Big Buck 411 Blog

Mixing Work and Pleasure

Mixing Work and Pleasure

By Ken Piper

Taxidermists get to see and work with a lot of big bucks. They also put their hands on bucks of every age and antler configuration imaginable. That knowledge and experience are partly why Steve Garverick knew he was looking a potentially incredible buck shed when he stumbled upon it while hunting mushrooms in 2016. It wasn’t so much that the ... READ MORE

1+1=357

1+1=357

By Ken Piper

There’s a reason hunters so often use the phrase “buck of a lifetime.” Racks north of 170 inches don’t grow on trees, even in states known for producing monsters. Iowa certainly qualifies as one of those states, but even dedicated and skilled hunters aren’t likely to harvest multiple giants. Then there’s Brady Sn... READ MORE

Who Needs Food?

Who Needs Food?

By Ken Piper

The Keystone State ranks #2 in the nation in hunting licenses sold, and a vast majority of the people who buy them are deer hunters. Still, Pennsylvania isn't known for producing whopper bucks. Yes, there is plenty of habitat, and even a good mix of agriculture, so it might be the high number of hunters that keeps the state from appearing in the re... READ MORE

A Year and a Day

A Year and a Day

By Ken Piper

"It's a great spot! I've been sitting there for years, but a big buck hasn't shown up yet. It's just a matter of time, though." We hear that more frequently than you might believe. Maybe it's because it's in our nature to resist change, but way too many hunters hold onto stands long after they've ceased to produce. On the other hand, when a stand i... READ MORE

Close Encounters

Close Encounters

By Ken Piper

While not everyone has the opportunity to target and pursue a world-class buck, we can all appreciate the frustration of having a shooter in range and not being able to close the deal. That happened not once, but twice to Kentucky's Gerry Otto in his quest to take a buck he nicknamed Whitey. Whitey had prominent white circles around his eyes, and h... READ MORE

Basic Instinct 2

Basic Instinct 2

By Ken Piper

Brow tines can make or break a buck. They're one attribute where even giants often have a weakness. Then there's the buck Mary Catherine Ervin shot in Texas in 2020 ... Texas, Tennessee, that is. It's complicated. What isn't complicated is Mary Catherine's buck has some of the longest brow tines we've ever seen: 8 5/8 and 9 5/8 inches, to be exact.... READ MORE

Not Only a Scorer

Not Only a Scorer

By Ken Piper

When Hunter Schmittou gets out his measuring tape, it's not always for someone else. As an official scorer for Buckmasters Trophy Records, Hunter Schmittou gets to see giant bucks fairly regularly. Impressively, some of those bucks were taken by Hunter himself - and the giant he took in 2020 came from public land! What's more, the public parcel Hun... READ MORE

New Script Followed

New Script Followed

By Ken Piper

When two hunters are after the same giant buck, at least one will be disappointed. It's rare that a giant buck is taken out of the blue these days. Trail cameras have rewritten the script, but the stories are no less compelling. In fact, they often have a background or history that was lacking in giant deer tales of years past. It usually goes some... READ MORE

Public Land Ain't Easy!

Public Land Ain't Easy!

By Ken Piper

It's not that you can't shoot a giant on public land ... but it is rare. The reasons are what you would expect. First, there are fewer big bucks to be had. Second, there are more hunters trying for those bucks. And third, the intense pressure applied by the extra hunters affects deer movement and behavior. Some public land tracts offer a better cha... READ MORE

Priorities

Priorities

By Ken Piper

It can be tough to juggle work and family life these days. Add in deer season, and things really get hectic. Prioritizing your time and deciding when you can get away to hunt is difficult, but when your wife calls and says she's going into labor, you get out of the tree as fast as you can! That's a no-brainer, even during the archery opener. That's... READ MORE

Heartbreaker

Heartbreaker

By Mike Handley

The best day of a 15-year-old's life as a deer hunter was also the worst for some of his neighbors. Noah Rogers' big brother, Jared, wasn't exactly thrilled either. A lot of people in that pocket of Powell County were salivating over a world-class whitetail seen and photographed on several area farms during the six years before Noah shot the local ... READ MORE

Big Game Swap

Big Game Swap

By Mike Handley

A simple handshake helped a Maine outfitter and a farmer from Ohio shorten their bucket lists in 2020. It's impossible to say who got the better end of the deal, the man who took home a brace of record-book whitetails, the one who felled a truly world-class black bear, or the taxidermists who earned one or more truck payments. None of this would've... READ MORE

A Beast by Any Other Name

A Beast by Any Other Name

By Mike Handley

I admit I’m paid to come up with myriad ways to describe whitetails. Referring to a storied animal as a buck or a deer 27 times in one article is a surefire way to put a reader to sleep. To keep your attention, I generally alternate between the two, or I might substitute nouns like whitetail, giant, 20-pointer, 10x10 or behemoth. If I’m... READ MORE

Double the Pleasure

Double the Pleasure

By Mike Handley

Des Moines bowhunter Brady Snyder doesn't always budget for taxidermy, but when he does, he prefers paying double. That's what happened in 2019 anyway, when he let the air out of a couple of world-class whitetails, a 174-incher during a local urban management hunt and an even bigger one during Iowa's regular bow season. The larger scored 183 and ch... READ MORE

New Texas Record is Deer of the Year

New Texas Record is Deer of the Year

By Mike Handley

For the first time since Buckmasters began awarding its annual Golden Laurel Citation, a Texas specimen will claim deer hunting's highest honor. Tarif Alkhatib's 2021 Grayson County whitetail will be the 32nd recipient of the GLC, first awarded to the world-record Tony Fulton Buck in 1996. The award is given to our Deer of the Year, based on the ma... READ MORE

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd