“Some men are obsessed with good guns, fine wine and beautiful women. I am consumed with shooting a drop-tine buck.”

I wrote that on January 1, 2008, the day I launched this Big Deer Blog. To this day I am still enamored with antler tines that grow down rather than up.

Imagine the excitement yesterday, July 21, when I opened the Spartan Camera app on my iPhone and this giant popped up! First time we’d seen him this summer.

Exciting. While we get images every summer of solid bucks on the farms I hunt in Virginia, this one is exceptional.

Even more exciting is that this buck’s rack will grow a bit more over the next 3 weeks. By mid-August most of the antler growth for the year is done.

I got to thinking, a couple of years ago we got one picture of a big drop tine on the same ridge where this buck was photographed. Just one picture all summer and fall. My theory was that the 2017 drop (below) summered part of the time on our farm, but then shifted over 500 yards to the neighbor’s property and spend the fall and winter there. We never saw that buck again.

Until yesterday! I went back and compared the 2 images—same buck! He never showed up during the summer of 2018, but now he’s back!

Will the buck shift and leave our area again? Unfortunately, there’s a good chance he will, but… Several biologists I work with say that as some bucks get older, they roam less and their core areas shrink, so maybe, just maybe he’ll stay on our side of the fence this year.

Finger crossed, I’ll keep the Go Cams rolling and keep ya posted.