DeerBlaster blasts

Huge mass and huge spread bucks! Deer warts? High-power binos

Today’s Top 5

Lookit this mass-tastic buck “Flyer 8”!

If we told ya about a buck with a 13 4/8″ spread, would you be excited? What if we told you that the same deer measured 167 7/8″ with bases measuring 7 2/8 — got your attention now??

Pretty sure it got Ashley Noe’s attention when she was hunting in IN with her husband Jake in the fall. Realtree says Ashley wanted to take her first mature whitetail during the fall 2019 season… and DANG did she ever:

> “It had been pouring all night and morning. Jake felt that once the rain broke, bucks would get on their feet. Finally, around 8:30 am the rain briefly subsided. Just 10 minutes later, Jake spotted the Flyer 8 standing in the field corner.

> “He was 240 yards away, and I missed entirely. The buck hung around as I regained my composure. Then, I settled in and shot again. The buck mule-kicked really hard, so we knew that my second shot connected. He slowly walked away, and we were freaking out over the next hour. We weren’t positive where I hit him, and now the rain was pouring down again.

> “We walked to where we thought he was…no sign of blood. We moved closer to where he entered into the brush. We almost turned back to give it a little longer, but my husband poked his head around the brush and saw him lying there. As soon as I saw him, I started crying. I’d just shared the hunt of a lifetime with my husband.”

GREAT deer with a ton of character and a great story — huge congrats Ashley and Jake!

How ’bout this super-wide 11-point!

If narrow/massy bucks ain’t your style, how ’bout this b-r-o-a-d 11-pointer? Shot by Dave Livermore on the opening day of MI rifle season? Not sure what it scored, but we’d proudly hang it on our wall. The Big Rapids Pioneer caught up with Dave:

> “I did know he was out there but I didn’t realize he was as big as he was.

> “My son saw him first and spotted him…said, ‘Dad, big buck, big buck.’ We looked over and he went over the hill. I got a quick glimpse at him.

> “He came down the hill and [he] came across the middle of the field about 150 yards out in front of us.”

> “It was pretty quick. From the time we saw him to the time he was out in front of us, it was probably 15 seconds or so. He was moving pretty decent.”

BANG! Deer went 15 yards and dropped:

> “I didn’t realize until I went down and got my hands on him. I knew he was good but didn’t realize he was quite that big.”

Love it! Most of us are get ground SHRINKAGE, not ground growth lol!

NICE high-fence TX 10.

We don’t usually talk about high-fence bucks , but wow — this deer is AMAZINGLY symmetrical. Plus the enclosure was 1,000 acres, and NA Whitetail says he wasn’t the result of any breeding — just a deer given the opportunity to reach his massive potential:

> The G2s are 13 7/8 and 14 3/8, the G-3s are 13 5/8 and 13 2/8, and the G-4s are 9 6/8 and 9 4/8. The buck also averages over 5″ per circumference, which is itself super impressive.

Add an inside spread of 24 0/8 and you get a gross typical score of 206 3/8″. Remember we’re talkin’ a straight 5×5:

> Now consider the ridiculous symmetry. With only 2 5/8″ of deductions for length differences, and with no abnormal points at all, you get an unofficial net score of 203 6/8 typical. Were there no high fence involved, this would have been the #3 10-pointer in B&C history, and easily one of the Top 10 typicals of all time….

Ever seen deer warts??

YUCK! AL Wildlife with the lowdown:

> Cutaneous fibromas are hairless tumors found on the skin of white-tailed deer. They are caused by a virus and are almost always temporary. Deer may have only 1 or 2 of the fibromas, or the growths can be much more numerous and even occur in clumps, such as these.

> Transmission from deer to deer is thought to occur from biting insects and possibly by direct contact with contaminated materials to an abrasion in the skin. Neither farm animals nor humans are susceptible to the deer’s cutaneous fibroma virus. Cutaneous fibromas are common and not a threat to deer populations.

> Deer with warts may look icky [may??], but the meat is still fine. Only a large tumor with secondary bacterial infection (i.e., oozing pus) would cause meat to be unfit for human consumption.

Best gun to kill Covid?

Good question lol! Ben Philippi at

Heck yeah it’s for real!


1. ND gun hunters had 64% success rate last season.

> …57,949 ND deer hunters took approximately 37,250 deer during the 2019 deer gun hunting season.

2. UT wants to issue 9,000 FEWER deer tags next season.

> Biologists have reported a dip in buck-to-doe ratios over the past 4 years….

3. VA: hunters harvested 9% more bucks last season.

> “The majority of the increase in the fall 2019 harvest can be attributed to the liberalization of either-sex deer hunting days and expansion of the Earn A Buck program. These changes resulted in a significantly higher number of antlerless deer being taken, which increased over 10,000 from fall 2018 to fall 2019.”

4. WV now allows wounded game tracking with dogs.

> Gov. Jim Justice signed into law…making WV the 40th state to allow hunters to track wounded big game with leashed dogs….

5. WV adopts “Families Afield” law.Sounds like the WV folks have their priorities in order:

> WV House Bill 4523, which will allow mentored hunters to purchase an apprentice hunting or trapping license for an unlimited number of years, was recently signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice. This legislation becomes effective on June 5.

> Both residents and nonresidents who are 15 years old and older can now hunt under the supervision of an experienced mentor…for multiple years prior to completing a hunter education course.

6. WY updates shed-hunting regs.

> …expands the seasonal closure area to include expanded critical wintering habitat and enact a new opening time of 12 noon on public lands. The annual closure is to protect wintering big game.

Map (pdf) of the closure area is here.

7. ME: Eagles dying from lead bullet fragments in big game.

> …advising the use of copper ammunition instead of lead in many cases, especially for hunting big animals like moose, where pieces of meat can easily get left behind.

8. Hunting show host Chris Brackett sentenced.

Banned from hunting or having firearms for 30 months, article says:

> Joshua Thomas, a conservation officer from Jefferson County, IN, described the video: “…it happened within minutes. He essentially shot this 8-point, and then out steps what he calls the Unicorn Buck. You can hear him loading a muzzleloader, and within minutes he shot that second deer.”

> Brackett abandoned the 8-point, then purchased a second deer permit under his cameraman’s name and returned to retrieve the smaller buck, according to court documents. The following day, Brackett transported the poached unicorn buck to IL. As soon as he crossed state lines, the crime became a Lacey Act violation, Thomas said.

9. WA: First felony in state for poaching.

> Jason Hutt, 29, of Sequim was sentenced last week in Clallam County Superior Court after entering an Alford plea to 5 counts of unlawful hunting of big game and single counts of waste of wildlife, unlawful hunting of wild birds, hunting of wild animals, bail jumping and possession of methamphetamine.

> Matthew Roberson, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, said Hutt is the first person in the state to go to prison on a first-degree unlawful hunting of big game conviction since the charge became a ranked felony. “This is the first poaching case that I’m aware of where there’s prison involved, and I think in this case it is merited,” Roberson said.

10. OR needs volunteers for access/habitat boards.

> ODFW is looking for people with an interest in hunting, wildlife conservation and land management to serve on the Access and Habitat Program’s statewide board and regional councils….

11. NJ Gov now allowing firearms sales.

Had shut it down because of Covid but the Second Amendment Foundation sued. Good job guys!

Deer Disease News

> “To have any chance of success, we need to engage hunters and win their trust. It won’t be easy. Yes, we have biology on our side, but that doesn’t matter if we don’t win the people and keep hunters on our side.”

New Stuff

1. “Tree Runner” motorized tree stand climbs a tree for you.

Good deal for hunters who’ve lost the ability to climb into their stands:

> A small rail system is strapped to the tree and a motor raises the hunter into position without the need for physical strength. A switch allows the hunter to adjust the height up or down to an appropriate height. The stand also keeps the hunter strapped in during the entire ascent….

2. Bling alert: Henry Exhibition Grade rifles.

Not that you’d ever take one of these bad boys into the deer woods, but they’re sure pretty to look at:

3. Viper universal archery sight light.

> It has 3 stages of brightness — low, medium and high — so you can adjust it to meet changing conditions. It’s waterproof, and turns on and off with the press of a single button.

4. Leupold now has sunglasses for hunters and shooters.

> Every pair of Leupold Performance Eyewear is made from ballistic-rated materials that offer excellent impact protection.

Gear of the Week

Check out the Axe AX405 crossbow.

Looks like something out of a sci-fi movie! Axe launched just a couple months ago, but it’s got a promising pedigree. Parent company is FerraDyne Outdoors, which owns brands like Carbon Express, Muzzy and Rage broadheads, so…deets from Buckmasters:

> With industry-changing specs, the AX405 boasts 69% less felt recoil and 92% less sound resonance than comparable models.

> At a compact and maneuverable 27.75″ long and 10″ axle-to-axle (cocked), the weight of the crossbow is centered over the shooter’s hand by way of a balanced shoot-through stock and riser design and reverse limb system.

> This configuration empowers the most efficient part of the AX405’s split limbs to deliver bolt speeds in excess of 405 fps from just 13″ of power stroke.

> A proprietary cam system is linked by cables that run parallel to each other, rather than from the top of one cam to the bottom of the other. This unique configuration eliminates cam-lean [and] limb torque [which improves overall accuracy].

> Unlike the 1-piece aluminum rail concepts of conventional crossbow designs that rob speed, efficiency and bolt life, the stock of the AX405 eliminates the rail and utilizes dual carbon guide-rods along the entire length of the stock.

> Amplifying the bow’s performance is a proprietary and industry-first small diameter (.166 I.D.) bolt system constructed to deliver extreme accuracy, durability, penetration and safety at a head-turning 17″ long.

> When it comes to safety the Axe AX405 is 2nd to none — driven by a proprietary, completely-silent integrated crank system, and fail-safe trigger assembly with anti-dryfire technology.

Axe might turn a few heads. MSRP is $1,700, in line with other premium x-bows.

Tip of the Week

Time to give 12x binos a shot?

Guess this is mostly for Westies who spend hours and sometimes days glassing for deer. But if you’re an eastern woodlot hunter, this might get your brain turnin’.

Used to be that 8x or 10x were the standard magnifications most hunters used, but now optics companies are offering higher-mag units. Here’s some thoughts on 12x from Brady Miller at GoHunt, including the most obvious one: Can you hold a 12x freehand?

> That is a 100% yes answer. I do this all the time and even glass with my 12s with one hand while standing up if I need to. The extra power isn’t a deal-breaker. 12-power binoculars are still light enough for hand-holding and they don’t have that much narrower of a field-of-view (FOV), which could cause you to be extra shaky.

> With the 12s I’m still able to glass great distances, but…if I’m in a tight basin, I’m also not giving up a ton of FOV. That was the main complaint…when I used to run 15s. The 15s are great in the big and open country, but during some mountain hunts, they are way too much.

> …allowed me to lighten the total weight in optics I carry — I used to carry 10s, 15s and a spotter no matter the hunt…now just 12s and a spotter. Along with that, I’m able to glass more effectively as I’m not burning precious time switching from optic to optic.

Brady’s got some good charts that compare 8x, 10x, and 12x binos by weight, FOV and price. Good info.

Quote of the Week

“…swipe some of your wife’s [makeup] and between it and the stove poker you should be able to obliterate your beaming countenance.”

Roger Wilke talkin’ DIY facepaint in the OG “The Hunting Manual,” published in 1958. Bowhunting’s Patrick Durkin did a write-up on the 62-year-old book — amazing how much things have changed AND stayed the same. Here’s a different one:

> “On a walking deer, for instance, at 40 yards the arrow will strike from (18″) to 2′ behind where aimed, providing the deer does not hear the bowstring and stop. On a deer that is running slowly or merely loping, the lead at the same distance will be between 8′ and 10′, depending on how fast a bow and how light an arrow is used. If he is running fast the lead must be 20′ or 30′ at 40 yards.”

Meme of the Week

LOL! Many of us will never have this problem cuz we don’t share our shed spots with ANYBODY!

Shot of the Week

How ’bout the mass on this MT buck from the fall! @tyjohnny got it:

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