Big Deer Archives: 4-Year Ouest for a Nebraska Archery Giant
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
1d ago
Writing script for a new Nebraska television show about my hunt out on the North Platte River last fall. You don’t hear that much about Nebraska, but it’s a sleeper state for big whitetails. Got me to thinking of a great story a passionate bowhunter named Nick sent me 8 years ago: Mike: My journey for a Nebraska public-land buck started back in 2012 when I was notified, I was getting stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, which is located about 15 miles south of Omaha. I am a 15-year active-duty Air Force Security Forces (military police) member. I arrived to Offutt in the beginning of July. Righ ..read more
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Jordan’s Giant South Carolina Buck
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
3d ago
I wrote this here the BIG DEER blog one September day 9 years ago. Posting with updates: Let me introduce you to my new hunting buddy, 15-year-old Jordan Beri. Last Friday evening Jordan, who was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the chest down, shot this 200-pound, low-fence giant in South Carolina. Shaking and nervous as I have ever been in a hunting situation, I held the rifle and scope steady as I could on the buck’s shoulder. We had a special contraption attached to the rifle so that all Jordan had to do was suck on a tube to activate and pull the trigger. When I whispered “Now ..read more
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Social Media and Deer Poaching
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
6d ago
A Virginia man was arrested and charged with illegally killing three deer last fall, including a renowned buck called “Hollywood.” For years the 29-point non-typical lived in and around Hollywood Cemetery in the city limits of Richmond, and was watched and enjoyed by many people. “The Hollywood Buck was well-known for its large and distinctive antlers, making it easily identifiable,” the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources said in a press release. Last October in western New York, a man created a fake Facebook profile and posed as a female wildlife photographer. He contacted other outdoo ..read more
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First Case Of CWD in Indiana Whitetail
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
1w ago
The Indiana DNR has confirmed the state’s first positive case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in an adult white-tailed buck that was harvested in LaGrange County in fall 2023. CWD is a fatal infectious disease, caused by a misfolded protein called a prion, that affects the nervous system in white-tailed deer. It can spread from deer-to-deer contact, bodily fluids, or through contaminated environments and remains in the soil for many years. The sample for this case was collected by a licensed taxidermist through DNR’s CWD Taxidermist Incentive Program. CWD has previously been detected in the f ..read more
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Miracle in the Michigan Deer Woods
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
1w ago
A man hunting in the U. P. one day last season made a miraculous recovery after a tree fell on him, likely due to high winds in the area. Two officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources received a call and were dispatched to the scene. The helped get the hunter out of the woods and to a local emergency room, where he was reportedly in critical condition. According to reports, doctors told the family the man may not walk again after he underwent surgery on his head and vertebrae. But according to an update in January, the hunter regained movement in his limbs and has stood up for ..read more
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Pennsylvania Deer Harvest Up 2 % in 2023-24
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
2w ago
The Pennsylvania Game Commission reports that hunters harvested an estimated 430,010 whitetails last season.  The statewide buck harvest was estimated at 171,600, while the antlerless harvest was about 258,410. The 20023-24 harvest is 2% greater than that of 2022-23, and 4% higher than the total harvest seen as a three-year average. As for last season’s buck kill, it was by 5% over 2022-23, and up 6% over the three-year average. Overall, 27% of deer hunters shot a buck. That was a slight increase over 2022-23’s 26% success rate, and up significantly from the 15% success rate seen as recen ..read more
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Deer Hunter Numbers Are Declining Again
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
2w ago
Numerous studies documented a 4.9% increase in hunting license sales from 2019 to 2020. One of the few bright spots of COVID was that it produced a rekindled interest in deer hunting across the United States as people sought to get outside, and try to harvest their own food. But an extensive study of 46 states in 2022 found that overall hunting license sales decreased by approximately 1.9% in 2021 compared to 2020. Resident license sales were down 4.0% in many states. And yet another new study finds this troubling trend is continuing. The Wisconsin Department of Naturals Resources studied 18 y ..read more
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How to Hang a Tree Stand For Bowhunting
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
3w ago
If bowhunting big deer is not a game of inches, then surely it is one of feet. You can do some awesome scouting and find a killer spot ripped with buck sign. But if you move in with a stand and set it a foot too low…or angled on the south side of a tree as a 10-pointer marches in from the west… You get it. If your positioning is off just a bit, you might as well be off a mile, because you are probably not going to shoot that buck. Use this guide to fine-tune your stand placement for better shots. Size matters. A straight tree 15-20 inches in diameter is perfect for any type stand, “lock-on,” l ..read more
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Have You Ever Had Buck Fever?
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
3w ago
“It’s telltale adrenaline surge is so instant and convulsive that a blood-pressure check at that moment would bust the machine that takes it,” wrote Robert Ruark in his 1953 classic, The Old Man and the Boy. The legendary author was referring to buck fever, a malady which can affect us all in different ways. A mild case of it is good and required–if our heart doesn’t jump and our nerves don’t rattle a bit when we see a heavy 8-pointer sneaking through the woods on a frosty November morning, then why are we out there? But a bad case of the fever, with uncontrollable shaking, heavy sweat and gas ..read more
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Deer Hunt Tip: Keep Your Grunt Call Handy
Big Deer Blog
by Clay Hanback
1M ago
The heavy 8-pointer popped out onto the levee road 350 yards away, heading for a dry canal where he would be out sight in seconds. I pulled out my call and cut loose a barrage of loud, aggressive grunts. To my surprise and delight, the buck stopped, looked and began marching my way, the hair up and bristling on his neck. It was the tail-end of the rut, but this bully was still looking to mix it up. I kept calling intermittently and he keep looking and walking. A couple of times he paused and turned his head as if losing interest. I grunted harder, and by gosh it worked. The old Mississippi war ..read more
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