Texas Boy Shoots First Buck

TX wesley sToday’s guest post from my friend Eddie Stevenson, a charter member of the BIG DEER Hunt Team…and a proud papa:

My 6-year-old son Wesley told me back in early summer that he was ready to hunt. He’s still too small for anything with much recoil, so I decided to let him start practicing with the crossbow.

He’s a natural shooter and quickly began hitting the bull-seye with nearly every shot out to 30 yards.

We’ve been watching deer on trail cameras since June, and he’s become familiar with all the different deer on the property. On Friday afternoon, he told me that he was ready to hunt and really wanted to shoot a deer. With multiple bucks coming by our ground blind near Uvalde, Texas, I know it wouldn’t be too much of a wait.

After only 30 minutes in the blind, this 10-point came out and began feeding just 20 yards from the blind and directly in front of us. I whispered to Wesley about how important it was to wait for the perfect broadside shot and exactly where he should aim.

After about 10 minutes without a shot opportunity, Wesley asked me to please quit shaking because I was going to make him nervous!

Eventually the buck turned perfectly broadside and Wesley squeezed the trigger like a seasoned pro. The double lunged buck only ran about 60 yards and was down for good. Wesley helped track all the way and was absolutely ecstatic!

I’ve hunted for 40 years now, and all over the world, but I can honestly say this was the most satisfying hunt of all.—Thanks, Eddie

Great job Wes and Eddie, proud of ya’ll!

Skin A Deer With An Air Compressor

air comThis infographic from Quincy Compressor got my attention, what do you think?

Step 1: Hang Your Deer

You start out the same way you would normally skin a deer. There are different thoughts about if it’s better to hang the deer head up or head down, but we’ve found that when you’re using an air compressor it doesn’t make a difference. Pick whichever way you’d like or are used to and hang the deer at a level where you can easily reach the whole thing.


Step 2: Cut A Hole

Once your deer is hanging securely, it’s time to make the first cut. Use a knife to cut a small hole in the skin that covers the deer’s thigh. This hole should be just big enough to fit the nozzle of the air compressor. Ideally you want to make it so that no air can get out once you have the nozzle in. If you find that you’ve made the hole too big you can put a piece of cloth or tape around the nozzle so it fits.

Step 3: Insert Nozzle

Next, simply insert the nozzle from the air compressor into the hole you made in the deer’s thigh. If it doesn’t fit, either make the hole larger or use tape or cloth around the nozzle to make it air tight.

Step 4: Turn On The Air

Now it’s time for the fun part. Turn on the air compressor and watch as the deer starts to puff up light a balloon! What happens is that the force of the air pushes under the skin and causes it to push itself off of the meat. The air separates the skin cleanly and neatly without causing any meat to go to waste.

Step 5: Repeat As Needed

Usually this works very well, but every once in a while there will there be parts that are still stuck. If that happens, simply cut another hole near that spot and repeat the previous steps. After doing this a couple times you’ll have the skin completely separated from the rest of the deer.

Step 6: Skin The Deer

Last, all you have to do is cut the skin along the deer’s back legs and then start to peel. The skin should be very loose from the air. Start at the top and peel the skin downward. Use a knife to cut through any spots that still might be stuck.

Then just like that, you’re done! You’ll have a perfectly skinned dear without any wasted meat.

I am looking for a few volunteers who own compressors to try it this season. Then write me a review and email, with pictures. I’ll send you a BIG DEER cap and some other cool swag.

4 Deer Calling/Rattling Tips

bowhunter rattling calling deer

One October morning in South Dakota, I saw a 150-class buck duck into a ditch with a doe. I clicked my rattling horns four times. The big boy charged 10 yards out of the cover, stamped his foot and looked for the interlopers before he ducked back into the cover with his girl. I clicked them again, harder and louder. He bolted out and ran 40 yards closer, but he was still 50 yards out of bow range. While I didn’t get him, at least I had a chance and a fun close encounter. The point: You have nothing to lose by calling to any rutting buck you see; sometimes a few horn clacks or grunts are all it takes.


If you were a horny buck which sound would you run to? The clatter of antlers, a deep-throated buck grunt or the meeaaa, meeaaa of a hot doe. You won’t hear the estrus bleat very often if ever in the woods (I’ve heard it only a few times in all my years of hunting) but it’s worth a shot in the rut. The bleat is easiest to make on a can call; just turn it up and back down to fill the woods with sexy bleats that might bring a 10-pointer running. Stranger things have happened.

Let’s say one morning soon you hear loud, deep-pitched grunts resonating from a thicket or draw. Get ready! Chances are a buck has cornered a doe and he’s courting her with “gargling grunts” (biologists call them tending grunts). If the gal is not ready to stand and breed, she’ll bust out of there with the crazed boy hot on her heels. They might come past you if you’re lucky, or circle back into bow range. Stop the buck with a grunt—draw before you call—and shoot if you can.

Whether rattling or “blind grunting” (no buck in sight), set up against thick cover and with the sun at your back. You’ll be hidden in the shadows, and if a buck responds it will be easy to see when sunlight glints off his antlers or hide. Better yet, you’ll trick a buck into thinking deer are fighting, tending or breeding does in brush 50 to 100 yards behind you. That forces him to keep looking, listening and, most importantly, moving your way and into bow range.

Maryland Girl’s First Bow Buck

Today’s guest blog from our friend Danny Myers:

MD lexi 2017

My daughter Lexi had reached the point that all of us have reached at some point in our hunting lives. It was several weeks into the season, and she still had not had a deer within bow range.  On top of that the temperatures had been in the upper 80′s for the last week or so.  She was frustrated and so was I.  We decided to take a week off and according to the cameras, we didn’t miss anything.

Finally the temperatures broke, and it started to feel like fall again.

It took about a 10-minute lecture convincing her to go that night, but afterward, she was happy she did.

We were running late and didn’t settle into the tent blind until around 6:15.  But we had some does coming in by 6:45, so must have sneaked in quietly enough.  They kept looking behind them and I told her that something else was coming.

After a few minutes, a small 4-point followed the does in.  I reminded Lexi of our conversation earlier, when I’d explained we weren’t trophy hunters, and that we know some families who would really appreciate the meat.  She nodded and got ready for a shot. As the 4-point closed the distance, he paused at about 40 yards.

That’s when I saw another buck coming in from our left.

Then the fun began.  For the next 15 minutes this deer stared straight at us, only breaking his glare when taking a step. I must have told Lexi “don’t move” at least 20 times. I have never seen a deer so focused on something and not have him run away.

The smaller 4-point did run off and came back two different times. I was certain that this buck was going to spook also. And then he did. He flinched and leaped to our right. But then he stopped.  He turned around and slowly walked toward us!

It was the break we needed.  I had previously ranged this spot at 23 yards. I whispered “top line” twice…Lexi listened, and made the perfect broadside shot. (Top line refers to the top line in the scope; we had practiced this on target at different ranges.)

We saw the buck go down within 60 yards.

Both of us were shaking and had tears in our eyes.  I tried to tell Lexi that it was my allergies, but she knew better.  She gave me a huge hug and thanked me for convincing her not to give up. I can’t describe the pride I felt tonight.  It exceeded any rush that I have ever had with any deer I killed myself.  Unreal!—Danny from Maryland

Louisiana Dentist Kills Massive 230” Buck

La nontyp 2017When I saw this picture on my Twitter last week, I knew the buck would be one of the top non-typicals killed in 2017, and likely the biggest with a bow.

Mississippi Sportsman tells us: A St. Francisville dentist on Oct. 5 arrowed what could be the largest Louisiana non-typical deer to be killed with a bow — and he was hunting pretty much where he works.

“I killed the deer inside the city limits — behind my dentist office,” Dr. Frank Sullivan said of the 18-pointer that grossed between 220 and 230 points.

The monster has 3 drop tines, a third main beam, 11 points on the left and 7 points on the right side.

This giant should fire you up for your hunts this weekend!