Big Buck 411 Blog

Redefining Dangerous Game

Redefining Dangerous Game

By Mike Handley

If asked how long it takes him to reload his crossbow, Christian Cummins is apt to answer in yards rather than minutes. Fifty yards, to be precise. The Kentucky deer hunter’s only point of reference is the deer he shot last month in Fayette County. He took his second poke at the charging 13-pointer a blink or two after bolt No. 2 hit the weap... READ MORE

Ohio Hunter Gains Fifth Record-book Listing

Ohio Hunter Gains Fifth Record-book Listing

By Mike Handley

Hunter Quinn first became acquainted with the buck he arrowed in 2019 three years earlier, when it wore seven fewer points. He would’ve taken it then, in 2017, 0r in 2018, given the chance. When Hunter’s trail cameras weren’t yielding any photos of the whitetail beyond the spring of ’19, he worried it was dead or gone. He ne... READ MORE

Fourteen-point Cold Remedy

Fourteen-point Cold Remedy

By Mike Handley

Ohio shotgunner Owen Daniels is the latest member of what has to be a tiny group of deer hunters who have followed blood trails BEFORE launching an arrow or firing a bullet. The buck he shot in 2019, however, left no trail at all. “The first week of gun season, I went almost to the back of the 260-acre farm we hunt,” Owen told Ed Waite,... READ MORE

Westward Ho!

Westward Ho!

By Mike Handley

It’s a good thing Ricky Fretwell’s boat trailer has a solid axle, leaf springs and well greased wheel bearings. Almost a year ago, the Florida resident and a couple of friends trailered a boat for 40 hours (roundtrip) in order to hunt deer on public ground in Kansas. Ricky and his lifelong pal, Kenny, studied maps of the tract before th... READ MORE

Teen Spirit

Teen Spirit

By Mike Handley

The question of whether 14-year-old Paslie Werth’s Kansas buck is the new world record among whitetails harvested by women will be answered when it is taped for the BTR later this month. Her father, Kurt, an agricultural extension agent who has taken antler-measuring classes, came up with 282 6/8 inches, which would beat the existing record s... READ MORE

Indiana’s No. 3 Rifle Buck

Indiana’s No. 3 Rifle Buck

By Mike Handley

When Steven Gootee shouldered his rifle on Nov. 17, 2019, he had no idea he was aiming at the deer at the top of his wish list. He knew only that it was a buck. He’d hunted the impressive whitetail in 2018, even in the rain, to no avail. The following year, he’d collected trail camera images of it, and his cousin Miah had encountered th... READ MORE

When You Realize the Neighbors Know Their Stuff

When You Realize the Neighbors Know Their Stuff

By Mike Handley

Seeing the local legend in your own back yard can turn an average-Joe deer hunter into a wide-eyed, frothy-mouthed fanatic. Or so says one man’s wife. That happened to Steve Plattner last November, according to his missus, Becky. Steve had only a passing interest, a normal curiosity, about the supposedly huge buck being photographed a couple ... READ MORE

Tread Carefully and Not Often

Tread Carefully and Not Often

By Mike Handley

Deer hunters who move to Iowa are probably immune to buyer’s remorse. Just ask Drake Lamb, whose smile hasn’t faded since the day he unpacked his bags. If anything, his grin grew a little wider in 2019. Drake is a cameraman for “Midwest Whitetail,” “Chasing November” and “Spring Thunder.” Last season,... READ MORE

Threading the Needle

Threading the Needle

By Mike Handley

Kentucky bowhunter Turner Curtis plucked a mental daisy for 20 minutes before attempting to thread an arrow through two trees between him and a whitetail with wrist-thick bases. He shoots. He shoots not. He shoots. He shoots not. He shot. Turner might not consider himself a Robin Hood, but he pulled off the difficult shot last September 13, a Frida... READ MORE

Lesson Learned

Lesson Learned

By Mike Handley

Note to self: Don’t wear anything on your chest that a bowstring might snag. Ohio’s Joshua Sherrick learned that lesson the hard way in 2018. Wearing his rangefinder around his neck cost him a glorious buck and gave him a whole year of regret. Joshua leases 285 acres near his home in Cincinnati. Fifty of those – a strip barely 15 ... READ MORE

Reaping What You Sow

Reaping What You Sow

By Mike Handley

Before Brook Current created food plots on the land that sucked up his life’s savings, he was fretting and worried his “piece of heaven” was more like a revolving door for wildlife. He’d ponied up with his mother and brother to buy the 118-acre farm in Lucas County, Iowa, in 2017, and his prospects seemed marvelous at the ti... READ MORE

Low-odds Setup

Low-odds Setup

By Mike Handley

New to the surveillance game, Brad VanderEspt put out two trail cameras in the fall of 2019, one monitoring a very deery location, and the other in a not-so-deery spot. The Kentucky bowhunter thought the latter was likely a waste of time, but he did it anyway. You can guess which one photographed the behemoth that’ll soon be hanging on his wa... READ MORE

Do I Stay, or Do I Go?

Do I Stay, or Do I Go?

By Mike Handley

For 20 minutes on Oct. 4, Chris Kelly thought about trading his box stand for a ringside seat to a buck fight. He knows warring whitetails can get so wound up that they’d allow a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade to pass. The continuous, metronomic clashing of antlers told him the bucks weren’t going to stop until one or both collapsed. ... READ MORE

Luke’s Pinup Buck

Luke’s Pinup Buck

By Mike Handley

From the 1940s through the 1980s, guys and gals taped or pinned posters on their walls to gaze at and fantasize about their hearts’ desires. The practice pushed the word “pinup” into dictionaries. Now, computer wallpaper has pretty much replaced paper versions. And soon, smart phones and tablets could replace desktop computers. It... READ MORE

Click Your Boots Together Three Times ...

Click Your Boots Together Three Times ...

By Mike Handley

The fifth time Harold Jones drove from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Kansas, he wasn’t headed for public land or to hunt with an outfitter. He’d done each twice, so he was looking forward to christening a new lease of his own. Harold took an unconventional approach to acquiring the property he, son Brandon and two friends would hunt in 2019... READ MORE

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd