Friday, December 4, 2009


I've never been able to decide which I'd pick if I had to choose between spring turkey hunting and fall bowhunting for whitetails. But I'm leaning toward spring turkeys (at least now that the rut is over).

Friends know that I have an itchy trigger finger, so despite hunting some of the best whitetail habitat in northern Indiana, I tend to shoot 120 inch bucks with a bow rather than waiting it out, risking an unnotched tag come season's end. This year was no different!  On November 8 I shot a decent 3.5 year old 6 x 4 buck that will gross around 130 and net around 120.  No great shakes.

But luckily, just like in 2008, my brother upheld family honor in the deer woods.  His 2009 deer, a 6 x 6 with a brow tine sticker, will run in the mid-140's.  But he used a shotgun, so there has to be some "shotgun shrinkage" thrown in!  How 'bout a standard 20 inches?  Or maybe 1 inch for every yard outside of bow range the deer was standing when he got shot (about 50 yards/inches, in this case).  Either way, it was a beautiful animal (and I'm probably just jealous!).

Best of all though is the giant 4 x 4, with between 9 and 11 scoreable stickers, that happened to get himself run over on State Road 14 on the east side of Winamac, Indiana.  This buck died in the yard of my brother's inlaws.  His mom-in-law called him to see if he wanted it, and I was lucky enough to get a text to see if I'd help recover and skin this deer (Ricky and his daughter were on their way out for an afternoon deer hunt).  One road-kill tag from the local police later, we had a goregous European mount prepping in my brother's pole building.  He'll tape out around 170 gross non-typical inches.  It's too bad a brute like this had to meet his fate on the business end of a bumper, but at least he ended up in the hands of a family that will truly appreciate him.

And thanks to deer season, my niece and I were able to get video of a tom turkey on November 14 that we hope sticks around until spring.  In the days to come I'll post video that shows a tom with the widest beard I've ever seen - probably 2.5 inches across at the base.  And since I preach that beards don't really matter, I'll mention he had big-ole spurs, too!

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