Remington: Take a Stand Now

From our great partner Remington:

For nearly 200 years, Remington Arms has been at the side of the American hunter and shooter as well as our nation’s great military personnel and law enforcement officers. As the discussion of gun control and firearms ownership continues to play out on televisions, at water coolers and in living rooms around the country, important facts are being left out and the voices of some 100 million gun owners silenced. Visit and make your voice heard today!

I personally ask that every one of you BIG DEER bloggers click on that page and send letters to your legislators. As law-abiding gun owners and deer hunters, there has never been a more important time for us to do so. comment

Hog Hunting in Texas

On a recent deer hunting road trip through South Texas, down by the border, I became obsessed with shooting a big boar hog. I don’t know why. I’ve seen many hogs over the years and shot a few, but for some reason I just wanted to shoot a big pig real bad.

Turns out, it was not easy. While there are an estimated 1.5 million feral hogs in Texas, I couldn’t find one to shoot. Days went by, then a week. Every stand I hunted, hogs would show up somewhere else. Plus, the pigs were acting like Big Deer, largely nocturnal. On most of the ranches we hunted, they moved out into the senderos early and late in the day in low light, especially late in the evenings.

One animal that was not so elusive was the javelina, or collared peccary. Small bands of "javees" popped out in the senderos and sucked up corn morning, evening and midday. I saw at least 100 of the little buggers. One morning at 9:15, I looked down a lane and saw five black blobs moving in the brush. "More darn javelina," I told Danny, the camera operator. I threw up my binos. "No wait, hogs!" You’ll hear me say that just as it happened on TV. I had not expected hogs to come out with the sun so high, but I got ready.

Five or 6 coal-black porkers, I don’t remember exactly how many, rolled into the red-dirt road 130 yards out. I had my eye and Trijicon scope on only one, the biggest by a long shot, an old boar I figured and hoped (the others in the group were good-sized, not small suckling pigs like you see with the sows). The big pig turned, shucked and jived, always moving, sucking corn like a vacuum cleaner. It took a while, but I was finally able to line up the Model 700 7-mm-08 and plant the crosshair on the hog's short neck. He stopped for an instant. I pressed the trigger, and WHAM he went down on the spot. Bullet to the ear hole!  

Awesome pig, look at those tusks, and he had a long, black beard, a lot of Russian boar in that animal. As beautiful as a feral hog can be. I figured he weighed 150. Pepe, the ranch hand, drove up and as we loaded the porker into his pickup he said, "No, man, 180 at least." He sure was stout, short but thick..the pig that is.
Back at camp, Pepe cut out the hog’s bottom jaw. He’s gonna boil it, cut out the tusks and give them to me when I come back next year. The tusks are razor-sharp and actually quite long, extending down and back into a hog’s jawbone. Really looking forward to getting those tusks back. Maybe I’ll drill a hole in them and thread them on a necklace, and wear it to look bad-ass on TV like you see some people do... 

Nah, just kidding. But I got my boar hog and that was cool.


BIG Virginia DEER

2012 was one of the best big-buck years I can remember in a while here in VA. Thanks to Alex Brown for the heads up on 2 more great bucks (both killed in Charlotte County):

Bobby Jo Gallimore shot the giant above with (check bottom right of the picture) an open-sighted Remington Model 1100. As Alex wrote, “Haven't heard a score yet, but the buck is a pig. The picture does not do him justice.”

Harvey Lee Newcomb killed this beast during muzzleloader season. He had 15 points and weighed 210 lbs. “They are saying the buck is in the 170" range, but again nothing official yet,” says Alex.

Alex says: “The last deer is obviously not a monster, but I had to include it. This is my 8 year old son, Will Brown, with his first ever doe. He killed it with his single barrel 20 gauge and a slug. 

"Mike, I would also like to thank you and your sponsors for standing up for our 2nd amendment rights by not attending/supporting the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show. Keep up the good work!”


B&C UPDATE: Indiana Monster 2nd Largest NT Buck Ever Shot by a Hunter

Statement from Boone and Crockett Club on their Facebook page:

"The scoring procedure has been reviewed and after tine classification was verified this deer scores an amazing 305 7/8. Three tines originally scored as normal were deemed abnormal. On this particular head it took away 2/8 in deductions but when the H4 circumference measurements were taken with the correct classification the circumferences dropped a few inches resulting in a lower net score than the original posted 308 5/8. The final tally on this deer is 222 4/8 gross typical frame 93 7/8 in abnormals, and the reason that this buck's final score ranks it as the largest non-typical whitetail taken in the last decade and the second largest in hunter taken in history is that it only has 10 4/8 of deductions left to right."

UPDATE: Another picture I just got, can't see too many angles of this giant.



New Photo: Indiana 309” Giant Buck

Here is a new photo of the reported 309” Indiana monster that could turn out to be the biggest non-typical (NT) whitetail buck ever killed by a hunter. People in the know were telling me that the field photo I posted last week did not do this giant justice, and they were right. After seeing that first photo, some of you commented that this did not look like a 300” rack. What do you think now?

Bits and pieces of info are coming out. The buck was killed w/shotgun on Nov. 17, 2012 in Huntington Co. First unofficial reports: gross score 319, net 309 7/8; 37 scorable points; 79” of NT points; 30/29” beams; 13” brows; 15/16” G-2s. I hear this deer will be called the "Crab Buck." 

Boone and Crockett has received the score sheet on this rack from an official measurer, and Club officials are reviewing more pictures and a video of the scoring process. The rack will still have to be panel-scored by a team of B&C official measurers, a process that can get tricky with a NT rack. Scorers are known to disagree as to what points are scorable, which are not, etc.

Stay tuned, but what a rack! comment


Booner Shed!

One of my crazy Canadian buddies with a bad case of cabin fever and way too much time on his hands posted this with the message: “Found a Booner shed today.”

Anybody shed-hunting this weekend? Seriously, send pics if you find a big one.


Texas: New P&Y Record Buck, 253 3/8”!

Albert M. posted this on our Facebook page:

Hey Mike. Had the privilege yesterday, while at Tejas Taxidermy, of examining the soon to be new Texas state record whitetail: 253 3/8” killed by AJ Downs near Livingston, TX.

I’ll add that AJ’s incredible free-range buck gross-scored 263 1/8, had 28 points and, get this, is the No. 9 P&Y non-typical buck of ALL TIME. Read the full story here.


Michigan Crossbow Study

Michigan legalized the crossbow in the regular archery deer season of 2009, and conducted a study that ran through the 2011 season to see how it was working out. Below are some goals and findings of that study, followed by my first impressions in bold type.

Crossbows were allowed in the archery season in an attempt to expand hunting opportunities, retain existing hunters and recruit new hunters. Those are worthy goals, and the goals of every state DNR that has moved to allow the crossbow in early archery season.

The report’s data was gathered from a sampling of 2,000 hunters who used a crossbow during the 2011 archery season. That seems like a very small one-year sampling. 

The percentage of hunters using a crossbow in archery season increased from 18.6 percent in 2009 to 29.5 percent in 2010 to 36.8 percent in 2011. The number of crossbow hunters grew from 56,915 in 2009 to 90,615 in 2010 to 118,573 in 2011. That increase is not surprising, but it does seem to support one of the arguments the anti-crossbow crowd has long been making—more pressure in the deer woods in bow season.

The number of deer taken by crossbow hunters rose from 24,882 in 2009 to 38,310 in 2010 to 54,902 in 2011. That’s a big number; I would not have foreseen that large a jump in the harvest.

77% of the hunters agreed that crossbows were easier to use than a compound and took less time to become proficient with. No doubt the technology makes the crossbow easier to shoot accurately with less practice. Seems to go to another argument of the vertical bow crowd—the crossbow should be reserved for gun season.  

About 52 percent said the crossbow increased how often they were able to hunt, and 27 percent said it increased the number of deer they were able to kill. The more days people hunt is a good thing; the more success people have, the more they’ll hunt and buy licenses, another good thing.

The mean age of all licensed deer hunters in Michigan during the survey period was 42, while the mean age of crossbow hunters was 50. Supports the argument that older hunters who have trouble drawing compounds can turn to the crossbow as way to keep hunting, and that is good.

The report summarized: "Authorization of crossbows during Michigan's archery deer season appeared to be an important factor for recruiting and retaining a number of new archers…increasing the recreational opportunity for those (who) had previously hunted in the archery season, and improving the quality of hunts for archers using a crossbow." No matter how you look at it, recruiting new hunters and retaining older ones is good for the sport.

What do you think of all this? If you live and hunt in Michigan, I especially want to hear from you.


Iowa Kid Shoots First Buck

Hi Mike: In March 2011, I sent you a picture of my deer of a lifetime (244 6/8” muzzleloader giant) for your Big Deer Blog. In the story I mentioned that my grandson had nicknamed the deer and was practicing with his BB gun so he too could deer hunt.

I'm PROUD to say that during the 2012 Iowa youth season, Ethan harvested his first deer! After a Euro mount, his trophy sits right next to mine.

Seeing the excitement on his face and listening to him retell his story is indescribable. One day we were reminiscing about his deer hunt, as we often do, and Ethan said to me, "Thank you Grandpa for taking me hunting." My 10-year-old grandson was thanking me for him giving me memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. All I could muster was, "The pleasure was all mine!" What a boy!--Sincerely, Kelly Doyl

That is about as good as it gets. Congrats Ethan and Grandpa!


Monster Sheds!

This picture is flying around Facebook, supposedly the sheds are from Iowa. I want to know more about them, primarily because of those drop clubs—where, when were they found? Possibly free-range?

Let me know if you or your buddies know more.


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