Big Buck 411 Blog

Small Town, Big Buck

Small Town, Big Buck

By Patrick Dunning

Queue the champagne and fire up the cigars. Small Town Hunting's Chris Ashley and Joey Dombroski couldn't make it out of the tree stand before celebrating this 200-plus Mega taken during Kansas' 2022 muzzleloader opener. "I squeezed the trigger and when the smoke cleared, I said, 'Oh my god, where is he?' Joey started yelling, 'You dropped him! You... READ MORE

Throwing Smoke

Throwing Smoke

By Patrick Dunning

Pennsylvania native Jason Diamond drove 16 hours for a showdown with a velvet stud during Kansas' 2022 muzzleloader opener. His personal best buck scored just shy of 200 inches at 197 6/8, with 18 countable points more than an inch. It's the second-largest velvet whitetail ever taken in the state with a muzzleloader. In Kansas, nonresident hunters ... READ MORE

Where There's One ...

Where There's One ...

By Patrick Dunning

Jacody Downey's pre-season prep paid dividends after getting skunked during the 2022 bow season opening weekend in the Bluegrass State. When a beautiful buck is active on your trail cameras throughout the summer and you're documenting his growth cycle almost daily, you try your best to make it feel safe and secure. The 200-acre stand of hardwoods J... READ MORE

Making Memories

Making Memories

By Patrick Dunning

Father-and-son duo, Robbie and Garrett Ammons, outsmarted two mature bucks during Kentucky's 2022 archery opener and have the velvet to prove it. Four years ago, the Ammons started leasing rights to hunt a farm 60 miles southwest of Louisville in Hardin County. The farm biennially rotates between two of the whitetail's favorite dishes, corn and soy... READ MORE

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

By Ken Piper

I've known some outstanding female bowhunters. My ex-wife did everything on her own since one of us had to stay home with the kids, and she had great success. I met Judy Kovar shortly after she was run over by a giant buck in a ground blind and suffered several serious injuries – but that was the exception since Judy usually got the better of... READ MORE

Life's a Dance

Life's a Dance

By Ken Piper

You won't get the girl or the giant buck if you don't ask permission. I could have written Garth Brooks' hit song “Life's a Dance.” Shy to the point of idiocy, I never could get the courage to ask girls out in my younger days. “What if she says no?” I always thought. Sure, it's a stupid way to think about it, but that didn't... READ MORE

Change of Plans

Change of Plans

By Ken Piper

How one trail camera photo turned a meat hunter into a trophy chaser. Meat hunter. It’s a label we all should wear proudly considering the whole idea of shooting deer began with a need for food. Lean, hormone-free protein remains one of the best reasons to hunt whitetails, but who doesn’t like to claim a nice set of antlers now and then... READ MORE

Bucking The Odds

Bucking The Odds

By Ken Piper

Taking a buck north of 200 inches is a rare feat. We call such a deer a buck of a lifetime, although an overwhelming majority of hunters go their entire lives without even seeing such a deer in the woods, let alone taking one. It’s been said your odds of shooting a 200-inch buck are about the same as hitting the lottery. Hud Baker not only sh... READ MORE

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

Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd