Big Buck 411 Blog

When You Realize the Neighbors Know Their Stuff

When You Realize the Neighbors Know Their Stuff

By Mike Handley

Seeing the local legend in your own back yard can turn an average-Joe deer hunter into a wide-eyed, frothy-mouthed fanatic. Or so says one man’s wife. That happened to Steve Plattner last November, according to his missus, Becky. Steve had only a passing interest, a normal curiosity, about the supposedly huge buck being photographed a couple ... READ MORE

Tread Carefully and Not Often

Tread Carefully and Not Often

By Mike Handley

Deer hunters who move to Iowa are probably immune to buyer’s remorse. Just ask Drake Lamb, whose smile hasn’t faded since the day he unpacked his bags. If anything, his grin grew a little wider in 2019. Drake is a cameraman for “Midwest Whitetail,” “Chasing November” and “Spring Thunder.” Last season,... READ MORE

Threading the Needle

Threading the Needle

By Mike Handley

Kentucky bowhunter Turner Curtis plucked a mental daisy for 20 minutes before attempting to thread an arrow through two trees between him and a whitetail with wrist-thick bases. He shoots. He shoots not. He shoots. He shoots not. He shot. Turner might not consider himself a Robin Hood, but he pulled off the difficult shot last September 13, a Frida... READ MORE

Lesson Learned

Lesson Learned

By Mike Handley

Note to self: Don’t wear anything on your chest that a bowstring might snag. Ohio’s Joshua Sherrick learned that lesson the hard way in 2018. Wearing his rangefinder around his neck cost him a glorious buck and gave him a whole year of regret. Joshua leases 285 acres near his home in Cincinnati. Fifty of those – a strip barely 15 ... READ MORE

Reaping What You Sow

Reaping What You Sow

By Mike Handley

Before Brook Current created food plots on the land that sucked up his life’s savings, he was fretting and worried his “piece of heaven” was more like a revolving door for wildlife. He’d ponied up with his mother and brother to buy the 118-acre farm in Lucas County, Iowa, in 2017, and his prospects seemed marvelous at the ti... READ MORE

Low-odds Setup

Low-odds Setup

By Mike Handley

New to the surveillance game, Brad VanderEspt put out two trail cameras in the fall of 2019, one monitoring a very deery location, and the other in a not-so-deery spot. The Kentucky bowhunter thought the latter was likely a waste of time, but he did it anyway. You can guess which one photographed the behemoth that’ll soon be hanging on his wa... READ MORE

Do I Stay, or Do I Go?

Do I Stay, or Do I Go?

By Mike Handley

For 20 minutes on Oct. 4, Chris Kelly thought about trading his box stand for a ringside seat to a buck fight. He knows warring whitetails can get so wound up that they’d allow a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade to pass. The continuous, metronomic clashing of antlers told him the bucks weren’t going to stop until one or both collapsed. ... READ MORE

Luke’s Pinup Buck

Luke’s Pinup Buck

By Mike Handley

From the 1940s through the 1980s, guys and gals taped or pinned posters on their walls to gaze at and fantasize about their hearts’ desires. The practice pushed the word “pinup” into dictionaries. Now, computer wallpaper has pretty much replaced paper versions. And soon, smart phones and tablets could replace desktop computers. It... READ MORE

Click Your Boots Together Three Times ...

Click Your Boots Together Three Times ...

By Mike Handley

The fifth time Harold Jones drove from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Kansas, he wasn’t headed for public land or to hunt with an outfitter. He’d done each twice, so he was looking forward to christening a new lease of his own. Harold took an unconventional approach to acquiring the property he, son Brandon and two friends would hunt in 2019... READ MORE

Viral in Oklahoma, and Beyond

Viral in Oklahoma, and Beyond

By Mike Handley

In the waning months of 2019, 18-year-old Guner Womack’s first bowkill might’ve been the most recognizable whitetail on the planet. He and the animal were plastered all over social media, and web stories soon followed. He told one of his interviewers that he woke up to almost 300 Facebook friend requests the day after his buck was poste... READ MORE

And the Duck Goes Urrrppp?

And the Duck Goes Urrrppp?

By Mike Handley

Whenever Brock Creel and his father want to trade steel shot for duck breasts, they go to their duck hole, a beaver pond in neighboring Madison County, Alabama. An easy drive from their Decatur home, the pond is on a 15-acre tract that serves little purpose other than to attract woodies and mallards. Now 19-year-old Brock has another reason to go t... READ MORE

Seeing Double

Seeing Double

By Mike Handley

Bill Funk saw two world-class whitetails, side by side, while hunting in Alberta last fall, but only one was real. That also was the case with the bow target at his outfitter’s camp. Three of his four 30-yard practice arrows nailed the target nobody else could see. The one they were watching caught only one. This all happened during the Mich... READ MORE

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

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd