Update: 400-Pound Pig Buck is Back!

400 buck pig

Some bucks never die.

This picture has popped up again on Facebook and some forums and is causing a stir. Ten people have sent it to me in the last few weeks. I must have received this picture at least 100 times over the past 4 years.

When I first posted about this buck back in 2010, the story was it came from Maine or Ontario. That was quickly shot down when a savvy reader said he’d seen it on a website for a high-fence preserve in Wisconsin.

Rumor has it the buck weighed more than 400 pounds…another rumor says it looks so big because its body was bloated by the heat. I cannot confirm those things.

Will this buck ever die? I hope so, but I doubt it.




Maryland Study: Mechanical Broadheads Outperform Fixed-Blades

rage close up

In 1989, the natural resources office of the Naval Support Facility Indian Head, an installation 30 miles south of Washington, D.C. with 3,000 acres of prime habitat on the Potomac River, initiated a management program that relied on bowhunting-only as the primary means for controlling the big deer herd.

The project spanned a remarkable 24 years and was comprised of two parts. From 1989 through 2006, extensive data was collected and analyzed on how many shots hunters launched, how many deer they hit how many of those animals they recovered within a 24-hour period. Click here for the recovery rate results.

From 2007 through 2012, a secondary study was added to try and distinguish recovery rates between hunters using fixed-blade and mechanical broadheads.

So which type performed best? Over the entire 24-year span, hunters using fixed-blades hit 1,066 whitetails and retrieved 874 of them, for a recovery rate of 82 percent. From 2007-2012, when mechanicals were becoming popular, the majority of does and bucks shot on the base were with mechanical heads. During those five years, hunters hit 230 deer with mechanicals and found 209 of them—recovery rate 91 percent.

Mechanicals proved to be more accurate. Hunters using mechanicals for the five years hit the deer they shot at 94.3 percent of the time, compared to 89.4 percent over the entire project for hunters using fixed-blades. I point out that all hunters in the study project were fairly skilled shooters that had to pass a proficiency test, and once on stand they kept their shots at deer close (mostly inside 20 yards).

The impressive numbers for the mechanical broadheads caused Andy Pedersen, an engineer who worked at the Naval facility and a hard-core bowhunter who set the rules, kept the statistics and crunched the numbers for all 24 years of the study, to have an epiphany.

“One reason I lobbied to get mechanicals allowed on the base in 2007 was that I wanted to prove with statistics that they were not as good as fixed-blades,” says Pedersen, who had always been a fixed-blade man. “Turns out they are not only as good, but maybe better.” Pedersen is retired now, but he stills hunts on the base and helps other hunters track bowshot deer. He stills uses fixed-blades, “but the numbers don’t lie, the mechanicals work and often better.”

Which type broadhead have you been shooting…which will you shoot this year? I’ve been practicing with the 100-grain, 3-blade, 1¾-inch-cut Grim Reaper mechanical and am very impressed with the accuracy, now to see how it performs on game.

Trail-Cam: More Great Bucks!

cam kevin 1

cam kevin 2

A group of fellow Virginia hunters in the southern part of the state is practicing quality management and growing some big deer. This year they’ve added a few more food plots and gone heavy on corn plots to mix it up. They have some studs on the farm this year, including the two great 8-pointers above. The top buck is “Junior,” now fully mature at 4/5 years old. The guys say: “Thank God for passing hunting on Sunday in Virginia! Should be a special year here…”

cam cody

Here’s a buck one of our bloggers in the Midwest is looking forward to seeing to this fall. He asked for thoughts on age and score. Hard to tell in camera photos sometimes, but looks like a 3/4-year-old 140-class buck w/really nice brows. What do you think?

Keep the trail camera photos coming, bucks are looking good!

Hunt Skills: Do Deer Look Up?


I once had an old Alabama redneck (term used fondly) tell me, “Boy, our deer walk around with their heads craned back, looking up into the trees cause so many of their brothers and sisters and cousins have had an arrow through ‘em.” If you have hunted pressured, spooky Southern bucks you know what my redneck friend is talking about.

I recall that because I read an article in which a biologist said a deer’s eyes are oriented to pick up predator movement at or just below the horizon. He said a deer is much less adept at picking up movement above the horizon, so you can get away with more movement in a tree stand than on the ground.


But when a buck or especially an old doe is 120 yards out and coming straight in on a string to your tree stand you’d better be careful or you’ll get picked off and busted. Deer not only have a super-wide field of view, their eyes are also adept at picking up the tiniest flicker of movement.

When a deer is boring in, freeze. Shift and move only when its head/eyes go behind a tree or cover. Sometimes when I’m bowhunting, if the woods are pretty open, I let a buck walk in tight below my stand, then move. This is nerve-racking! But a deer usually will not crane its head way back and look straight up, unless you bang the stand with your boot or do some other foolish thing.

While I say “not usually,” I have had deer beneath my stand all of a sudden take a step or two back, look straight up, stamp and blow, and then whirl and blow the hell out of there. I swear they have a sixth sense. I have seen whitetails do a lot of crazy things in all the days I’ve hunted them.

In my experience while Eastern and especially Southern whitetails often look up, deer in the Midwest and West don’t seem to do it as much. Do they look up where you hunt?

Wood Arrow Skull Pole

arrow wood mounts

“Thought I would send you a pic of a unique mount I had done by a taxidermist friend of mine. Was sick of antler plaque mounts so we tried something a little different.”—Jonathan

Pretty inventive and cool, what does everybody think?