Every year when bow seasons open in September in some states across the country, one state gets particularly hot for big bucks. This year it’s North Carolina, where the archery season opened September 8. First we blogged about the 160-inch velvet 8-pointer that Brandon Johnson killed on opening day. Since then we’ve heard of 4 more NC giants. We got word of all these bucks from the Carolina Sportsman website. If you hunt or fish in the Carolinas, you need to check out and bookmark this site, it’s a fantastic regional resource. Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro, NC shot this 9 1/2-year-old buck (above) on opening day. The Chatham County deer scored 137 5/8, proof that rack score means little. Anybody [...]
If you hunt in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina or any state where the archery season opens in September, click here and for tips and advice on how to punch your tag super early. I teamed with Outdoor Life digital for a 5-point plan that involves understanding late-summer buck behavior, trail-camera strategies, best tree stand spots and more. Good luck and send me pictures if you shoot a good buck this month or anytime this season!
1. A small clearing in the woods 70 to 100 yards off an alfalfa, soybean, clover or corn field. Some mature bucks hang up in these areas in late afternoon before moving out to a field after dark. 2. A bottleneck of thick cover on a deer trail that leads into a field. A big buck will usually walk the thickest route in, and you can get a close-up image of him. 3. Back in the woods where two or more drainages with thick cover come together. Oak trees that drop acorns nearby make this a surefire bet for buck images. Especially good for those nocturnal giants that don’t get to a field until dark. 4. “Our thousands of cam [...]
Years ago, an Ohio bowhunter by the name of Chad Moore wrote and told me about the dream buck he had just shot. The tale of the tape was impressive: the 6½-year-old 9-pointer with the drop tine and beams like Red Bull cans at the bases scored 186 non-typical. The story of his hunt was pretty simple and straightforward. Chad didn’t use a big or flashy technique to kill the giant. He just did a lot of good things right: the scouting, the trail-cams, the tree-stand placement, the scent control… He kept at it day after day, until the monster popped up in his bow sight one afternoon. Then, heart thumping and knees shaking, he held it together and made [...]
“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 [...]