comes of Age

Goofy Comes of Age

By Mike Handley

Quaker Boy Calls’ pro-staffer Greg Gershon shot a buck in 2019 that had been on his radar for four years. He and the others who are part of the 1,400-acre lease near San Saba, Texas, couldn’t decide how old the deer was, and age is their No. 1 factor in choosing which whitetails they’ll shoot. The lease isn’t a fenced prope... READ MORE

Worth the Hike, Even in the Dark

Worth the Hike, Even in the Dark

By Mike Handley

Less than a year away from a college degree in land surveying and mapping sciences, Leo Van Beck learned one of his most useful lessons off campus last fall. Literally and figuratively speaking: A map is pretty useless if you can’t see it. The  bowhunter from Sauk Centre, Minnesota, might not have possessed a road atlas when he struck ou... READ MORE

Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge

By Mike Handley

Amie Wade’s right foot didn’t suffer long on Nov. 25, despite her boot being full of cold creek water. In order to reach her public land stand site that Monday, the 25-year-old huntress from Choctaw, Oklahoma, had to hike in and cross two rain-swollen creeks. In the process, water went over the top of her right boot, which she’d s... READ MORE

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd