Big Buck 411 Blog

A Beast by Any Other Name

A Beast by Any Other Name

By Mike Handley

I admit I’m paid to come up with myriad ways to describe whitetails. Referring to a storied animal as a buck or a deer 27 times in one article is a surefire way to put a reader to sleep. To keep your attention, I generally alternate between the two, or I might substitute nouns like whitetail, giant, 20-pointer, 10x10 or behemoth. If I’m... READ MORE

Double the Pleasure

Double the Pleasure

By Mike Handley

Des Moines bowhunter Brady Snyder doesn't always budget for taxidermy, but when he does, he prefers paying double. That's what happened in 2019 anyway, when he let the air out of a couple of world-class whitetails, a 174-incher during a local urban management hunt and an even bigger one during Iowa's regular bow season. The larger scored 183 and ch... READ MORE

New Texas Record is Deer of the Year

New Texas Record is Deer of the Year

By Mike Handley

For the first time since Buckmasters began awarding its annual Golden Laurel Citation, a Texas specimen will claim deer hunting's highest honor. Tarif Alkhatib's 2021 Grayson County whitetail will be the 32nd recipient of the GLC, first awarded to the world-record Tony Fulton Buck in 1996. The award is given to our Deer of the Year, based on the ma... READ MORE

Eight Hours from Heaven

Eight Hours from Heaven

By Mike Handley

Before last fall, Anders Blixt had no idea he lives only eight hours from Heaven. The Virginian had a hunch deer hunting's pearly gates were somewhere in Ohio, which is why he and a friend, Tyson Kuhu, leased land there seven years ago. Still, he had no reason to think he'd zeroed in on them until 2021. Anders' introduction to the Buckeye State cam... READ MORE

Former Pencil Rack Potential Saskatchewan Record

Former Pencil Rack Potential Saskatchewan Record

By Mike Handley

In Jon Nicholson's mind, traveling more than 2,000 miles, standing in line at Canadian customs kiosks and buying the proper licenses and tags are only small hurdles in his quest to help a taxidermist make one or more truck payments. The 40-year-old deer hunter from Georgia did it in 2019, and he returned to Saskatchewan in 2021. He struck paydirt b... READ MORE

Curiosity Killed the Buck?

Curiosity Killed the Buck?

By Mike Handley

Mike Every will never put on another face mask without thinking about the day it almost robbed him of the chance at the largest whitetail he’d ever seen. The veteran archer from Mason, Michigan, was deer hunting in Ingham County last fall when the local legend suddenly appeared near one of the scrapes Mike was babysitting. The shot should&rsq... READ MORE

Shooting without Breathing

Shooting without Breathing

By Mike Handley

A 200-inch whitetail is a bucket-list specimen, and, for most of us, it’s a box that’ll never be ticked. In 2020, then-15-year-old Claire Flood put a big checkmark on the list she didn't even know existed by felling a monster in Breckinridge County, Kentucky. And get this: It was her very first deer! Five days into the state's rifle sea... READ MORE

Sorry, Little Brother

Sorry, Little Brother

By Mike Handley

Greg Shembarger is the reason I seldom use the phrase “buck of a lifetime.” At 21 years old, the deer hunter from Berrien Center, Michigan, has already taken numerous bucks deserving of that designation, and I suspect there are many more in his future. He was but a teenager when he dropped his largest in 2019, an Illinois bruiser that s... READ MORE

Thanks, Brother

Thanks, Brother

By Mike Handley

Cory Anderson and his father were unusually quiet during the drive from Georgia to Christian County, Kentucky, last fall. Instead of excitement over their annual deer hunt, they were profoundly aware of the vehicle’s empty seat. Missing was Cory’s older brother Raymond, who had died from COVID following a family beach vacation. Everyone... READ MORE

Priorities!

Priorities!

By Mike Handley

Not even COVID could keep Derek Walker out of his deer stand on Sept. 25, 2021, not when he knew the No. 1 deer on his wish list was on its feet, near his stand, and after daybreak. The 37-year-old real estate agent from Marengo, Ohio, might have been weak, his head might’ve been pounding, and his temperature spiking, but he was NOT going to ... READ MORE

Antlers, to Boot

Antlers, to Boot

By Mike Handley

Unless the only tag in your pocket is an antlerless one, the next time you get ready to turn out a doe's lights, make sure to check her backtrail. I've lost count of the times deer hunters wound up with a lot more than venison to show for an arrow's thwack or the whump of a bullet. Jared Selover of Wapakoneta, Ohio, almost forgot this cardinal rule... READ MORE

Alabama's New Blackpowder Record

Alabama's New Blackpowder Record

By Mike Handley

Alabama gained a new state record last season, and it came off public land. Michael Ray Perry of Vinemont smoked the 18-pointer on Nov. 5 while hunting within the Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area, part of the sprawling Bankhead National Forest. The 57-year-old was accompanied that day by his wife, Kathy. For the last 45 years, Michael has hun... READ MORE

Who Wouldn't Play Hooky?

Who Wouldn't Play Hooky?

By Mike Handley

In the fall, Kyle Bowers often spends the remains of weekdays in a deer stand. One Friday last November, however, he decided an evening sit wasn't enough. The 37-year-old mechanical pipe fitter from Ladoga, Indiana, hunted after work on Thursday, Nov. 13. Just before dark, Kyle heard what sounded like a buck chasing a doe. A few minutes later, he s... READ MORE

Nicholas Co. Buck Among Kentucky's Upper Echelon

Nicholas Co. Buck Among Kentucky's Upper Echelon

By Mike Handley

Kentucky's record book entries saw a major reshuffling following the 2021 deer season. Among the several categories' new top-10 whitetails was a Nicholas County buck taken by Mark Wade of Carlisle. The 55-year-old homebuilder and farm worker's Sept. 20 harvest, the veteran hunter's best-ever, is the new No. 9 among the Bluegrass State's irregular-r... READ MORE

Scott County, Indiana’s Best Typical by Shotgun

Scott County, Indiana’s Best Typical by Shotgun

By Mike Handley

Gary Cole isn’t exactly a trophy hunter, but neither is he a meat hunter. There’s no point in striving for the latter when your floor freezer is on the fritz. Going into the 2021 deer season, the 66-year-old Pepsi Cola machine operator from Lexington, Indiana, had eaten tag soup for two years, and prospects for anything more substantive... READ MORE

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd