Maryland: “Colossus” Bow Buck!

maryland giant 2014

Thanks to Tony for letting us know about this monster that a hunter shot in Charles County, Maryland last week (they kill some big deer every year in that county).

Cool buck, main-frame 10 w/split G-2s and super-wide. After battling the heat and mosquitoes for a couple days, it cooled off a bit and Jon got the monster he and his wife had named “Colossus.” Way to go man! Read the story at



North Dakota: Velvet Buck Has Mass!

ND velvet matt 2014

Mike: August 30. I Never saw or heard him. I looked down and he was 10 yards away broadside. I knew the mass was awesome, but thought the drop was bigger (just kidding).

My stand was only 8 feet up. Thank goodness he was looking south into the wind. I couldn’t sit that stand on the opener due to wind direction. Glad I got to the next day.  The entire hunt was a half hour long.–MDT



North Dakota Velvet Bow Buck!

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North Dakota has one of the earliest archery openers in the country (noon on August 29) and hunters are putting down the bucks. Thanks to Derek for the first buck story of 2014 on BIG DEER blog:

Hi Mike: I went to our farm to check my trail cams and do a little scouting, and found out that neither of my cams had worked. I was bummed out but saw plenty of deer sign so I decided to sit in a stand rather than scout from a distance.

I watched this buck and 3 others for 3 hours inside of 300 yards before they came down the trail toward me. A 28-yard shot hit the mark just a bit low but definitely in lungs. He ran about 10 yards and stood there bleeding in the bean field. Then he walked another 15 yards and bedded down in a row of trees still within view. He got up and bedded down 2 more times in the next few minutes before going behind the trees where I could not see him.

After the shot, at least 3 more shooter bucks came in. All were in velvet except one. That hard-horned one tore up a small pine tree 15 yards from my stand, what a show!

After all the deer left, I got down and trailed my buck about 150 yards into some cattails around a slough. The blood trail ended where the cattails ended, so I figured he either went all way across the slough, he doubled back somewhere, or he was out in the water. I backed out and waited for daylight.

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Well, first thing the next morning I figured out why I had lost the blood trail. I found the buck floating out in the middle of the slough. I put on hip boots, but the water ended up being about 5′ deep, up to my armpits. Luckily the meat was not spoiled and since he was in the water all night, the coyotes couldn’t get him.

Ever have a blood trail end in the middle of a slough?

(Hanback: Not in a slough, but I shot one out on the Milk River and lost the track at the riverbank…luckily we saw him floating, much like yours in the picture, a quarter-mile down the river before he sunk or was swept away.)

The buck was in full velvet, with an 18″ inside spread and a kicker on his right G-2. What an awesome hunt.—Derek P.

Check back tomorrow for another velvet beauty from North Dakota shot last weekend.




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.




Nebraska: Legendary Del Austin Buck

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We’re editing a TV show on hunting in Nebraska, and I ran across this amazing buck and story in my research:

As the story goes, a bowhunter by name of Al Dawson was out in the woods near the Platte River one day in 1958 when he spotted the biggest buck he’d ever seen. Al recalled to a magazine: “…heavy, scraggly points, long and short, growing from the main beams in all directions… two long prongs curving out and down on either side of his head, between eye and ear…extended below his jaws, giving him an odd, lop-eared appearance.”

Al hunted the giant hard for the next 4 years. He saw him a few more times, and other hunters in the area did too. The monster had become a legend and a lot of guys were after him.

One day in 1962, Al invited his friend, Del Austin, to join him on a bowhunt. Del had been on stand for all of 45 minutes when he heard a deer approaching. He looked up– it was the giant! The buck kept coming, and Del shot him with his recurve at 15 yards.

Al Dawson, a little sad I suspect but happy for his friend, helped Del track and find the buck. As a typical 5×5 the buck grossed 191 points and netted 184. Add on the 90-plus inches of abnormal points and you get final score of 277 3/8.

The Austin Buck stood tall as the archery world-record non-typical for 40 years. It is still #21 all-time in the Boone and Crockett records.

The image above is the only field photo I have ever seen of Del and his buck. It might be the only picture that exists of the man and his monster from that memorable day of hunting 52 years ago.