Big Deer Archives: Biggest Drop-Tine Piebald Ever?

randy's Ohio piebald drop tine 2007

It seems I have seen an inordinate number of piebald fawns born this summer. It got me to thinking about all the white bucks I’ve written about over the years…none more impressive than the drop-tine that Ohio farmer Randy Schroeder shot in Ohio in 2007. I first reported on this deer in Outdoor Life back then, but the story and sight of it never get old. Just look at that beautiful hide and chocolate rack, awesome man:

Mike: On November 24, my hunting buddy Todd and I headed down to my cabin in Meigs County in Southeastern Ohio. Deer gun season is always a special time for me. The crops are off, the machinery is put away and it is time to play.

Sunday evening, I settled in on the couch to watch the news, and the weather forecast in particular. Opening day was not going to be pleasant, with a forecast of 100% rain. I reached over and grabbed a favorite book and re-read a chapter entitled “Racks in the Rain.” I called it a night and rested up for the big day.

Early Monday morning, fog lay in the ravines and bottoms. Downpours settled into a cold, hard, steady rain. At 9:00 a.m. I had the urge to crawl out of my tree stand and trek back to the cabin. Hot coffee and doughnuts were calling.

I was ready to lower my gun to the ground when I thought about “Racks in the Rain” again. The story had said: Deer acclimate themselves to all types of weather or they would not survive.  Bucks will move in the rain… I was tempted to quit, but I thought that if I stayed a little longer it might pay off.

At 9:20 a.m. a white flash against the brown leaves caught my eye. A piebald buck, running with a doe!  He paused at roughly 55 yards in a ravine below. I squeezed the trigger and the buck crumpled on the spot.

I eased down into the ravine. The closer I got, the more I could not believe what I had: a piebald buck with 14 points and a 5-inch drop tine to boot. Wow! Todd came over and we celebrated and admired the tremendous animal for a long time in the rain.

I had heard a piebald deer had been seen in the area, but a 14-pointer, and with a drop tine… Was this a dream or what?

Thinking back, had I not re-read “Racks in the Rain” the night before, I probably would have left my stand for those 9:30 coffee and doughnuts—and I would never have seen or shot my drop-tine piebald buck. I am getting a full-body mount so others can enjoy and admire him as well. — Randy Schroeder

Back in 2007, Randy asked me if I’d ever seen or heard of a bigger piebald buck with a drop-tine. No, I hadn’t then and I still haven’t. Which begs the question: Is Randy’s buck the largest piebald drop ever shot in North America? I think there is a good chance it is.

Georgia: 223 6/8” Velvet Buck!

GA monster

North American Whitetail has the story of the monster Mikell Fries shot with his bow last October 14. Why was the giant (with drop tines!) still in velvet?

…while examining the buck, Mikell noted there was only one testicle, and even it was poorly developed. While it’s unknown if this was a physiological anomaly or the result of an injury, it no doubt caused the hormonal imbalance that prevented the monster whitetail from going through a normal antler cycle. Clearly the deer had never shed the rack he’d been wearing when Mikell first found him before the season in 2012. From an 8-pointer then, he’d grown into a 26-pointer!

Big Deer are fascinating…

And BTW, every once in a blue moon a world-class non-typical like that is killed in South Georgia, like Billy Joe Padgett’s 245 4/8” 38-pointer back in 1998.


Ohio: 19-Year-Old Hunter’s Giant Bow Buck

pierce moore 1

Today’s blog is from Pierce Moore from Ohio. I saw Pierce’s buck on Twitter and asked him to write a post for us. What I love most about this story is that the 19-year-old’s exuberance and passion for deer hunting jump right out at you. We need young men like Pierce to keep this great gig of ours going: the ongoing quest for BIG DEER done the right way, with fun and class and respect. Awesome buck and post Pierce, thanks for sharing.—M.H.

The Perfect Morning

It was the morning of November 7th, 2013, the day that I had requested off to go deer hunting back in July. I knew the first couple weeks in November were the magical weeks to be in the deer woods. Little did I know what was in store for me on this morning…

It was a frosty morning in southern Ohio. I had a northwest wind blowing directly into an unpicked cornfield. It was 8:45 and I had yet to see a deer, when I decided to pick up my rattle bag and grunt call. I started off with a few tending grunts followed by the crashing sound of my rattle bag. After my rattling sequence I ended my calling session with a loud snort-wheeze.

Shortly thereafter, a young 5-point buck came running out of the thicket to my left. Judging by his body language I figured he had just been scared out of the thicket by something much bigger than him. Five minutes had passed when I looked 70 yards into the thicket and saw the biggest deer I had ever seen while in the woods hunting.

As the buck made his way through the thicket, I looked at his rack one time; I noticed a split G-2 and made the assumption that he was a main-frame 10. Then I immediately turned my head to regain my composure.

As the brute was at 40 yards and closing, I turned and waited for my chance to get my bow drawn. He stepped behind a tree and I quickly, but cautiously, drew my Hoyt Spyder Turbo and moved it back on the beast. As he made his way out from behind the tree, he was slightly quartering toward me, making my target much smaller than if he had been quartering away or broadside.

The monster stepped into my shooting lane at 25 yards. I softly bleated to get him to come to a stop. I let the arrow fly and made a lethal hit. As I watched the buck of my dreams running away to his death I completely fell apart, shaking so badly with excitement that I had to sit down.

The buck was out at 60 yards and his tail started flickering, and I could tell that he was slightly off balance, and prayed that he would just fall. I called my dad and my hunting buddy to help me track him. We gave it a couple of hours just to be on the safe side, then made our way to the spot where I had taken the shot. We immediately found good blood and started tracking.

We made our way through the woods toward an old pond. We lost blood just twenty yards short of the pond and my heart dropped as I started to question if we were going to find the brute. My friend and I started to circle around the pond when all of a sudden he yelled, “There he is!” I looked across the pond and saw the left side of the beast’s rack protruding from the water. I ran around the pond, went out to the edge and reached out to get my prize.

As my dad and I pulled the buck out of the water I was in shock and awe! I have experienced “ground shrinkage” before with previous bucks, but I had never heard of “ground growthage.” I was simply amazed at what I was looking at: 12 main-frame points, split brow tines, a three-inch sticker coming off his main beam, a split G-2 on his right side and a slight palmation with a hole in it (calcium deposit). The amount of character I was looking at was simply unreal.

At that moment I had never felt more rewarded. Being 19 and after hunting for 10 years I had yet to take a buck of that stature. To have the opportunity to take down a giant whitetail and capitalize using my compound, I felt blessed. November 7th was truly the perfect morning, one that I will never forget.–Pierce Moore

ohio pierce moore

Is this Rack the Minnesota Monarch?

not mn monarch

Dan posted this enormous rack on Facebook yesterday and asked: Has the mystery of the Minnesota Monarch been solved?

The Minnesota Monarch was a legendary buck that roamed the remote woods of northern Minnesota in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A man picked up his fresh sheds (picture below) in 1990; they had 39 points and net-scored around 334 inches. If somebody had shot this deer in the fall of 1989 it would have been the highest-scoring wild buck ever killed by a hunter. Those antlers still rank #1 in the shed record book.


But then the Monarch vanished. There is no evidence that a hunter ever shot him. People speculate that the deer died of old age…or was eaten by wolves…or maybe fell through thin ice on a lake and drowned. But nobody knows for sure, and this massive rack has never been seen again.

Still hasn’t. Come to find out, the rack that Dan posted is not from the Monarch, though it has some similarities, especially if you envision it as a rack several years later as the buck was going downhill. But the top rack is apparently off a game-farm deer, and the story goes it sold at an Iowa antler auction this spring for $1,100.

Twenty-five years, and the mystery of the Minnesota Monarch lives on.


Montana Longbow Buck

eliot strommen sticker milk.jpg compressed

One of my favorite stories from the BIG DEER archives:

Our friend Eliot Strommen (Luke’s dad) shot this massive buck on his Montana ranch several years ago. My friend Randy took this portrait of Big E and the “Sticker Buck.” I think it is a fantastic picture.

Luke, who had a lot of history with this buck, and who had found his sheds 3 years in a row, says the brute was least 6.5 years and maybe 7.5. Most of us will never shoot a buck so old. Most of us will certainly not do it with a longbow and wood arrow.

eliot and luke web

Eliot and Luke never scored the buck officially. These guys hunt for the fun, the challenge. the mystery…don’t worry with stuff like official scores or record books. But Luke and I have talked about it, and we think the Sticker Buck would go mid-160s. And that is with no brow tines to speak of and short points on a 4×4 frame. But the monster has 25-inch-plus beams and nearly 50 inches of mass. Both those measurements are world-class.

I had some history with the Sticker Buck. I saw him a couple of times while I was hunting out on the Milk River with Luke back in the day. Most notably one November morning when I was making a nudge for Luke, who was set up down on the river with his recurve, hoping for a ground ambush. Sticker Buck was running with a bunch of does and several other bucks, and when I pushed him out of a willow patch, he eased off down into the river bottom, missing Luke’s outpost by 50 yards or so. I remember seeing the buck glide off in the lightly falling snow, antlers massive and gleaming, a spectacular sight.

Eliot killed the buck while hunting on the ground a couple of weeks later. That is how the guys like to hunt out on the Milk, old-school, dressed in their wood plaids and simply crouched behind a cottonwood tree or sunk low amid logs and brush, their longbows or recurves at the ready. The massive buck came by and Eliot shot him at 6 steps, what the trad archers proudly call “wolf range.” Ran a fir arrow and a Snuffer broadhead fired from his 68# Robertson Longbow through the back of the deer’s lungs.

Luke and Eliot tracked the buck together and found him lying dead and calm and magnificent down by the river. They sat with the deer awhile, not saying much, just smelling the smells and listening to the sounds of their beloved Milk River hunting ground. It struck them that this is how deer hunting has been here for the last 100 years. It is how deer hunting will be here in this remote land forever.

Eliot’s voice still cracks as he remembers that day. “Heaviest deer we ever hoisted into the pickup,” Luke says.

Aren’t old hunting stories and our memories of them great?