Big Buck 411 Blog

A Virginia Giant’s Fatal Mistake

A Virginia Giant’s Fatal Mistake

By Mark Melotik

Virginia’s Jessica Burks will likely never forget Thanksgiving day of 2023. It’s because Thursday, Nov. 19 found her in a treestand hunting a buck she had been chasing for the past four years, and year five would finally give her the opportunity she’d dreamed of. Four years previous on another Thanksgiving day, Jessica had been... READ MORE

Opening-Day Ambush

Opening-Day Ambush

By Mark Melotik

For Kentucky’s Travis Mays, the third time really was the charm. Last Sept. 2, Mays, 31, closed out a three-year quest for an outsized Bluegrass State buck by arrowing the velvet-antlered brute on a hot and steamy opening day. The buck had read the script that fateful evening — something it had not come close to doing in previous years.... READ MORE

First Bow Buck Joins Club 200

First Bow Buck Joins Club 200

By Mark Melotik

When the first whitetail bow buck of your life measures over 200 inches, where do you go from there? Not a question most of us will wrestle with, but it’s the current reality for Kentucky’s Brock Blevins, 22. “It all started when I first got a trail cam picture of him back in 2020,” Brock recalled. “We have a cattle... READ MORE

On A Roll In Kansas

On A Roll In Kansas

By Mark Melotik

Still not convinced you can consistently bag top-end whitetails on small tracts of land? You might change your tune after learning about the incredible streak of success currently being posted by Richard McIntyre, 60, of Kansas. McIntyre moved out to Kansas 15 years ago from New Jersey, where he’d struggled to find good hunting opportuniti... READ MORE

Two Brothers, Two Big Bucks

Two Brothers, Two Big Bucks

By Mark Melotik

There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned sibling rivalry. And when the bone of contention is big bucks, well, color us interested. Over the past two years, Ohio brothers Greg and Richard Patton have been on a roll when it comes to outsized Buckeye state whitetails. Greg, 51, started things off back on Nov. 9, 2022, when he arrowed a b... READ MORE

An 8-Pointer For The Ages

An 8-Pointer For The Ages

By Mark Melotik

For some dedicated whitetailers there’s just nothing like a record-class 8-pointer, and Maine’s Tim Elsenheimer, 61, would certainly agree. On Oct. 3, 2023, he bagged an 8-point Maine monarch that has rewritten the BTR recordbook. The stunningly clean, massive deer was anchored after an almost unbelievable five-year chase, but then almo... READ MORE

Trail Cameras and Big Bucks

Trail Cameras and Big Bucks

By Buckmaster

Nearly every big buck harvest you see these days includes trail camera photos. Trail cameras are now in integral part of nearly every deer hunter’s scouting efforts — and they’re a lot of fun, too! A few stalwarts complained about trail cameras when they first became popular, but the management advantages were hard to dispute. ... READ MORE

MO Public-Land Giant by Boat

MO Public-Land Giant by Boat

By Mark Melotik

We’d guess relatively few hunts for outsized bucks begin with a nail-biting predawn lake run in a well-tuned fishing boat, picking slowly through a snag-filled stump field in inky, snowy darkness. But that exact, stealthy approach worked handsomely last Nov. 26, for Missouri’s Larry Ruebel and his 11-year-old son Landon. The pair was... READ MORE

Gone But Not Forgotten

Gone But Not Forgotten

By Mark Melotik

The allure of giant antlers can make people do crazy things — and I’m not just talking about getting up at 3:30 a.m. and treading out into the cold to sit for hours on end. While the vast majority of deer hunters are law-abiding sportsmen who care about the animals and their habitat, there are a few who fall victim to temptation and ... READ MORE

Grow Your Own Big Bucks

Grow Your Own Big Bucks

By Mark Melotik

Tired of all the extra effort required to beat the crowd to the best public-land hunting? If so, it might be time to buy your own chunk of deer hunting land. Let’s consider a typical small-tract scenario of 80 acres or less. Maybe much less. Can you take those 80 acres — or 60, 40 or even 20 — and turn it into a buck-hunting pa... READ MORE

Well-Known Ohio Giant Falls

Well-Known Ohio Giant Falls

By Mark Melotik

Sometimes the planets align and a big buck simply gets dropped in your lap. Talk to Ohio’s Eric Phillips, and it’s likely you’ll come away believing that’s exactly what happened last Dec. 17 — the second day of the state’s gun season. That’s when he bagged a well-known Buckeye State brute not far from his f... READ MORE

Going Semi-Guided For Deer

Going Semi-Guided For Deer

By Mark Melotik

Several years ago I was bowhunting Kansas with a couple buddies, and a few days in we were on the trail of my friend Jared’s hard-hit buck. As we followed the winding blood trail it eventually led us into an area that made the hackles stand up on my neck. The isolated, sign-filled spot reeked of a big-buck hangout. Better, because we were ... READ MORE

The Latest Buck Bedding Research

The Latest Buck Bedding Research

By Mark Melotik

Have you ever set a stand based on where you believed a mature buck was bedding? Many of us have done just that, but the latest whitetail research has found the tactic might be hit-and-miss at best. Well, sort of. According to data compiled recently by Mississippi State University researchers and presented at the 2024 Southeast Deer Study Group Me... READ MORE

Mushroom Hunt Leads To Tall-Tined Treasure

Mushroom Hunt Leads To Tall-Tined Treasure

By Mark Melotik

It was back on April 15, 2022, when Ohio’s Joel Drake found a monster of a Buckeye State deadhead. And ever since, friends and family had been asking just how many inches the mighty rack might hold. Now, Drake can finally tell them. Spoiler alert: It’s much larger than he thought. Earlier this year Drake, 23, had gotten word that a l... READ MORE

Focused Youngster Nabs Impressive KS Pickup

Focused Youngster Nabs Impressive KS Pickup

By Mark Melotik

How’s your shed hunting been so far this spring? Stumble across any noteworthy deadheads? One of the people who can relate is Wyatt Dochterman, age 9 of Fort Riley, Kansas. He now owns an impressive rack listed in the BTR record book after an official scoring session in late March. At the tender age of 9 and already in the BTR records? Absol... READ MORE

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