Big Buck 411 Blog

When a Camera Hog Disappears, Move the Camera!

When a Camera Hog Disappears, Move the Camera!

By Mike Handley

If you’re looking for an opportunity at a giant whitetail, the odds are far more favorable where the genes are good and the animals reach their prime, testament to both trigger restraint and, often, one-buck limits. Ohio ticks all those boxes. Josh Harsh hunts his uncle’s 60 acres in Champaign County. After seeing a monstrous deer the... READ MORE

How to Trick a Trickster

How to Trick a Trickster

By Mike Handley

Justin Candido’s 2019 deer season ended on opening day. It took him a little longer and required more creativity last year. Before the tow truck driver from Somerset, Kentucky, punched his ’19 tag by shooting a nice buck the first evening, a much bigger one with drop tines was photographed for the first time near his stand. The buck did... READ MORE

New Hampshire’s No. 2 Whitetail

New Hampshire’s No. 2 Whitetail

By Mike Handley

Chances are, Dan Blanchette wouldn’t have driven into New Hampshire last September if the state of Maine allowed Sunday hunting. While scouting public land on Sept. 16, the 46-year-old and a lifelong friend, Jerry Lanoie, found the mother lode of buck sign. The most exciting was a very fresh and very large ravaged tree. “We both stood t... READ MORE

Photoshopped? Nope.

Photoshopped? Nope.

By Mike Handley

The New Year’s Eve (2019) arrest of four poachers near the Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama, opened doors for B.J. Davis. After the incident with the illegal aliens from El Salvador, one of whom had been previously deported, the Alabamian acquired permission to hunt several small tracts close to his home. “A friend of mine owned 50 ac... READ MORE

Georgian Gets Second Chance, a Year Later

Georgian Gets Second Chance, a Year Later

By Mike Handley

Colby Johnson had only a couple of hours to spare when he drove 30 miles to sit in his ground blind on the morning of Nov. 4, 2020, but that’s all he needed to salve his wounded pride. The experienced deer hunter from Hartsfield, Georgia, flat missed a giant whitetail the previous season. He was shocked when there was neither deer nor sign on... READ MORE

Keep Tabs on Does

Keep Tabs on Does

By Mike Handley

Derek DeVader learned a valuable lesson this fall. If you’re keeping tabs on a mature Kansas whitetail that keeps disappearing in November, you can bet it’s ladies night somewhere else. If you want the buck, you’d better find the does. The 36-year-old farmer and father of three found them by accident in 2020, and he was rewarded... READ MORE

Big Buck Trumps Couples Counseling

Big Buck Trumps Couples Counseling

By Mike Handley

For a month and a half in 2020, Dillon Feland was not a contender for husband of the year. His life consisted of eating, sleeping, crunching numbers at his father’s company, and social-distancing in a pop-up blind on a lease 30 miles outside of Oklahoma City. While everyone else was obsessing over coronavirus and who would be the country's co... READ MORE

New Runner-up Crossbow Record

New Runner-up Crossbow Record

By Mike Handley

By almost anyone’s yardstick, the deer Brennan Morris shot this season was a prime candidate to be culled in 2019. Few practitioners of QDM allow a mature buck with four spindly points on one side and two on the other to spread its genes. Yet those who hunt the 3,000 acres in Richland Parish, Louisiana, were content to ignore it, a decision e... READ MORE

Far from Secret

Far from Secret

By Mike Handley

Imagine waking up to see your best-kept secret — not just word of it, but actual photos — plastered all over Facebook. That actually happened to Matthew Brunswick, a 35-year-old K9 officer for the Hancock County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Department. Afterward, he could only feign ignorance. The great revelation occurred in late October 202... READ MORE

Ohio’s New Recurve Record

Ohio’s New Recurve Record

By Mike Handley

Both good and bad news came out of Logan Glassburn’s Oct. 18, 2020, deer hunt. After sharing the good news with his wife, Morgan, which took considerably longer because he could barely speak, Logan called the landowner’s daughter to tell her he’d shot the giant buck she’d been hunting. “Please don’t be mad at me,... READ MORE

No. 19

No. 19

By Mike Handley

Dillon and Brooke Evans’ home is almost a shrine to whitetails. Inside are 18 deer mounts, and No. 19 will soon join them. The Oklahoma taxidermist tried his best to shoot the deer in 2019, but it gave him the slip. When he retrieved trail camera photographs of it in the summer of 2020, the rack appeared to be at least 30 inches bigger. Altho... READ MORE

Pre-September Giant

Pre-September Giant

By Mike Handley

Nina Rogers jumpstarted her 2020 bow season 47 days before the archery opener in her home state of Alabama. The 24-year-old Prattville resident traveled to Tennessee in late August to take advantage of Ol’ Rocky Top’s early three-day deer hunt, which the locals call “the velvet season.” Nina, a 2nd lieutenant with the Air Fo... READ MORE

Rain Man

Rain Man

By Mike Handley

Pete Alfano isn’t the type to just ring the dinner bell and wait for a shootable buck to appear. Nor does he simply manage the resident whitetails by field-judging deer before squeezing the trigger. If he thinks it’ll help, he’ll climb into the seat of a mini-backhoe and mold the land. For example: No water, or not enough? No prob... READ MORE

How to Christen a Crossbow

How to Christen a Crossbow

By Mike Handley

John Higdon is a quick study. An hour and a half after sighting-in a new crossbow last fall, he was pointing it at a living target and slipping his finger into the trigger guard. Moments later, he revoked the pass he’d given the buck a year earlier. During Kentucky’s late muzzleloader season in 2018, John pegged the deer as a still-gang... READ MORE

The ‘Gawd-awfullest Buck’

The ‘Gawd-awfullest Buck’

By Mike Handley

Kentucky’s 2020 archery season has yielded several great whitetails in and out of velvet, but few can match Joey Craver’s kickstand buck. Joey can thank a coon hunting buddy for allowing him to hunt 300 acres in Bath County, 40% of which are timbered. He gained permission in 2018. The first summer, he retrieved a trail camera photograph... READ MORE

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd