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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

19

The Better to Smell You With...By Mike Handley

While I've suffered more than my fair share of sinus infections, some that have left my head feeling as heavy and dense as a damp bag of Quikrete, I've never had it as bad as a couple of deer that came to my attention last week.

The first with a face only a mother could love was a very respectable 12-pointer shot in Ohio. Its swollen schnoz looked as if it had either been bitten by a rattlesnake or stung by yellowjackets.

Even though I've never seen anything like this in 41 years of deer hunting, I was ready to dismiss Muzzle-zilla as a freak of nature until his twin surfaced in Michigan.

The Better to Smell You With...Fellow blogger Michael Hanback posted a photo of the Michigan buck-a-potamus on his website, and Kevin Kreel, a wildlife pathologist at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Ga., eventually shed some light on the subject.

Kreel, who has seen about 10 of these animals in the last seven years, suspects a bacterial infection is to blame.

Something else, probably testosterone, is behind an Illinois oddity.

The Better to Smell You With...No Crying Over This Game

Every year, I see photos of antlered does - male on top, but not underneath. This season's specimen, a 30-pointer that hasn't been taped yet, was taken by Richard Lomas of West Salem, Ill., and he didn't realize it until he dropped it off at a deer processing plant.

The most common question whenever these critters are taken is how they rank among similar deer with jewel-less crowns. The answer is that no record-keeping organization has a category for does; only antlers are measured and categorized.

I have a couple of antlered does in my files that are bigger than the 2011 Illinois specimen, but most don't come close to being this big.

The second-most common question is how the animal should be tagged, and that depends on the state's own legal definitions. Most skirt the gender issue by offering “antlered" and “antlerless" tags (and nubbin bucks, by some states' designation, are considered antlerless, regardless of what's between their legs).

Dates to Remember

Jan. 28-29: If you live in northern Indiana, Illinois or Michigan and would like to have your buck measured for the BTR, you can avoid the $25 entry fee by bringing your deer to the 28th annual Hammond, Ind., Outdoor Sports Show inside the Jean Shepherd Community Center.

March 16-18: If you're interested in becoming a Buckmasters scorer, the next measuring class will be held during Circle M Auctions' 11th Annual Whitetail Classic Sport Show and Antler Auction in Dubuque, Iowa's Grand River Center. You'll have to pre-register for the class. This rare opportunity aside, the show attracts serious antlers and collectors. E-mail me for details about becoming a BTR measurer.

Brandi Fowler Hunter Unknown Scott Maloch Douglas Staudt Cody Toler Scott Esker BTR

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Comments

Mitch Barkett
# Mitch Barkett
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 10:25 AM
They need to call it the moose syndrome because their snout looks like a moose.
Terry Meadows
# Terry Meadows
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 10:28 AM
"bacterial infection is to blame" would make me want to have the meat checked as well before consuming the product of the hunt. Ugly critters no matter the reason.
Bob Scarl
# Bob Scarl
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1:18 PM
Hi :
Question for you , we hunt drives in Ohio and at least once a year I get a buck cross in front of me at 60 yeards and what I have done is put it two to three inches in front of there nose and follow through in hopes that it will drop back into the boiler room and they are always running at top speed. Do you have any other hints to try because what I'M doing now is not working on a running buck?
Bob Scarl
Donny Davern
# Donny Davern
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 4:29 PM
Just moved to MA. would love to hunt NH or ME have no idea where to start. Public land would be best as my wallet dictates my choices. Would appreciate any input, and would'nt mind a partner who loves the Whitetail deer as I do. Thankyou
mel hopwood
# mel hopwood
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 5:23 PM
bob try holding bout a foot in front of him deer being that close even though running u may shooting in front of him..it seems to work for me
mel hopwood
# mel hopwood
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 5:25 PM
and dont stop the swing of ur gun as u follow the buck in ur scope
bryan
# bryan
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:58 PM
How many times have u heard of a antlered deer with a pecker no balls and tits is this common ?my cousins killed it and it scored 163
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