BREAKING: 309" Indiana Buck?

I had been hearing rumors of a 300" wild buck killed in Indiana last season. And then today this picture popped up on my Twitter. Word is the rack nets 309. If so this could be biggest non-typical whitetail ever killed by a hunter. Has anybody seen this monster anywhere on the Internet, or know more? comment

You CAN Hunt Deer with an AR Rifle

While doing press for his new film “Bullet to the Head” (ah, the irony or should I say the hypocrisy) Sylvester Stallone (who has shot, blown up and fire-bombed zillions of imaginary people in his movies) was quoted as saying, “Who needs an assault weapon?...You can't hunt with it.”

Really. Well, Rambo, take a look at the great buck I shot a few years ago with the Remington R-25, which is not a so-called assault rifle, but in fact a modern, legitimate, semi-automatic deer rifle that is available in 3 HUNTING chamberings: .243, 7mm-08 and .308. The R-25 in .308 that I used was fun to shoot and very accurate with factory Core-Lokt loads (photo below, groups we shot at 100 yards). I killed that buck with one heart shot.

Plus, and this is the thing that matters, it is your and my right to own and hunt with an AR-style rifle if we choose to. comment



Giant VA 8-Point Buck

Mike, I saw the posting of the 32-inch-wide VA buck on your website. That is surely an impressive buck. Thought I would share a few pictures of my buck of a lifetime. I was fortunate to take him on my property behind my house in Providence Forge, VA. I shot him on November 19, 2012 with my 20-gauge slug gun, still-hunting behind my house. He was chasing a doe and actually came within bow range.

I don’t have a score to report but the G-2s are 15 inches tall! I plan on having it scored at the VA Deer Classic in August. I don’t get too wrapped up in the scoring system because regardless of score he is gonna look good in my living room!

It was a great buck year in VA in 2012, way to go man, that’s some 8-pointer!


Bruce Willis: No New Guns Laws

Bruce Willis says he's against new gun control laws that could infringe on Second Amendment rights. The "Die Hard" star also dismisses any link between Hollywood shootouts and real-life gun violence. Read more here.

I knew I liked this guy, I plan to drop $20 on the new Die Hard movie out soon.






Kansas: 13-Year-Old Girl Shoots 9-Year Old Buck!

Many thanks to Pastor Matthew for sending this great story:

My daughter, Hannah, and I tried very hard all last season to get her a good deer. She had set a personal goal to either shoot a mature buck or at least a buck that went 115" or better. She passed a lot of deer, and saw some better ones, but just couldn't get the shot she wanted.

Fast forward to the last 20 minutes of the 2012 season. Major winter front moving into Kansas. I had been rattling and vocalizing trying to pull something out of the cover around us. We had a vulnerable looking buck decoy set nearby. Finally a mature deer stepped to the tree line at about 125 yards. It took about 5 minutes and some more deer vocalizations to get him in position for a shot.

In the end, Hannah shot the 9.5 year old brute I called "Muzzy Moment." I had hunted this deer for many years. The old warrior earned his name by surviving an encounter with my Muzzy after he jumped the string and I got a poor hit on him, with the broadhead first nicking the bottom of his right main beam. I have the sheds from that year, including the beam with the broadhead cut.

Hannah entered the Kansas Monster Buck Classic last weekend and ended up getting an Honorable Mention ribbon in the Ladies Division as a 13-year-old who shot a deer that was born shortly after Hannah's 4th birthday.--Matthew


Illinois Coyote Hunt

Longtime blogger Scott Geurink just returned from his annual winter hunt in Illinois and filed this report:

Mike: This year was a special hunt for me as it probably was for the other guys as well. After 12 years this was likely going to be our last trip down there. The property is being sold, and our buddy Mark found out that he was going to lose his hunting lease after 25 years.

We headed out from Michigan Thursday afternoon and made our way to the Mississippi River area, just south of Wisconsin. Along for the hunt were my dad, Russ, and buddies John, Jason, Ryan and Mike.

Friday morning it was about 18 degrees, nice and crisp. I was with my dad and Mike while John, Jason and Ryan hunted together. We made a couple calls with no luck. For our third call we headed up a steep ridge to a spot where we have called coyotes in before. Mike set up his Fox Pro call in the center; I sat on one side about 40 yards away and dad on the other.

About 22 minutes into the DSG Rabbit distress call Mike spotted a yote scaling the ridge across from us. He came in slow and cautious. Just as he was slipping away, Mike had an opening and gave a couple mouth barks. The coyote slowed down just enough for Mike to take him with his Smith & Wesson MP-15 in .223, using 75-grain match hollow points. About a 140 yard shot. Big old male, about 40 pounds, with most of his teeth broken or ground down. We congratulated Mike on his kill and set out to get another one.

The rest of the day was windy, and we didn't get anything going. Neither did the other guys, it was a pretty slow day. On our second morning it was 5 degrees when we headed out. Twenty minutes into our second call with the Fox Pro DSG rabbit distress, a coyote popped up over the ridge about 50 yards from Mike. He took the shot with his MP-15 and put him right down. Another nice male. Who says ARs aren't hunting guns!

We made more calls that day but nothing else came in. Pretty slow this year, but we were still fortunate to put 2 down and, like always, we had a great time. After our last call of the hunt on top of one of my favorite ridges, I turned to take one last look at the farm and property below. I took a picture of the land with my iPhone to remind me of all the good times and memories we've had there over the years.---Scott  

Anybody else predator hunting right now? We're heading out end of the month to hopefully get some coyote/bobcat action on film.


RAM Trucks, God Made a Farmer

Watch this commercial again and tell me if it keeps getting better and better for you, as it does for me.


BIG DEER Exclusive: 32-Inch Wide VA Buck!

Backstory: On Nov. 2, I posted this picture of this incredible buck from my home state of Virginia
and asked if anybody had more info. Spaz Hunter commented, "This buck did measure 32" inside 186 3/4. It is a real deal deer and I'm friends with the fellow who got this one it has trail pics to back it up." The hunter, Jim Wilson, sent the story/pics of one of the coolest bucks I have ever seen, and one of the widest-racked whitetails ever.--M.H.

August 2012. I had been putting the apples from my yard tree in the edge of the field behind my house. I noticed the apples were disappearing and there were more and more deer tracks, so I elected to buy a trail cam and put it up there. I set up the Moultrie without setting the time and date. The very first night I got 6 different bucks on camera and one was huge. He was in velvet and looked like nothing I had ever seen before. I carried the picture to work and everyone said it was something weird off the Internet because the date and time were not right.

It took a while to get another pic of this buck, but the next time I did he had started to shed velvet and was in a different location. I got about 50 more pictures of him and then he disappeared. It wasn't until he started making scrapes that I got him on camera again.

I live on a 27-acre farm that has about a 5-acre patch of oaks, mostly white oak. There are 2 ridges through that 5 acres, and the buck was making rubs and scrapes on both of them. I had him on cam only at night and just before dawn.

On the first day of bow season a friend, Bobby Overton, and I set up, hopeful that one of us would get to see the buck or even take him. But I saw 6-point, and Bobby saw a couple of does and a 3-point.

I hunted the buck when the wind was right for the next 2 weeks and saw him twice, both times in the early morning in that patch of oaks. But he wasnít close enough to shoot with a crossbow either time. I passed two 8-pointers in the 17- to 18-inch-wide range. One day, as I climbed down from my stand without seeing the big boy, I was mad at myself for passing one of those bucks. Glad now I let them walk!

Then Hurricane Sandy came to town and messed up my hunting for a couple of days. On Oct. 30th I elected to hunt in the patch of oaks in the evening. I parked at my pond about 300 yards from my stand, applied Tinks #69 doe in heat to my boots and walked to my trail camera, which was about 20 yards to the left of my ladder stand.

It was about 4:00 as I settled into the stand. The woods were still soaked with rain from Sandy. At 5:00 I looked up and here came the giant buck, trotting on the same path I had walked in on, with his nose on the ground! He was about 50 yards and closing fast, headed right to my trail cam. The bad thing, he would be in cover when he was in good range. Having only a few seconds to make a decision, I elected to try him at 28 yards, quartering slightly to me.

As I picked up my crossbow, it lightly touched and pinged the stand; the deer stopped in his tracks and looked around for what seemed like forever (about 10 seconds) and then proceeded on. At 28 yards I grunted, he stopped and I let the arrow fly. It hit a small limb just as it got to the deer and fluttered slightly, but it still passed clean through him. He spun around and left with his tail down. It was then that the rush hit me and the entire tree stand was rattling as hard as I was shaking. After about 10 minutes I climbed down and went to the arrow and saw it had good blood.

Here was my dilemma--I am semi-color blind and have a very hard time seeing blood in the woods. And it was wet on top of that. I did find a spot of foam and marked it. I walked out to my truck and called a friend, B.J. Mull, and he came to help track.

We stood at my truck forever (30 minutes) and plotted out a game plan. We took B.J.'s dog, Bailey, which was in training to be a blood-tracking dog, with us on a lead. We walked to the spot and B.J. said, "Man, there is blood everywhere, this deer could not have gone far!" We tracked about 50 yards and found the buck where he ran out of blood. That is when the high fives and picture time started.

Since then the 32-inch-wide buck has been all over the Internet and Facebook. I guess I have had my moment in the spotlight. But I am just glad the good Lord allowed me the chance to harvest this wonderful deer, my buck of a lifetime. Thanks, Jim Wilson

Congrats Jim and thanks for the great story--one of the coolest bucks ever from our Old Dominion!



Paying It Back With a Deer Hunt

Howdy Mike: I wanted to share this with you because I know you will get what I’m talking about. I didn’t shoot a buck this year myself (3 doe in the freezer though) but I still had a top season because of the weekend I took someone else hunting.

My wife’s cousin brought her boyfriend, Chris, through town before Thanksgiving, and they stayed in my guest house. He is an Air Force Para rescue Jumper. After a deployment to Afghanistan, they were on their way to Georgia for a new posting. He saw some European mounts I have in my guest house and mentioned that he was interested in deer hunting; he had bought a rifle and knocked about on some family land in North Carolina, but had never killed one. I don’t often invite folks I just met hunting, but I had a good feeling about Chris and I figured he deserved it. I extended the invitation and he took me up on it.

We got him out for a weekend hunt. After a quiet afternoon, the next morning he had the kind of hunt I was hopeful he would have. He shot his first deer ever, a doe, at 7:20 in the morning. I heard him shoot and then he sent me a text letting me know. It was a cold morning and he said she was down within view of the stand, so I texted back and told him to stay on stand and see what else came through.

At 9:00 he had his second deer on the ground within view of the stand – an 8-point buck! A look at the deer’s teeth suggested he was old, and the taxidermist thought he may have been quite old and past his prime.

It was a great brace of deer! The guys back at the cabin were sure to let Chris know how ruined he was by being tagged out by 9:00 a.m., with no blood trails to follow and hardly time to have gotten cold or bored on the stand.

It was nice for me to have had the opportunity to do this for Chris. I have learned the true pleasure of putting someone on their first deer. And having the opportunity to do something for someone in the service of our Nation made this a remarkable experience for me. Chris made it a true pleasure by taking in the experience with enthusiasm.
All the best to you and keep up the quality work –Jack Wade

That’s what it’s all about friends, living right and giving back when you can. Great job Jack and Chris, tremendous story and love the photo.


John Wootters, 84, America's Deer Writer

The most respected and insightful deer-hunting writer of our time passed this week in his hometown of Ingram, Texas. Mr. John Wootters was  84.

John traveled the world and wrote about guns and hunting for many publications, but most notable was his "Buck Sense" column in Petersen's Hunting. I read that column religiously in the 1980s. John had a way of pointing out little habits and behaviors of mature bucks like no other, based on his many years of personal observation of deer in the field. For example, he was the first hunter I remember to write about the moon and it's correlation to the whitetail rut...and he put rattling on the map. This man knew deer. He once said:

"A mature whitetail buck is the only animal on the face of the earth I have ever found to hold my interest...and one that teaches me something new year after year. There is no creature on earth as exciting, as beautiful, or as dangerous...and none that continuously is as intellectually challenging."

In 1976, John wrote Hunting Trophy Deer, which to this day remains the Bible on whitetail hunting. Revised in 1997, the book has reportedly sold more than 100,000 copies. That is astonishing, considering that your typical hunting book, if it is a success, sells 5,000 to 10,000 copies. 

While John was a legend in the deer world, what I remember most is that he was our kind of people--a warm, soft-spoken, pleasant and respectful man who made you feel good and comfortable to be in his presence. We need more men like that these days.

You can read more about John's life and career in the West Kerr Current, a local publication that John wrote for.


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