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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Will Durstine

By Mike Handley

Disciplining an employee who lives and breathes deer hunting by giving him a day off in mid-November, even without pay, is a bit like sending a child to his room with a game-laden laptop and a Popsicle.

After what happened to Will Durstine last year, his coworkers might be lining up for DLOs (disciplinary layoffs) in 2013.

Will normally works the second (afternoon) shift. Prior to Nov. 14, if the hunter from Acme, Pa., wanted to see the sunset from a tree, he'd have to wait for when he had a whole day off the clock.

The main reason he pined for an evening hunt in 2012 was a time-stamped trail camera photograph of a buck with a very large and unusual rack. It was working a scrape a few yards from his stand on property he hunts in neighboring Ohio.

"My only problem with hunting this buck was that our hours didn't jive," he said. "It was most frequently in the area from mid-afternoon to dusk. I had to be out and headed to work by noon."

After work on the 13th, he drove to the property and spent the night in his Jeep; he didn't want to risk oversleeping.

Will had been in his stand a scant 45 minutes the next morning when several deer approached his setup from downwind. They busted him almost immediately and began snorting and stomping.

After that fiasco, he sprayed down with scent-killer.

Within 10 minutes of the spray-down, several more deer walked underneath Will's stand, which raised his hopes considerably. By midday, he'd seen 30 whitetails.

He saw No. 31 about a quarter 'til 2:00.

"I might have been sleeping, daydreaming or just plain not paying attention when I suddenly heard the rustle of leaves very close," he said. "I turned slightly and saw this monster pawing at one of the scrapes only 7 yards from my tree."

Moments later, stung by the crossbow bolt's broadhead, the 18-pointer kicked and took off running for 38 yards.

The buck has a BTR composite score of 204 inches. The three-pronged trident of a drop tine on the left side accounts for 27 2/8 of those inches.

Be sure to read Ed Waite's account of the hunt in RACK magazine this fall.

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