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The 2013 year was off to a bad start. I hunted hard through the bear and mule deer season, but I was not able to hang a tag on any of the animals that I was after. The whitetail season of 2013 was approaching and the few good whitetails we had on trail cams in 2012 just seemed to have vanished. I'm sure the long winter and abundant predators took their toll on the deer herds. Despite the slow preseason, I was still going to work as hard as possible at finding a big whitetail. Sure enough, in early August I was out on an evening drive and caught a glimpse of a big whitetail, but with only a few seconds before he went in the bush I could just make out a big frame. What really caught my eye was that I was pretty sure that I spotted what looked to be double drop tines hanging from the massive frame! I left the area with a smile, since I now had a deer to go after with bow season soon approaching. Archery season came and went and I began to wonder what I had actually observed that August day. I spent as much time as possible enjoying the hunting sea- son. I had a close call with a good mule deer but got winded just shy of shooting range. I also put in some time searching for a good bull moose, and had some close calls with them, but couldn't close the deal. I also made many trips through the area where the big whitetail was, but never saw him.

November 1st arrived and with it the start of ri- fle season in some of the northern zones near my hunting area. The problem was that I was stuck on night shift working 5:30pm to 5:30 am and would be for the rest of rifle season! The only good as- pect of this shift was that I could take back roads to work and spot on the way there and then could go out calling and rattling during the first couple hours of legal light before going to bed. In those first two weeks, while hunting with my cous-
in Aaron Ray, we spotted a few nice deer in that 140-170” range. Aaron had an opportunity at the 170” class buck but, as bucks of that caliber so often so, he escaped unharmed. I was in no hurry to fill my tag, and thought every day about the big droptine buck.
Hooker atricle
I have been hunting all my life, as far back as I can re- member. I began with small game, and then became a passionate whitetail deer and wild turkey hunter. I always dreamed of going after the majestic monarch of the Canadian woods, the moose, but I had never had the opportunity.

To tell you about my moose hunt, I have to back up one year. I was asked to join a group of dedicated archery hunters, made up of work colleagues and family members. The group had been hunting together for over 15 years in the same general area of northern Ontario. I had never moose hunted, and now my dream was about to come true. I was about to have a chance to hunt the largest member of the deer family!

September finally arrived and my friend Derek, and I, hit the road. We were heading to his father’s (Bud) place. On route I met some other members of the group. (Dan, Mike, and Leanne). Finally, after arriving at camp, I meet John and his young son. After setting up camp, the group got out the targets and archery gear, to do some practice shooting and make sure everything was still shooting accurately. It didn’t take long to hear the friendly banter about shoot- ing a “real” bow. You see I was the only group member shooting a crossbow. But my arrows didn’t have any trouble hitting the bulls-eye at 50 yards.
Moose Lake Monster article
The story of the buck that we nicknamed simply “Drop Tine” started after capturing him on a trail camera in late summer of 2011. I usually put out cameras in late July to start taking inventory of the local bucks for the upcoming bow season that starts in Mid-September. The northern Minnesota family farm that I have hunted for 24 years with my Dad and two brothers (and last couple of years with my own kids, nieces and nephews) consists of over 300 acres with a mix of field, woods and lowlands. There usually are a couple of different bachelor groups of bucks that show up on either end of the property that is separated by a 40 acre field. I have been utilizing two different cameras to capture these groups.

Much to my surprise, in late August of 2011, the buck started to show up on camera. I never imagined such a monster of a buck would show up on the property! The buck in velvet had a drop tine on his right side and a decent main frame. We estimated him to be about 4 1⁄2 years old. We had never had a drop tine buck on camera, or had ever seen one on the property before, so his nick name was an easy choice, “Drop Tine”. Unfortunately, shortly after getting pictures of him, while
shedding his velvet, he managed to break off the drop tine. He still was on the top of the hit list that year but the intrigue was slightly reduced without the drop.
The minutes slowly ticked by as Travis sat silently perched in his treestand, high above the Willamson County hunting ground where he knew a GIANT whitetail roamed. It was now 4pm and things were very quiet. However, things were about to quickly change for the hunter. A few minutes later, he could hear splashing sounds coming from the creek. The sound was heavy, more than birds or squirrels would make, the hunter slowly turned to see a huge buck knee deep in the water......

Backing up a bit, this was the first year Travis Cockburn used trail cameras on the farm he and his family hunts. What he saw in mid-August of 2011 changed the way the family would hunt come October 1st, the first day of Illinois bow season. As he scrolled through the pictures, there were numerous photos of a giant “Booner” during the summer months. In fact, he was much more than a Booner, he was a giant, massive, incredible non-typical whitetail; the type of deer that most hunters wait their whole lives for, but never get close to. The monster was fittingly nicknamed Ginormica by Travis’s eight year old son.
Hooker atricle
Every now and then a special deer comes around that a person, as much as we hate to admit it, becomes obsessed with. On a cold, windy day in late November last year I found a buck that would become my obsession. With the 2012 whitetail season in full swing, I found myself out doing my rounds, scouting hard and looking for a worthy whitetail to pursue. It was just before lunch when a good friend of mine, Steven Little, called to inform me he had found a mule deer that I may be interested in taking pictures of. With the words "extra junk" being said, I quickly forgot all about hunting whitetails and pointed the truck in the direction of Steven and this new, interesting buck that I wanted to get a look at, camera in hand. As I approached the field Steven had described, I could see a herd of mule deer does out in an un- combined flax field. I pulled the truck over in the nearest approach and immediately got set up on them with the spotting scope.
Moose Lake Monster article
Ernie Campeau will never for- get the day he harvested his incredible 199 1/8” non-typical whitetail. In fact, it has been 36 years and he still remembers every detail as though it were yesterday. Ernie is an accomplished moose hunter, taking nearly every moose he has ever hunted on foot, using the spot and stalk method.
Ernie moved to the Dryden, On- tario area in 1971, where he has enjoyed fishing the many lakes the area has to offer, and hunting moose in the fall with his long- time friend and local conservation officer, Jim Moore. He would happily say that he is by no means a trophy hunter, but rather preferred to hunt for the freezer instead of the wall.
I remember it very clearly. When I answered the phone, the voice on the other end was downright upset.
”I just saw all the big deer pictures you posted online; are you nuts?” exclaimed my friend! I immediately knew what he was getting at, because I used to be the same way. Not that long ago, I used to check my trail cameras with one eye looking over my shoulder to make sure no one could see. Only my most trusted friends would get a privileged glimpse of the big bucks I had on camera and some- times even my harvest photos would be treated with the same confidentiality. Every effort was made to ensure secrecy and thereby protect my deer and my area.
Then, one day when I visited a familiar online hunting fo- rum, that all changed. Historically, I rarely shared anything of value for fear of letting my secrets out of the bag. On that particular day however, I noticed a number of visitors to the forum who were new to hunting; individuals who were legit- imately looking for information on how to become a better hunter. Some were asking the most basic of questions about how to get started. Then and there, I realized the importance of sharing information. In fact, it was at that point that I real- ized the future of hunting literally depends on it!
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Dedicated to the true hunter
- Todd Forsbloom

On November 17th, one of the most uneventful events happened in my life. I was at the right place on the earth at exactly the right time and I realize after it all, that life is an oxymoron. You see, I do not consider myself a true hunter. I’ve been lucky enough to be in close association with true, genuine, hunters whose coat tails have generously drug me along through many a hunting season. And if there was ever a year when I thought maybe I was in a league with these true outdoorsmen, I was quickly brought back into reality as they all watched me struggle with a ratchet-tie-down as a two year old looks at a Rubik's cube. Or perhaps, it was the time I grabbed the ‘Yellow’ gas can to fill my buddies quad, while hot coffee spews from his mouth in a mad gasp to stop me. Let me put this in another light. There are those who can plunk a few songs on the guitar, maybe even pretty darn well, and then there is Neil Young. I’ve been known to make a few great shots from time to time, bring home the game, but let me introduce you to my cousin/guide Mike Skrove (Neil Young), my older brother Derek (Bob Dylan) and my father, Wayne (Neil Diamond). You get my point.

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– By Matt Hiatt & Eric Wuebker

The story of “Big Frank” begins in the summer of 2010. While checking my cameras, I first captured “Big Frank” on trail camera on August 29, 2010. As soon as I saw the photo, I completely dedicated my 2010 season to pursuing this monster whitetail. The 2010 season came and went and the photos that were taken on August 29 would be the only trail camera photos of “Big Frank” the entire 2010 season. The 2011 season came with high anticipation, but this year he did not show up at all. I figured that he either died of old age, was hit by a car, or shot by another hunter.
My 2012 season started like the previous two. I hung my cameras, put out mineral licks, and threw down a bag of corn in hopes of capturing some nice deer. The first time I checked my camera was August 31, 2012.

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The King of Whitetails
– By Chad Wilkinson as told by Phil Webb

The summer of 2012 was a good one for Phil Webb when it comes to big deer. As an avid deer hunter, he had put in countless hours every morning before work and in the evenings after work, with his binoculars never far from reach. Throughout the summer he watched as nature’s greatest artwork formed on top of the heads of some of the local deer in his area. The velvet covered antlers and sleek shapes of summer bucks were all he needed to get fired up for the upcoming season. Finally, as the days of August slipped by and the September season drew near, he picked up a copy of the hunting guide and was devastated with what he saw. You see, Phil had decided that this was the year that he was going to close the deal on a big mule deer buck and that is where his focus had been throughout the summer. When he read the hunting guide, he saw that the over the counter archery mule deer buck tags that were usually available in his area were not available this year so he would not be able to hunt mule deer bucks in his area.

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Everything Outdoors
with Kevin Wilson

As Big Game Illustrated (BGI) makes its debut, I can’t help but smile. Why? Because my faith in a way of life lives on! Allow me to explain. I believe in the written word and the undeniable intimacy of losing oneself in a great hunting story. Like many of you, I certainly enjoy watching contemporary hunting shows on television, but I grew up leafing through the pages of hunting magazines and, at least to some extent, I feel strongly that print publications are an integral aspect of our hunting heritage. Don’t get me wrong; the Internet is great, television is wonderful, but there is something special about sitting down with a good hunting magazine, and immersing yourself in the stories, news, and reviews that are highlighted within. Reflecting on what it has taken to get to this first issue, I am in awe. At a time when so many aspects of our heritage are threatened by this or that agenda, it is refreshing to know that so many outdoorsmen and women place such immense value on hunting, not only as a way of life, but something to be celebrated and shared. Scan the pages of this issue and I’m sure you will agree.