Big Buck 411 Blog

Destination: Deer

Destination: Deer

By Mike Handley

Contrary to popular belief, people who book hunts with outfitters rarely take home 200-inch bucks. Not wild ones anyway. Lodge owners can manage only for mature bucks, whether their holdings are large or small, in Alabama or Ohio. Yet the older these deer become, the less likely they’ll abide the stepped-up pressure of a string of pay-to-play... READ MORE

When a Tree isn’t a Tree

When a Tree isn’t a Tree

By Mike Handley

Darrin Dawes’s back yard in Arnaudville, Louisiana, is 2 miles long and 60 yards wide. Deer cross through those 25 acres all the time, but he almost never sees high-caliber bucks. In December 2016, however, a trail camera photographed a 150-incher, which is like finding a 10-pound bass in your bathtub. Darrin pegged the deer as a 4 ½-y... READ MORE

Worthy of a Four-year Wait

Worthy of a Four-year Wait

By Mike Handley

An impromptu walkabout and a buddy’s what-do-you-have-to-lose advice set Wisconsin bowhunter Greg Widiker on a collision course with the buck of his dreams in 2017. Greg watched his wish-list whitetail come of age over four seasons. When he first saw it in 2014, it was a 5x5 with above-average brow tines. It hit the 150-inch mark the followin... READ MORE

No Time for Buck Fever

No Time for Buck Fever

By Mike Handley

It took 17 days for Joe Blugerman to stop kicking himself for missing a bow shot at a mature 8-pointer in 2017. Thirty-five years of hunting deer hasn’t made the man from Munith, Michigan, immune to buck fever, and he got a bad case of it on Nov. 8. Joe says it’s because the 4x4 took so long to travel the 80 yards between where he first... READ MORE

Public Land Yields One of Kentucky’s Finest in 2014

Public Land Yields One of Kentucky’s Finest in 2014

By Mike Handley

Twenty-one-year-old Cody Likin smoked a 150-class buck in 2013, the first year he hunted the Nicholas County wildlife management area his uncle had recommended. When he scored the following year, he was carrying his bow instead of a blackpowder rifle. Cody is a student at Eastern Kentucky University. He lives in Laurel County, about two hours south... READ MORE

Kentucky’s best Perfect from 2017

Kentucky’s best Perfect from 2017

By Mike Handley

You’d think a sustained, countywide effort to wipe out feral hogs might push resident whitetails – particularly mature bucks – into another zip code. You just can’t put that kind of pressure on a deer that’s survived four or more hunting seasons, right? That’s what Jim Thompson of Frankfort, Kentucky, thought. Wh... READ MORE

Fool Me Once …

Fool Me Once …

By Mike Handley

Going into Louisiana’s 2017 deer season, Charles Brossette knew at least one decent buck was living in the 600 acres he hunts in Natchitoches Parish. A trail camera had snapped one photograph of it, a sideways view that, while impressive, did little justice to the 180-plus-inch rack. Charles got a much better look at the animal when he actual... READ MORE

On Their Own, Until Afterward

On Their Own, Until Afterward

By Mike Handley

Sixteen-year-olds Jackson Hicks and Chase Sollis hunted together, by themselves, on Sept. 24, 2017, which is rare. Their fathers are not completely sold on the idea of the boys hunting steep, rattlesnake-strewn hills an hour’s drive from home. This isn’t to say the teenagers weren’t experienced enough, however. Both have been tagg... READ MORE

The Do-over

The Do-over

By Mike Handley

Adam Cartright heard about the top-heavy Illinois deer he wound up shooting in 2017 long before he saw it. In addition to grapevine gossip, a friend photographed the deer from a parked combine, pictures of the buck in a Clay County soybean field were shared on Facebook, and one of Adam’s trail cameras captured several images. He named the dee... READ MORE

From Bust to Boom

From Bust to Boom

By Mike Handley

Brandon Myers slipped an arrow through this drop-tined buck just nine hours after it walked past his trail camera. The Ohio bowhunter had dedicated most of his 2017 season to hunting another buck on another property where he’d seen it cross the road. He wound up getting a 35-yard shot at the deer, but the arrow flew high and only shaved hair ... READ MORE

Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd