Robert Nichols, who creates the best amateur deer-skull art I’ve ever seen, says:
Hey Mike: Just wanted to share. My youngest son, Ethan Nichols, shot this buck on 11/23/16. The rack has 20 points total! Ethan had been watching this deer since early August and had a lot of trail cam pics of him. I’m super proud of him. You did a blog on Ethan’s first deer 2 years ago, and it made his hunt even more of a success to him. Thank you for that, and thanks for checking this one out.—Robert from Oklahoma
Excerpt of the story Wayne Mills, who lives and hunts in north-central Virginia, told me one day last fall, read the whole post here:
On Friday, October 21st we had a cold front moving in and forecast for winds to swing from the SW to the N after the front came through. I got in the stand about 2:00 p.m. and waited for the shift in the wind. By 3:30 the wind had started blowing from the north. At 5:15 the birds alerted me, and I looked toward the ruckus to see a deer moving through the brush about 40 yards away, coming out of the bedding area.
I saw a rack… It looked unusual. I saw that it had good mass and spread and attached my release to my bowstring and no longer looked at his rack. The buck continued moving along the trail and passed 17 paces from my stand, offering a broadside shot.
I shot him as he walked and it was a good hit. I watched him go down. When I got to him I was awestruck….I couldn’t count the points. He is a main-frame 12-point with split brow tines and stickers coming from his bases on both sides. All told he has 22 points, 21 score-able.
Wayne told me yesterday that he just received the final official score. The giant netted 172 6/8 non-typical, making it one of the Top 10 P&Y bucks from the great state of Virginia. I hope to film a segment with Wayne and his buck for my TV show soon.
One day last August I blogged: From what I’m seeing and hearing this has the potential to be the best buck season across America since 2010.
It was, and here is a good example.
From Paul’s Valley Democrat: Oklahoma’s 2016 deer season is well on its way to revamping the record books.
Alan Peoples, chief of wildlife with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said: “I have the privilege of seeing a bunch of big deer racks pass through my office every year and I’ve never seen this many at one time.”
Several monstrous non-typicals from the bow season have been reported so far, including Travis Ocker’s 245 2/8” beast from Comanche County (photo top).
More racks scoring from 180 into the 190s have been certified by the wildlife department, and huge racks taken during the state’s firearms season have not begun showing up yet.
I can vouch for the good hunting there last year. Our group of 5 arrived in camp in western Oklahoma the day after Thanksgiving. The rut was still rocking, and although we didn’t shoot any monsters, we went 5 for 5 on solid bucks. You’ll see the action on a 2-part episode of BIG DEER TV on Sportsman Channel later this fall.
Our friend Kelly “Sheddhunter” Kirsch from South Dakota filed this report from the antler fields:
First hard day of walking two weeks ago, and looks like people are beating me at what I do so well. There were boot prints in most all the places I walked. I did manage to find a few sheds they left behind. The land these people are walking is all public, so I’ve tied up some adjacent lands where they ought to push the deer to. Hope it works out.
This past weekend I walked 17 miles and found 5 matched sets (picture above). Walked another 8 miles the next day and only found 5 antlers. Funny how in some areas the bucks have dropped their antlers, but just a few miles down the road they have not dropped them yet.
The picture of this single is one I missed last year. I walked the same route 4 different times last year and never found it, but I did last weekend.—Sheddhunter
Also click on the top picture to enlarge it, and see the nice 9-point dead-head that Kelly picked up!
Antler hunting is kicking into high gear, send me your field reports and shed photos to post.
Number of antlered bucks (1.5 years and older) harvested in the 2015 season:
Number of does harvested in 2015:
Source: QDMA Whitetail Report 2017