Clyde Roberts: Oldest Hunter In the U.S. Shoots His Biggest Buck

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Photo by Meghan Marchetti

Last year I posted on Mr. Clyde Roberts and the buck he shot from a tree stand during the 2015 Virginia deer season. Still hunting strong at 103 years young, Mr. Clyde shot his biggest buck ever during our state’s 2016 muzzleloader season.

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He was hunting in Bedford County that afternoon with his granddaughter, Christin Elliott, who told the Virginia Game Department:

I (saw a deer and) held my hands out in front of me to describe antlers and he just smiled. I knew things were going to happen quickly, so he got the gun up and ready. Papa was so calm when the buck walked out broadside. I knew he was a great buck and time literally stood still for me. I never heard the gun go off, never saw the smoke, just watched the buck fall with one well-placed just shy of 100 yards.

Papa likes to tell everyone that I got so excited after that. Of course I did! Not only had I been able to hunt with my 103-year-old grandfather but I had witnessed him take the biggest buck of his life. Most importantly, I had the hunt of my lifetime with him! It was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my hunting career. I will never forget it. Papa is still on cloud nine and I have relived the hunt every night since.

Interestingly, Mr. Clyde was not always a hunter. He started hunting in his retirement years at the urging of his son Mike—40 years ago.

“I bought him a rifle when he retired to keep him busy,” Mike said. “My father is a very simple person and a devout Christian. He says the secret is ‘hard work and living for the Lord.’”

As I blogged last year, this story makes me proud to be a Virginian, a Christian and a deer hunter. Mr. Clyde Roberts, you are a great man and an inspiration to all of us.

Side note: Our producers are planning to be in touch with Mr. Roberts and his family, and we hope to visit Bedford County and film a TV segment with him soon for an episode of BIG DEER TV to air later this year on Sportsman Channel.


Virginia 2016: Wayne Mills Bow Buck Nets 172 6/8

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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.

Oklahoma 2016 Deer Season: Top Big Deer Year!

Ok 2016 ocktor buckOne 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.

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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.

Iowa Muzzleloader: Lady Smokes 240” Velvet Buck!

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Hi Mike: My wife, Lyla, harvested this buck with her muzzleloader near Osceola, Iowa on December 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm. The deer known as “The Freak” has 26 scorable points, an inside spread of nearly 24 inches and main beams 27 inches plus. He was 6 1/2 years old.

The Freak lived most of his life on a 4,300-acre farm located 10 miles south of our farm and managed by Steve Snow. Every year in mid-October the deer would come back to our farm, except for 2016, when our first picture of him was on Nov. 2.

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The Freak remained in velvet last year, we believe, because he was wounded by a neighboring bowhunter the previous year.

This is a great story on how we put all the pieces together on this buck’s life, until Lyla harvested him. We have not had the buck scored, but estimates from Steve Snow and others are that he is in the 240-inch range or more. Could he be the largest free-ranging buck ever taken by a female muzzleloader hunter in Iowa?

We watch your TV show religiously and thought that this was an intriguing story like the ones you often tell. Thank you, Dave and Lyla Nennig

Thanks Dave, great story and amazing buck! This could well be the highest green scoring buck ever shot by a lady not only in Iowa, but the entire United States. The largest velvet buck shot by a woman for sure! Way to go Lyla, and thanks for your support.

Maine Deer Hunt: Teamwork for a Great 8-Pointer

I have hunted the great state of Maine exactly once. We covered hundreds of miles and explored the magical big woods for a week and saw two moose but not a single deer, not even a doe. We traveled around and filmed everything we saw and everybody we met, and put together a TV show. It was a hit, and the episode remains one of the most popular we have ever produced for Big Deer TV.

Today’s guest blog is from Kevin McKenna, who hunts in Maine every year. Although Maine is one of the toughest places in America to kill a deer, especially a good buck, Kevin’s post has me longing to go back again, maybe next year.

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(Dan, blue shirt on right, and Dave; Kevin snapped the picture)

Hi Mike: This is a little back story of me and my friends Dan and Dave. We all met at MT Chase Lodge in Shin Pond, Maine. The three of us have hunted here between 18-28 years: Dan with his dad, who can no longer hunt as the years have crept up on him, and Dave, whose hunting partner Charlie passed away awhile back. I hunted here with my dad, Larry, who passed away in 2009. Basically we came together as the leftovers, and promised each other we would come back the third week of November every year. Dan is from Mass, Dave is from Maryland and I’m from Conn. We’ve been coming back and hunting together for years now.

Now to last year’s hunt.

With highs in the 40s and lows in the 30s, the weather was not ideal for Maine hunting. We hunt two areas that are 10-20 miles away from the lodge. We bounced back and forth during the week, and found some good buck sign in each place, but had little daytime deer movement.

We found the most promising sign on Thursday evening so we were all in the last two days. Friday morning came and each of us headed to our spots about ¼-mile from each other; we were all on stand by 7 a.m.

Right off the bat Dan had a buck grunting on a little ridge 60 yards away, but he never showed himself. I had a buck freshen up his rub and scrape but just couldn’t see him. Dave was in an area with a really big buck making tracks, but no sighting of him.

Saturday was upon us, the week having flown by, and we had one last day to make it happen. We awoke to the coldest temps yet, 29, and a pretty good fog. On our 20-mile drive we talked things over and agreed that the fog might work our advantage…maybe the bucks would be on the move a little longer in the morning.

Each of us hunted the same spots as the day before. I got my stand at 6:50 a.m. and at 7 a deer started blowing at me, having caught my wind. “What a way to end the trip,” I thought. At 7:15 the sound we all love to hear—BANG! A couple of minutes later Dan was on the radio, “He’s down!” I started doing a little jig on stand and so did Dave.

We knew the work was about to start, so we made our way to Dan. Dave and I found our friend and congratulated him on an awesome buck. The buck had come off the same ridge where Dan heard the grunt the day before and proceeded to hit his scrape, paw the ground and nose the licking branch. Dan had a show for 3-4 minutes before he figured he’d better shoot.

After pictures, the time was at hand for the inevitable drag–1/4 mile as the crow flies but more like 1/2 mile and all up hill. Well, 2 1/2 hours later we arrived at the truck, and headed off to the check station and then back to the lodge to show off Dan’s trophy. The buck was 8 points and dressed 185 pounds, Dan’s best Maine buck to date.

Love the show Mike.—Best, Kevin

As I mentioned, Maine is a tough place to kill a deer. Any buck is a good one, and an 8-pointer pushing the 200-pound mark dressed is a trophy. Not only the shooter but also his buddies revel in the hunt and the experience, and that is the way it ought to be. Congrats Dan, Kevin and Dave. I admire your commitment to keep going back and hunting together all those years in one of the most magical deer woods on earth. Maybe I’ll see you up there next year.–MH