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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Ground Swellage

Maybe it's a good thing that Michael Schumann and his sons, Dillon and Matthew, thought they were hunting a 180-inch buck on their ground in Randolph County, Mo., in 2013.Had they known the whitetail they nicknamed The 180 would actually gross more than 200, life away from a deer stand would've been even more unbearable.

They'd been watching the deer since 2010, when Michael first saw it browsing along the edge of some CRP in late September. Its rack might've scored in the mid-140s, he said, which meant it was probably 3 1/2 years old.

He let it go on about its merry way.

The Schumanns saw the buck twice the following year, both times when the rack was still encased in velvet, and it was at least 10-15 inches bigger. Ditto for 2012.

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Never Too Late to Learn a New Trick

Aging babyboomers aren't particularly cozy with new technology, but that doesn't mean they'll always shun it.

After all, it's hard not to agree that 100 television channels is better than three, that possessing a cell phone is better than driving around and looking for a pay phone, or that today's refrigerators are far superior to yesteryear's iceboxes.

Junior Key, a 59-year-old grandfather in Moss, Tenn., did not go gently into the sporting goods store in 2013. He'd managed to hunt deer for five decades without buying a trail camera, and he'd somehow managed to shoot lots of whitetails.

Plus, he didn't need photographic evidence to tell him the farms he hunts in Tennessee and neighboring Monroe County, Ky., held deer.

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Billy Graham of Arkansas was within a hair's breadth of pounding a buck that would rival his career-best when a much bigger one popped out of its hole on Dec. 17, 2012.

The 59-year-old went out that afternoon with the intention of hunting from his wife's favorite box stand overlooking a small food plot and pecan orchard. Neither Debra Graham, nor their daughter, Crystal, had seen anything of note there, but Billy had faith in the location.

The Phillips County farm they hunt flanks the Mississippi River.

Because he had plenty of time before the neighborhood whitetails usually came to the food plot, Billy decided to do a little scouting in the nearby strip close to the river, about 100 yards from the stand. He was so excited about all the buck sign he discovered that he wound up sitting in what was obviously a staging area.

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Missouri Guy Gets His Groove Back

Being busted by a button buck can wreck a deer hunter's self-confidence.

When this happened to Danny Boyer during the 2013 season, the bowhunter from DeSoto, Mo., realized he had to change something about his setup, and none too soon.

When his ill-fated morning hunt ended on Saturday, Oct. 26, he asked his brother-in-law, Eric Coleman, to help him move a ladder stand from one end of his new Randolph County lease to the little horseshoe-shaped winter wheat field he wanted to hunt. And rather than position the stand so that it faced the field, they leaned it against the backside of the tree, facing the woods, to give Danny more cover.

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