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December 01, 2008
BuckTracker: Even More To Be Thankful For

About a year ago, I posted an entry that profiled my friend Bob Briggs, a retired dentist who has a gorgeous farm not far from my home. Bob was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last summer and suffered through months of aggressive treatment before returning home just in time for the deer season. He shot the biggest buck of his life on the next-to-last day of the firearms season.

When the 2008 archery season opened here in September, Bob was too weak to draw his bow, so he got a crossbow permit and enjoyed hunting whenever he could. One early November evening, my wife answered the phone and listened as a breathless Bob asked if I could come to the farm and drag out his buck. “He’s the only one who knows where my stand is!” Bob laughed. “Tell him it’s the stand way up on the hill by the pond. I can’t make that walk again!”

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So I showed up at the farm, congratulated my buddy and, joined by Bob’s son Steve and one of Bob’s hunting buddies, made the long trek to find the deer. We found the buck in short order, field dressed it, and tugged and pulled the animal down the steep brush-choked hill back to camp.  As you can seen, it’s an awesome trophy, an animal any hunter would be proud of.

I’m just proud of Bob.


November 24, 2008
BuckTracker: Airforce...1!

Alex Edwards took a leave from his duties at his Air Force base in Arizona to return to his southeastern Minnesota home for his annual family deer hunt. The trip rewarded Alex with more than just some R&R, as the pics below prove.

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“I was on stand for the morning of November 9, then got cold feet and decided to return to camp and warm up,” Alex told me. “As I walked back my dad, who was still on his stand, noticed that I kicked a couple deer up. He watched where they went, then came to camp and got me and my uncle. They decided to drive that hillside toward me and push the deer. Dad told me to watch a trail high on the hill and just inside the woods. But I went downhill a little further, to where it was thick. As soon as I got there, I wondered ‘How am I ever gonna shoot anything here?’”

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Fortunately, Alex didn’t have time to adjust his position. Suddenly he could hear deer running toward him, and then spotted a buck—make that, “the buck”—bearing down on him. Alex dropped the monster with his first shot, then made a quick follow-up. This giant whitetail was something of a legend among area hunters. “He ran a big area,” Alex says. “Lots of people knew about him. I was just so lucky to be the one who got to finally tag him.” The buck gross-scored 224” and sported 18 points. Congrats, Alex!


November 20, 2008
Video Report: Arkansas Hunter Kills Locked-Horn Two-For

From KAIT8 News:

James "Jimbo" Lenderman joined a small group of people who can claim to have bagged two bucks with one shot.

That's because Monday, while working in his shop overlooking a farm in Craighead County, Jimbo noticed a large buck with another buck pinned down, but when he got closer, he noticed that the standing-buck wasn't pinning the other down; he was dragging the other around. . . .

Jimbo took down the surviving deer, giving him legal claim to both.

Be sure to check out the video gallery.



Whitetail News Roundup

Michigan Deer Hunters Asked To Shoot Pigs
www.mlive.com

Maine Hunter Victim Of Drive-By Buck Theft
morningsentinel.mainetoday.com

Minnesota Processors Opt Out of Donation Programs
www.dl-online.com

Hunter Misses Deer, Hits Distant Window
www.sctimes.com

Buck Goes On Shopping Rampage
www.riverfronttimes.com


November 19, 2008
BuckTracker: Safe in the City...So Far

About the time we posted the “Walking World Record?” video here, another monster whitetail was claiming video-star status. Click here to watch. This buck, a 14X12 (that’s 26-pointer, for us older guys) nontypical was filmed within the city limits of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I talked with Bill Corbett, an air traffic controller there, who has seen the buck several times and was interviewed for a local TV news spot about the deer.

As big bucks often do, this guy disappeared for a time. Rumors had it that the trophy whitetail was poached. Then, this week Corbett contacted me and sent the pics below. The buck is obviously alive, well, and gorgeous!

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The buck resides in a non-hunting area, so Bill told me that while poaching is a legitimate concern, vehicle traffic may be an even larger problem for the buck. Local officials feel that media exposure will help prevent the former (a buck this big and famous would catch any taxidermist’s eye). As for the latter…drive carefully, Sioux Falls folk! With Bill’s help, we’ll try to keep tabs on this giant in the months to come!


November 17, 2008
BuckTracker: Monster November Velvet Buck

Iowa is well-known as a destination for serious whitetail hunters, but this month the Hawkeye State coughed up an unusual trophy: A trophy buck still velvet-clad in November!

Georgia bowhunter Chris Rivers ventured north to hunt his 40-acre property the first week of November. His first afternoon on stand, he spotted several bucks feeding on a 2-acre food plot; among them the tremendous whitetail pictured below. Chris decided to focus his efforts on this deer, knowing he had two weeks of prime rut hunting ahead. Only two days later, the buck approached within easy bow range, and Chris made good on the 15-yard shot.

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Then things got weird. As he tracked the deer, Chris spotted another buck standing in the timber. This deer, a 2-1/2 year old buck, saw Chris coming and stood his ground. Then the buck walked to within 10 yards and left only when Chris talked to it in a loud, clear voice. After the smaller buck left, Chris saw his deer lying not far from where he’d first spotted the aggressive buck. Puncture wounds to his buck’s ribcage proved that the younger buck had been goring Chris’ dead trophy!

Sometimes, bucks that don’t shed velvet are antlered does or hermaphrodites, but Chris said his buck had both testicles. “I did notice a really strong rotten smell when I field dressed him, and I didn’t gut shoot him,” he notes. “All I can think is that he had some injury awhile back that prevented him from shedding his velvet.”

Regardless of the cause, this velvet buck could rank extremely high in the Pope & Young record books.

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The super 6X5 gross-scored 186-5/8” and may net in the mid-160’s when the 60-day drying period ends in January. According to my research, this would place this amazing buck among the top 7 or 8 typical velvet whitetails recognized by P&Y. Congrats to Chris!


November 14, 2008
Whitetail News Roundup

Minnesota Hunters Shoot Deer, Set Stand On Fire
www.twincities.com

Montana Officials Use Taser To Free Entangled Buck
www.missoulian.com

Texas Eyes Major Changes To Deer Hunting Regs
www.chron.com

Will Bait Ban Affect Michigan Gun Harvest?
www.iosconews.com



Minnesota Hunters Describe Cougar Encounter

From an AP story in the Star Tribune:

Two deer hunters waited a few minutes to track a doe they shot northwest of Duluth -- only to find two hungry cougars tearing away at their kill. . . .

"When we got there, they had both been eating on it. We scared them off, but they kept circling us. They didn't want to leave," said [hunter Ted] Kline. . . .


November 12, 2008
Two Big Kansas Bucks

Those of you who’ve read the November issue may remember Connecticut hunter Keith Manca. He was featured in our big buck profiles in the main rut package. Keith bow-killed a monster Kansas buck last fall that was the highest-scoring typical recognized by B&C for the 2007 season. I had the pleasure of talking to Keith about that great buck, and he was one of the most sincere, appreciative and humble guys I’ve interviewed.

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Well Keith and his brother returned to Kansas this fall, and this time both brothers scored on great bucks! Keith sent me these photos this morning as a courtesy, and promised details later, after he’d caught up on work and home obligations. Obviously, these brothers have those Kansas monsters figured out pretty well! Great job, guys! 


November 10, 2008
The Hamster Buck: A Farm Chore Monster!

If you’re the type who agonizes over the best camo pattern and wouldn’t consider hunting unless you’d first taken a shower in no-scent soap, you might not appreciate this story. I happen to love it!

Illinois farmer Chuck Hamstra had spent the day combining corn. With the clock ticking on prime time, he grabbed his bow and—dressed in blue jeans, a flannel shirt and a sweat-stained chore cap—headed to his stand. Ten minutes later this giant non-typ walked by and Mr. Hamstra (known as “Hamster” to his friends) made a perfect shot. This buck had been spotted on the Hamstra farm last winter, and last spring they found one of his shed antlers. The 18-point buck is estimated to gross score in the 200” neighborhood!

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100 Top Public Lands
Field & Stream reporter Steven Hill spent two months interviewing state game agency officials, deer biologists, and whitetail experts to identify the absolute best public whitetail hunting grounds in the nation.

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