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Buckmasters Magazine

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.” As if to prove otherwise, the 32-year-old hunter dug out his deer calls. But no amount of grunting or can-bleating — and there was a lot of it — would solicit even a glance from the buck. It was as if the animal were deaf, not to mention late ... for a very important date. For as long as Josh’s ladder stand has been in that location, in a stretch of woods between a finger of cornfield and the deep depression often traveled by deer moving from one food source to another, he’s always debated over whether to move it closer to one or the other. As Nov. 16, opening day of Illinois’ 2007 shotgun season, was nearing its end, Josh was kicking himself (yet again, his brain chided) for not choosing. If he’d been nearer the ditch, he’d be standing over a 150-inch 5x5. But that’s the way a shotgunner’s gut is wrapped. All too often, stand location is chosen more for how far one can see. Josh, who’s the eastern sales manager f...

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'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...
 

Need Buck, Will Travel
Kenny Mallett of Iowa, La., was fired up about the '08 deer season. In 2007, his brother-in-law, Doug Johnstone, had leased a small farm in Benton County, Mo.  Doug, who had been stationed in Missouri while in the Air Force, knew the area had plenty of...
 
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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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