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Buckmasters Magazine

So Bad He Could Taste It
“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 suit, which explains why he hadn’t already shot a deer in the two seasons prior to that November 2009 opener. Like his brother, Gage, before him, Jake’s introduction to deer hunting came when he was only 4 years old. Gage was 4 when he shot his first. But Jake was a bit more fidgety than his older brother. Nine-year-old Gage was hunting with their father, Scott, on the other side of the farm that morning. Jake was hunting with Greg — they call him Fred — probably wishing he was somewhere else or, after the admonishment to wait, with someone else. The doe was right there in the wide open. He had his gun on her, and then the dreaded words came. Jake wanted so very badly to shoot his first whitetail, even if it was more keeping up with Gage than actually getting a deer. He couldn’t understand why Fred had told him to wait. But Fred was convinced the does they we...

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To Move or Not to Move...
As soon as he spotted the 10-pointer, Josh Taylor suspected the beefy Illinois whitetail was not going to cooperate. “Yet again,” grumbled the nagging voice in his cerebellum, “your refusal to move your stand closer to the big ditch is going to cost you.” ...
 

'Enough Gun' Important
Deer are supposed to be masters of adaptation. When the pressure’s on, America’s favorite and most plentiful big game animal tends to disappear faster than pepperoni at a Pizza Hut buffet. Thus, with all due respect, the buck Tim Fields shot on Jan. 5, 20...
 

October Doldrums? Nah...
While running the indoor track at Western Illinois University in February 2007, I met a girl who lived only 14 miles from my hometown. Her grandfather, a farmer, owns about 900 acres of whitetail heaven that he usually leases to nonresident hunters, hunting...
 

Slip-Sliding Away
Hunters had been salivating over a huge buck for a couple of years. It was seen often enough to tantalize beholders and haunt their dreams, but it was never spotted during hunting season. With the clock winding down - on the last day of Iowa's 2006 season -...
 

If Ever There Was an Omen
Seeing a great buck with a doe while he was driving to his hunting spot primed Todd Bailey's pump. The deer were in a soccer field within a mile of his destination, and it wasn't even 3:00. It was no ordinary buck, either. Todd figured it for a 160-somethin...
 
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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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