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Buckmasters Magazine
Forgetting Big Ten
I watched the sun rise from my deer stand on the last day of Iowa's initial 2007 shotgun season. Deer were blowing and snorting like crazy as I approached the setup in the dark, which didn't bode well for my morning hunt. Dawn broke overcast, but the clouds soon disappeared, leaving behind a bluebird day with temperatures in the low 20s. We had ice and snow when the season opened, and it had stuck around for the entire time. As I sat in my stand that morning, I was at least comforted to know the second rut was in full throttle. My eyes rarely left the spotting scope as bucks were chasing does and sparring in the sanctuary 300 yards distant. I was holding out for a deer we'd nicknamed "Big Ten." Very heavy in mass and wide, we thought the mostly nocturnal buck would go 175 inches and was at least 41/2 or 51/2 years old. We had numerous trail camera photographs of Big Ten, but none of us had seen him while afield. At 2:15, does began filtering out of the woods, one at a ... More

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Mike Handley / RACK Editor / BTR Chairman

Mike Handley

Veteran journalist Mike Handley has been the editor of Rack since its 1999 launch as a subscription-only magazine. The 48-year-old Alabama native also is executive director of Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records and painter of wildlife. Mike has pursued big game in 15 states, two Canadian provinces, Finland and South Africa. He’s living proof that man can survive repeated bustings by long-faced does, a diet formerly laden with pork fat, encounters with black mambas and presidents of the 21st century. He also snores.

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