Tag Archives: whitetail

Hoosier Bigger Buck State?

By Scott Mayer

It’s pretty amazing what professional wildlife managers can do to manipulate animal populations to meet specific cultural, economic, or geographic needs.  For example, when I was growing up in rural Virginia, the rule when deer hunting was “bucks only,” as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was managing the herd for growth. It succeeded. In fact, some would say they over succeeded as today Virginia has liberal antlerless deer opportunities as the Department works to either sustain or in some places even reduce deer populations.

Indiana is no different in managing its deer herd to suit that state’s needs as evidenced by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission recently approving an indefinite extension of a management tool commonly referred to as the “one-buck” rule.

Indiana is no different in managing its deer herd to suit that state’s needs as evidenced by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission recently approving an indefinite extension of a management tool commonly referred to as the “one-buck” rule. That rule limits hunters in Indiana to only one antlered deer during the regular archery, firearms and muzzleloader deer seasons.

The rule was first applied in 2002 and was set to sunset after a five-year period. I spoke with Chad Stewart, the deer biologist for Indiana, about the “one-buck” rule, its background, and the effect it has had on the deer herd and hunting in Indiana.

Stewart wasn’t with the Commission when the rule was implemented, but his understanding is that sportsmen and women lobbied for the rule to manage the herd for more mature deer. Steward explained that in 2001, the year before the one-buck rule was applied, 56% of the bucks harvested were yearlings. He recalls that at the time, there was some push-back from some groups of hunters, but the rule was renewed in 2007 and today 65% of Indiana hunters support the rule, and most of those support the rule “overwhelmingly.”

According to Stewart, the popularity has a lot to do with hunters seeing more bucks, and the bucks they are seeing are larger and more mature. In fact, in 2011 (the latest year for which there is data) the yearling buck harvest was only 39%. As Indiana’s one-buck rule demonstrates, when hunters and game departments work together and use sound wildlife management practices, great things can happen.

Flashback Friday – Sonora’s Little Giants

SafariJF05coverhuntforever052114Editor’s note: Every Friday we take a walk down memory lane with a story from the Safari Magazine Archives. This week, we travel to Sonora, Mexico on a challenging hunt for coues deer. This story was originally published in the January/February 2005 issue. Enjoy!

 It was the last day of Mike Beck’s hunt on El Oso ranch in a remote part of Sonora, Mexico. In the past few days, Mike and his guide Pancho, had seen several “decent” bucks, but the muy grandes had proved to be elusive. Mike had been fortunate enough to take a trophy Coues buck on each of the five previous hunts he and his hunting buddy Joe Skinner had booked with me, and his scoring streak was on the line. Continue reading Flashback Friday – Sonora’s Little Giants

Number 2 Northeastern Non-Typical Estate Whitetail

#2-Northeastern-White-tailMy hunt was September 17 through 20, 2012 at Quest Haven where more than 2000 acres of mountains are covered with oak trees and a few pines. The ranch is an estate operation that controls genetics and age structure.

Hunting is from box blinds overlooking food plots. Roads and food plots were made with bulldozers and trucked in topsoil and Quest Haven has done a magnificent job in this huge undertaking. There are about 40 box blinds, with unbelievable obstacles to overcome in their construction.

The first morning we saw no deer from the blind, and started walking back so as to not disturb the area. After walking awhile, Heath Walk my guide, said he spotted a big deer bedded down in brush on the mountainside. Looking with my binoculars, I could not find it. All I saw was whitish tree roots sticking out, but no deer. After a while looking, I saw the tree roots move just slightly–THAT was the deer!

We could barely see the deer as brush and trees were in the way. With the binoculars we could see its outline facing away from us resting its rack on a log. The only shot I had was through a 4″ hole in the brush where its shoulder was exposed at an angle.The distance was 80 yards.

Heath asked if I thought I could make the shot. Thinking that might be my only chance at it, I said yes. We sat down on the trail, gun on my knee, scope on 10 power. I leaned my elbow on Heath to steady myself.

Heath told Bryson Weyandt, his brother-in-law and also a guide, to put his knees in my back to steady me. I shot, and nothing happened! My first thought was I had hit brush. Heath, who had his binoculars on the deer, said the rack slightly twitched, and that was it! The “tree roots” were dead!

When we got to the deer, we were awestruck. It was a monster! Heath said it was the biggest deer ever taken at Quest Haven, and guessed it over 500″. Heath called his Dad, Russ, to help us. Lots more “WOWS” and pictures followed. It was a majestic sight to see. 82 points, extreme mass and palmation, 33″ outside spread, and a 20 some pound rack.

The Walk family at Quest Haven could not be any nicer, accommodating or knowledgeable. This was a hunt I purchased on auction at the National SCI Convention in Las Vegas this past January, and I added a few other critters to my hunt. Chris Emery from SCI Headquarters scored this buck for me after and between doing measuring seminars at the Nebraska SCI Convention in February. I am also a Master Measurer, but this rack was past my knowledge. The final score is 569 6/8. It’s the Number 2 Northeastern, non-typical, estate white-tail at this time! I feel extremely lucky, and blessed!–Gale Sup

100% of SCI Record Book and World Hunting Award net proceeds go to anti-poaching and conservation efforts worldwide.

American Whitetail Ammunition

Hornady American Whitetial ammunitionThe ammunition industry has been so focused on “super bullets” in the past several years that it’s easy to forget that cup-and-core bullets at standard velocity are really darn good deer killers. The folks at Hornady remember though, and for 2013 are introducing a line of what we’d call “standard” ammunition named “American Whitetail.”  Don’t get the idea that “standard” implies these are some cheap, garden-variety promotional loads. Hornady has put so much research and effort into making some of the best ammunition that quality is just built into the DNA of how they make ammunition.

American Whitetail is loaded with proven Interlock bullets. These bullets have a small but strong ledge inside the jackets that mechanically “locks” the jacket and core together so you don’t experience jacket/core separation. To help facilitate and control expansion, Interlock jackets also have internal grooves and are tapered.

The line starts with .243 Winchester and goes up to .300 Win. Mag. with several other popular whitetail loadings in between.  All are optimized specifically for deer hunting.