Entries for September 2014
So Bad He Could Taste It
By Mike Handley
“Jake, wait,” Greg Fredericks told the 7-year-old who was about to shoot his first deer. “There’s something else coming.” Telling the boy not to shoot was akin to stopping a ravenous person from biting into a double cheeseburger already in his mouth. Jake Snider could taste it. Patience was not the kid’s strong ... READ MORE
When Stars Align
By Bruce Lane
Rather than striking out for my deer stand in the pouring rain on Oct. 31, I crawled back under the covers. The storm was supposed to move out by noon, which meant I could still spend half my Saturday in a tree.
I’d hung my stand several months earlier, after spotting a huge whitetail bedded on a brushy hillside. The buck’s travel rout... READ MORE
Spot & Stalk
By Ed Waite
Colt Rector of Leesville, La., had been making the long drive to bowhunt in Illinois for about eight years. During those visits, he befriended several landowners in Edwards County and gained permission to hunt their holdings. In 2009, the 27-year-old asked his girlfriend, Hope Thompson, to go with him. They set aside two weeks, beginning on Nov. 1,... READ MORE
He Who Walks Behind the Rows
By Tony Seals
In Nov. 5, 2009, Ohio archer Rod Stumbo stalked his way into the BTR record book by successfully putting the sneak on a giant irregular whitetail. Call it what you will, fate or divine intervention, but after making the 10-mile drive to his hunting area for a short afternoon hunt, Rod was disappointed when he realized the wind had changed and would... READ MORE
To Live and Breathe Big Bucks
By Trent Schneider
The 2009 season was my second back in the saddle following an eight-year hiatus from bowhunting. Not only was I eager to make up for lost time, but I was also determined to take my game to the next level. My biggest priority was to acquire hunting rights to more property with world-class whitetail potential.
One of the hotspots I had in mind belon... READ MORE
Ripleys' Believe-It-Or-Not Buck
By Duncan Dobie
The first of two scheduled bowhunts at Camp Ripley, Minn., last season could be described as organized chaos. Yet South Haven archer Scott O’Konek isn’t complaining. The vast 53,000-acre military reservation about 90 miles northwest of Minneapolis is teeming with deer, and the public hunts are necessary to keep the numbers in check. Thi... READ MORE
Five Hundred Reasons
By Mike Handley
Faced with enduring the constant belching of diesels and smell of dirt and fuel, most deer hunters would've thrown their trucks into reverse and left in their own cloud of dust - the sanctity of "prime time" ruined. Ben Spanjers thought about leaving. The affable bowhunter wasn't a happy camper when he saw the earth-moving equipment and dump trucks... READ MORE
By Mike Handley
Prior to last November, Derek Thompson had pretty much convinced himself that seeing or shooting a big buck wasn't going to happen where he hunts in Ross County, Ohio. Truth be told, he wasn't having much luck with little bucks either. A busy signal seemed to greet him whenever he tried dialing the Almighty's hunter hotline. "I can't tell you how m... READ MORE
No Sandbags Required
By Bryan Davis
I am very fortunate in that my wife and I own our own real estate business, which means I get to spend a lot of time deer hunting. My wife says she doesn't get to spend any time with me from November to mid-January. It helps, too, that we specialize in recreational hunting properties, many of which I'm allowed to sample. In 2007, I ordered a replic... READ MORE
More Than They Bargained For
By Lisa L. Price
Eric Arnette sat on the Alaskan tundra in a nerve-wracking bubble of fog, staring for an hour and a half at the spot where he'd last seen his guide, who had disappeared into an alder thicket in pursuit of the huge, possibly-wounded, possibly-dead grizzly bear. How long should he wait before radioing for help? Eric and hunting buddy Kevin Fain had w... READ MORE
Trouble on the Tundra
By Warren Hill
The morning at our Farnie Lake caribou outpost had started out normal enough. But as I shoved the bullets into my buddy Harold Pirsig's .30-06, a scene from the movie "The Ghost and the Darkness" flashed through my mind. The mental blur dealt with one of the movie's characters borrowing a weapon before taking up the trail of man-eating lions.
Just... READ MORE
Could be Downhill from Here
By Clay Tiringer
Following the 2008 hunting season, I saw a great 9x7 whitetail that left me counting the days until the next one. All I could do was hope the buck survived the winter.
Immediately prior to the 2009 season, I went back to the area where I'd spotted the 16-pointer and discovered a perfect funnel - a creek bottom connecting bedding areas to the field... READ MORE
Thirty-Five Seasons and a Day
By Terry Pichler
Maybe my daughter expressed it best: "It was your day to shine, Dad!"
After 35 years of hunting deer in Wisconsin, my 15 minutes of fame came on opening day of the 2009 firearms season. The morning passed uneventfully; the evening hunt was over in a matter of minutes.
I spent four hours the morning of Nov. 21 sitting in my camouflaged aluminum ch... READ MORE
By Richard Gamber
My fourth year to hunt deer was 2009. The only buck to my credit, going into that season, wore a little 8-point basket rack. The first three years, I didn't have a good place to hunt, just my back yard and a small lot down the road. In 2008, my father-in-law took me to some land by a river he'd hunted for 25 years. I went with him twice, and saw be... READ MORE
One Acre and a Mule
By Mike Handley
Thirty-two years of deer hunting weren't enough to prepare Jerry Kassinger for the buck he shot with his crossbow last season in Ohio. He had no idea the animal's antlers would surpass the lofty 200-inch mark.
His first clue about the buck's caliber came when all the passers-by at the local check station whipped out their cell phones to photograph... READ MORE
In a Blink
By Jill J. Easton
Trophy bucks aren't easy to come by, even in some of the best deer country.
Dean Arrington found that out the hard way. By passing up a borderline buck, however, he got a much bigger reward. He drove home from Saskatchewan in 2008 with a rack that eclipsed any deer antlers he'd ever seen in Alabama.
The hunter made the long trip with his brother ... READ MORE
Will Work for Deer
By Jill J. Easton
LuciAn Norton had always dreamed of getting a monster deer. The unfortunate reality was that finances for the young Marine private were just too tight for him to join a lease or hunt with an outfitter. With little more than a love of deer hunting and no fear of the word "no," he approached John Bostic, the owner of Hunter's Roost Outfitters in Illi... READ MORE
By Mike Handley
If Dave Wachtel should happen to scoot through a turnstile, you'd best start looking for the confetti and balloons to drop. If he buys a lottery ticket, send the CPA to his address.
And if you invite the 37-year-old former restaurateur to hunt deer on your place - even if you stick him in the worst stand on the property - be prepared to drive him ... READ MORE
Hunting the Dead Zone
By Paul Jones
In the dozen vigils from my pond-side stand during New Jersey's almost three-month-long bow season in 2006, I never saw the buck that chose to show itself during the doe-only blackpowder season. Seeing such an off-limits animal in that mid-November setting was like looking at one of those paintings showing a monstrous whitetail behind a fencepost m... READ MORE
Nobody Said it Would be Easy
By Russell Shatto
I got into the deer hunting game late. Until a friend offered to teach me the ropes in exchange for sharing the hunting rights on another buddy's Clark County, Ohio, farm, I'd always been content to hunt small game. Lynn's property had been my rabbit, squirrel and pheasant haven for about five years. There weren't many deer when I first started hun... READ MORE