Big Buck 411 Blog

Why a Maine Hunter Keeps Staring at His Phone

Why a Maine Hunter Keeps Staring at His Phone

By Mike Handley

Gene Doughty spent a lot of money in 2017. The fork lift technician had no choice but to buy a new freezer after landing a giant tuna and shooting a moose. And before the year was out, he added venison to his larder. He was lucky on many counts that year, particularly with regard to the moose permit. Thousands of people apply, but very few get one.... READ MORE

One Less Legend

One Less Legend

By Mike Handley

The move from Delaware, Ohio, to Mansfield in 2013 put Dan Aquino 50 miles and two counties north of his usual hunting ground. With nowhere to go close to his new home, Dan began knocking on doors, which gained him access to two tracts. His first order of business was to erect a two-person ladder stand, lay down a mock scrape and hang a trail camer... READ MORE

Ohio Buck’s Luck Runs Out

Ohio Buck’s Luck Runs Out

By Mike Handley

Justin Bates took two shots, two months apart, at the massive mainframe 8-pointer he tagged in 2017. He was bowhunting from a blind the first time his and the deer’s paths crossed. The bow’s limbs must have smacked the interior wall, because the arrow flew well over the buck’s back before sticking in the ground 8 feet beyond it. T... READ MORE

There’s No Place Like Home. Wait …

There’s No Place Like Home. Wait …

By Mike Handley

John Hatt always thought the grass was greener in Kansas. Not only is the Sunflower State one of the top yielders of monstrous whitetails, but the archery licenses and tags also are virtually guaranteed (for those who apply in April). The bowhunter came close to tying his non-resident tag on his career-best deer in 2017, but the estimated 170-inche... READ MORE

Destination: Deer

Destination: Deer

By Mike Handley

Contrary to popular belief, people who book hunts with outfitters rarely take home 200-inch bucks. Not wild ones anyway. Lodge owners can manage only for mature bucks, whether their holdings are large or small, in Alabama or Ohio. Yet the older these deer become, the less likely they’ll abide the stepped-up pressure of a string of pay-to-play... READ MORE

When a Tree isn’t a Tree

When a Tree isn’t a Tree

By Mike Handley

Darrin Dawes’s back yard in Arnaudville, Louisiana, is 2 miles long and 60 yards wide. Deer cross through those 25 acres all the time, but he almost never sees high-caliber bucks. In December 2016, however, a trail camera photographed a 150-incher, which is like finding a 10-pound bass in your bathtub. Darrin pegged the deer as a 4 ½-y... READ MORE

Worthy of a Four-year Wait

Worthy of a Four-year Wait

By Mike Handley

An impromptu walkabout and a buddy’s what-do-you-have-to-lose advice set Wisconsin bowhunter Greg Widiker on a collision course with the buck of his dreams in 2017. Greg watched his wish-list whitetail come of age over four seasons. When he first saw it in 2014, it was a 5x5 with above-average brow tines. It hit the 150-inch mark the followin... READ MORE

No Time for Buck Fever

No Time for Buck Fever

By Mike Handley

It took 17 days for Joe Blugerman to stop kicking himself for missing a bow shot at a mature 8-pointer in 2017. Thirty-five years of hunting deer hasn’t made the man from Munith, Michigan, immune to buck fever, and he got a bad case of it on Nov. 8. Joe says it’s because the 4x4 took so long to travel the 80 yards between where he first... READ MORE

Public Land Yields One of Kentucky’s Finest in 2014

Public Land Yields One of Kentucky’s Finest in 2014

By Mike Handley

Twenty-one-year-old Cody Likin smoked a 150-class buck in 2013, the first year he hunted the Nicholas County wildlife management area his uncle had recommended. When he scored the following year, he was carrying his bow instead of a blackpowder rifle. Cody is a student at Eastern Kentucky University. He lives in Laurel County, about two hours south... READ MORE

Kentucky’s best Perfect from 2017

Kentucky’s best Perfect from 2017

By Mike Handley

You’d think a sustained, countywide effort to wipe out feral hogs might push resident whitetails – particularly mature bucks – into another zip code. You just can’t put that kind of pressure on a deer that’s survived four or more hunting seasons, right? That’s what Jim Thompson of Frankfort, Kentucky, thought. Wh... READ MORE

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd