Big Buck 411 Blog

‘Ten-pointer’ is SO Much More!

‘Ten-pointer’ is SO Much More!

By Mike Handley

When Wil Branem spotted a second buck approaching his pinch-point stand on Nov. 7, 2020, he incorrectly deduced it was a 10-pointer. The underestimation didn’t really matter, though, because the deer was way bigger than the 4x4 he’d been hoping would step clear of a tree. That the lesser deer’s vitals were covered is the only reas... READ MORE

2020 Whitetail Shuffles Michigan Records

2020 Whitetail Shuffles Michigan Records

By Mike Handley

The state of Michigan gained a new No. 3 (irregular) whitetail among rifle harvests last season. The name beside the impressive 16-pointer is Tom Fogarty Jr. of Benton Harbor, who had neither seen nor heard about the deer until it emerged from a creek bottom on the opposite side of the wooded pasture he was hunting on Nov. 18. Tom was sitting insid... READ MORE

‘Dumbest Buck in America’

‘Dumbest Buck in America’

By Mike Handley

Clay Kiteley could do no wrong on Nov. 3, 2020, though he might now think twice before carrying a naked crossbow to and from his deer stands. It’s one thing, a good thing, to climb and descend ladders with an uncocked and unloaded bow. When feet are on the ground, however, it’s usually prudent to be prepared. After an uneventful morning... READ MORE

‘Twin Towers’ Ties Oklahoma Record

‘Twin Towers’ Ties Oklahoma Record

By Mike Handley

Blind rattling isn’t particularly effective once the whitetail rut is underway, but tickling the ivories can sometimes tear a lovelorn buck’s gaze away from its heart’s desire. Better yet, the distraction can make it shift into kick-butt mode and charge into bow range. Chano Bargas knows this, which is why he carried a small set o... READ MORE

Forty-minute Roller Coaster

Forty-minute Roller Coaster

By Mike Handley

When it comes to shooting bragging-sized bucks, John Koleszarik isn’t accustomed to things going right. Even if the hunter from Central City, Pennsylvania, isn’t too discombobulated when opportunity knocks, he’s apt to witness Murphy’s Law in action. While hunting public land in Somerset County last season, however, he snuck... READ MORE

Carpe Diem (Seize the Moment)

Carpe Diem (Seize the Moment)

By Mike Handley

For Emily Schaad, the iron was hot on Oct. 10, 2020, and boy did she strike! The Stockport, Ohio, huntress had been hoping to get a shot at a camera-shy buck she’d nicknamed Freak since 2018, but it was a hide-and-seek master. “His rack was all weird back then. I believe he was hit by a vehicle, maybe in 2017,” she told Ed Waite, ... READ MORE

This One was a 160 without the Junk

This One was a 160 without the Junk

By Mike Handley

Jakob Begley was crestfallen when the whitetail at the top of his wish list would come no closer than 70 yards the one day he actually saw the animal in 2019. But when their paths crossed again a year later, distance wasn’t an obstacle. The deer of his dreams was either living on or passing through a relative’s farm in Fayette County, t... READ MORE

Trading Three Cartridges for Wall Art

Trading Three Cartridges for Wall Art

By Mike Handley

Adam Wood knows all too well that bullets in a box don’t put venison on the table or antlers on the wall. While his first shot knocked his career-best whitetail off its feet and might have done sufficient damage to permanently douse its flame, he wasted no time in sending second and third rounds downrange to ensure it wasn’t going to pu... READ MORE

No Consonants Needed

No Consonants Needed

By Mike Handley

How is it that many graying turkey hunters might not be able to hear his or her spouse ask a question from the other end of the sofa, but they can still pinpoint a gobble from 100 yards? One answer is sound frequency, when the rise and fall of everyday speech can result in the dropping of consonants, when a significant other or coworker sounds like... READ MORE

Spitting Distance in Saskatchewan

Spitting Distance in Saskatchewan

By Mike Handley

Cauy Hultman didn’t intend to give the coyotes on his grandfather’s land a free meal last October, but that’s what happened when his arrow clipped only one lung of the buck he shot from only 5 yards. The Saskatchewan deer hunter’s grandfather farms and raises cattle on 50,000 acres. The place is also home to some beefy white... READ MORE

Potential Illinois Velvet (Bow) Record

Potential Illinois Velvet (Bow) Record

By Mike Handley

The Illinois deer Adam Crumrin shot last October might’ve had a full belly and more than its share of antlers, but it was running on empty, anatomically speaking. When the bowhunter from Martinsville examined his buck two hours after turning out its lights, he discovered why its rack was still in velvet, long after the neighborhood whitetails... READ MORE

Kansas Youth Benefits from Little Brother’s Ethics

Kansas Youth Benefits from Little Brother’s Ethics

By Mike Handley

When Beau Hammon and his oldest son Preston arrived home about 10 p.m. on Labor Day, his youngest son was lying on the sofa, barely awake. Had they entered the house a few minutes later, 12-year-old Braxton would’ve been in bed. Job No. 1 was to console the kid who had to spend the afternoon at football practice instead of hunting. “My ... READ MORE

Ohio Public Land Bruiser

Ohio Public Land Bruiser

By Mike Handley

Chris Richardson had a rough year in 2019, but he was on top of the world last season. The Tennessean has traveled to Ohio to hunt deer for nearly 20 years. In 2019, he shot the biggest whitetail he’d seen to that point, but he didn’t recover it. His search was cut short when he had to return home to be with family and his grandmother, ... READ MORE

Early Christmas

Early Christmas

By Mike Handley

Ten-year-old Kendel Sobek isn’t a southpaw, but she proved last fall she’s ambidextrous, at least when shooting at a deer. Drew Sobek’s little girl got a crash course in left-handed marksmanship the day before Iowa’s Sept. 19 youth opener. Because her right arm had been in a cast for a week, her daddy took her out to shoot a... READ MORE

Wham, Bam … Thank You, Mams

Wham, Bam … Thank You, Mams

By Mike Handley

Had it not been for a couple of sharp-eyed nannies, the Hoosier buck Ian Denu shot last year might still be alive and kicking. The hunter from Dubois had no idea the buck of his dreams was hiding in a briar patch 80 yards from his stand until two does spotted it. Even then, he might've never bothered to pick up his binoculars if they hadn’t c... READ MORE

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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd