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Monster Bucks: Best Bow Kills of the Year

Monster Bucks: Best Bow Kills of the Year

As you may have guessed, we at Bowhunter like big bucks and we cannot lie. There's a number of ways to handle the off-season, but one of the best ways we know is to celebrate all the giant deer we've seen killed throughout the year.

Not only does it kill the off-season whitetail hangover, it also inspires you to hit it hard next year. So in the midst of what has been a pretty harsh winter, here's your chance to stay inside, sit by the fire and enjoy these impressive monster bucks.

Eric Barrett

It was the October archery season, and much like in every deer circle there were reports of giant bucks coming from all over. One in particular came from a joining farm that Barrett hunted. The landowner had several trail cam photos, and even a video of the buck in velvet. Rumors of the buck's 30-inch spread fermented in Barrett's mind. Read the full story here.

Nick Brown

The 13-pointer's full-velvet rack exhibits an impressive combination of height, width and mass. The exceptional main beams exceed 29 inches, and the outside spread is 24 1/8. Tine length is also outstanding, with G-2s that tape 10 2/8 and 9 2/8 inches, followed by 13-inch G-3s. The circumferences average nearly 5 inches. Put it all together, and the deer's 5×5 typical frame grosses a remarkable 186 7/8. Asymmetry deductions, plus three abnormal points totaling 10 inches, drop the final typical Pope & Young score to 171 0/8. But as strong as that net score is, this whitetail clearly has the appearance of being even larger — especially with his rack in full velvet. Read the full story here.

Ben Cockell

Ben Cockell had one chance to recover from his accident and reclaim his life, and he had one chance to make the shot on the buck of a lifetime. He made good on both counts. Read the full story here.

Bobby Davidson

Some hunters will go to great lengths in hopes of killing a dream buck. Their journey may take them all over the country from big buck state to big buck state. But sometimes the buck of a lifetime is hiding right in your own backyard; in a state that is slowly building it's big buck reputation. Read the full story here.

Rick DiBene

This Long Island buck is really impressive, whether categorized as a typical 10-pointer or a non-typical 13-pointer. Total gross score, including 5 6/8 inches of abnormal growth in the three extra points, is 175 2/8. Typical gross score is 169 4/8. The rack is really wide, with a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, and the main beams are good, at 24 4/8 and 25 5/8. Tine length is extremely good, with three over 10 inches: the longest being the right G-2, at 12 1/8. Each base circumference measures 4 4/8. Read the full story here.

Mikell Fries

At 16 yards, Mikell took aim at the giant and released his arrow. In an instant, the shaft had passed through him. The deer instantly whirled and ran out of sight . . . but then, within seconds the archer heard him crash to the ground. 'I remained in the stand for several minutes to gather my thoughts and calm down, ' Mikell says. 'I'm sure the entire encounter only took a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity. ' Read the full story here.

Brett Gibson

As any deer hunter knows, a chance at the buck of your dreams sometimes involves a great deal of luck. Blow that shot and it typically becomes a story about 'the one that got away. ' But if we amend that last statement slightly into 'the big one that got away, once, ' that changes everything. Read the full story here.

Keith Grubbs

'My buck turned out to be a basic 9-point typical with three abnormal points. His sweeping typical frame totals a gross Pope & Young score of 162 1/8, with a non-typical gross score of 170 6/8. The main beams, which nearly touch in front, match each other at 26 7/8 inches, and each long G-2 is 12 2/8. "The great deer's three non-typical points total 8 5/8 inches. Of these, the longest is the 5 7/8-inch fork protruding off the back of his right G-2 tine. The antler trait that had made him so identifiable even at age 2 1/2 was still there when I got him, and more prominent than ever. There's zero doubt this was the same buck I'd been after for several frustrating seasons. ' Read the full story here.

Andy Hall

For three years Andy Hall watched this buck on trail cameras, but much like many giants in the whitetail woods, this buck remained hidden from the eye. That lasted until the second day of firearms season in Garfield County, Oklahoma. Sneaking into his stand with bow in hand on November 23, Hall setup on a creek bank where he believed the buck would be about an hour before sunrise. It was a near perfect setup, and almost identically matched a similar setup Stan Potts employed during an episode of NAW TV. The shape of the creek cut into the landscape and gave the hunter an advantage with the prevailing winds. Read the full story here.

Rick Halverson

Three years is a long time to wait for the opportunity at a dream buck. But as any whitetail hunter will tell you, it's all worth it when there's success at the end. Avid Iowa bowhunter Rick Halverson finally connected on a giant 205-inch Iowa buck he named 'Droppy ' last season after years of passing buck after buck, holding out for this particular droptine giant since first seeing it in 2010. Read the full story.

Kyle Heuerman

Any serious whitetail hunter knows that it's not often that we get a second chance on the buck of a lifetime, or even a first chance for that matter. But luck was on the side of Kyle Heuerman and his girlfriend Jennifer Weaver when they put an arrow through this 196-inch Illinois brute. Read the full story here.

Scott Hove

'As quickly as he came to the trail, he started moving away. I thought to myself, 'I'm not going to get a shot at him!' Instead of leaving, he moved to the 35-yard trail my son had talked about. Knowing he was on that trail, I put my 35-yard pin on him and let the arrow fly. I made a good hit, and I killed the 'lucky draw' buck. ' The 7 1/2-year-old monster's rack is indeed unique. It ended up with a great net score of 212 5/8 non-typical, thanks to 40 inches of mass, 27 6/8-inch main beams, split brow tines and that 12 6/8-inch 'unicorn ' point. Read the full story here.

Adam Hupf

The 2014 hunting season was a busy one for Wisconsin bowhunter Adam Hupf. He hunted elk in Colorado, black bear in Wisconsin and put an arrow through a Wisconsin typical archery state record whitetail. Read the full story here.

Corey Klein

'Other hunters keep asking me how I remained so calm and kept my composure to make the shot on this deer. The truth is, from the moment I spotted him until he had an arrow in him was a span of maybe only 40 seconds; there wasn't much of a chance to think about it before shooting. That's one of the great things about hunting: You just never know what will happen on any given day. ' Read the full story here.

Jon Massie

Jon's no stranger to free-ranging whitetails across the central plains, having guided a number of clients to trophies and harvesting many big ones himself. In fact, going into 2013 he'd shot two net Boone & Crocketts: one a non-typical scoring over 200, the other a typical from public land. With such success behind him, Jon felt all of his hunting dreams already had come true. At least, he did until a buck he'd never seen showed up on one of his trail cameras. Read the full story here.

Dean Partridge

Even an old dog gets lucky sometimes. For Dean Partridge, host of Canadian Whitetail TV, it wasn't just luck that allowed him to tag out on opening day for the first time since he was 12 years old, going 27 years between first day harvests. Read the full story here.

Bryon Raper

Bryon Raper's dream was to someday own the old family homestead that had been sold many years ago. As a boy, he vowed to buy back the farm if he ever had the chance. He had no way of knowing it back then, but his dream would come true 40 years later. And to make it even sweeter, he'd end up shooting the buck of a lifetime after reacquiring that property. Read the full story here.

Steve Richardson

'Through the brush, I saw the head of a big buck low to the ground, smelling the doe's bed. I turned the camera on and hit 'record. ' The buck paused, then started walking toward my shooting lane. I pointed the camera at it and hoped the wide-angle view would catch the action. As I drew, he paused for about five seconds. When he started walking again, I picked my 40-yard pin . . . and as his shoulder passed it, I let the arrow go. ' Read the full story here.

Danny Thompson

As an avid bowhunter of 16 years, Danny Thompson's only bow-killed buck prior to this season was a small basket rack. However, since moving to southeast Minnesota — considered by some as the state's Mecca for monster whitetails — Thompson has passed on many quality bucks in hopes of tagging his dream buck. After four years of waiting he was finally rewarded just an hour and a half into this season. Read the full story here.

Wayne Waldo

Five hundred yards from Wayne's tree stand was a buck — and even by the lofty standards of Fulton County, he was a giant. But nothing else about the situation was favorable, from the hunter's point of view. For starters, Wayne was bowhunting; the buck was out of range many times over. Granted, it was Nov. 12, so the monster no doubt was looking for love — but he already had a wad of does around him. Oh, and then there was the wind, which was anything but light. Put it all together, and the scenario was hardly a recipe for big-buck success. Read the full story here.

Curt Wells

On the first day of the hunt, my NO CAM HTR was pressed into action. It was 10 degrees below zero (real temperature) and dead calm. A good buck stood 15 yards from my ground blind, staring at me. If there was ever a time when I needed to draw quietly, smoothly, and without commotion, that was it. The arrow flew true, and my new bow saved me from five more days of subzero hunting conditions! Read the full story here.

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan was only 19 when, during the 2013 season, he arrowed an Arkansas buck of gigantic proportions. Like many of his fellow Arkansans, Ryan is a deer and duck fanatic. For several years, however, he gave up most of his duck season to lock horns with the world-class buck. Read the full story here.

Bill Robinson

Three double-digit tines of 10 2/8 to 13 5/8 inches, plus 7 1/8- and 9 3/8-inch brows and a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, add plenty to this regal crown. Put everything together and you have a gross 9-point frame score of 193 6/8. That's as big as it sounds. Typical asymmetry and 11 6/8 inches of abnormal points total 25 1/8 inches of deductions, so as a typical, the deer nets 'only ' 168 5/8. But the 8×5 rack's total gross score of 205 4/8 is much more reflective of its stunning size. Regardless of score, the Robinson buck is clearly a marvel of nature. Read the full story here.

Bo Russell

Bo is a dedicated hunter who spends a lot of time getting ready for deer season. He's been known to pick out a certain buck and focus strictly on him — for better or for worse. This time it was definitely the right choice. The 231-inch buck he named Southpaw evaded Russell time and time again. But his persistence paid off when he finally bagged the buck of his dreams. The giant had a gross score of 246 4/8 inches and a net of 231 4/8. Read the full story here.

Drew Baier

Sometimes you are in the right place, at the right time. That was the case for Drew Baier as he bagged this once-in-a-lifetime buck. After capturing photos of the buck from July until mid-October on his cousins' trail camera, the photos of the buck suddenly stopped. But that didn't stop Baier. After an uneventful November morning hunt, the giant made his presence known. And so did Baier, who dropped the buck later that day. Read the full story here.

Jason Erb

With daylight quickly fading on a mid-November evening, Jason Erb closed the deal on his 193-inch 'buck of a lifetime. ' From his treestand on a friend's serene plot of land in northeast Ohio, Erb nabbed this Buckeye monster buck from 18 yards. Read the full story here.

Jim Cogar

Despite one of the worst droughts in history, in July 2012 Jim Cogar's expectations for deer season in central Ohio were as high as ever. Trail cameras were set, mineral sites were established, and other attractants were strategically placed throughout the farm. But after monitoring trail cameras for two months, he realized the inventory of big bucks was depressingly low. However, Cogar was still able to harvest this Buckeye state megabuck. Read the full story here.

Mike Miller

After beating leukemia, this 215-inch bruiser buck stood no chance when pitted up against Mike Miller. Miller didn't know it that fateful October afternoon, but as he drove onto the property and unloaded his ATV, the buck was making his first-ever daytime appearance in front of his camera. Shortly after, the buck was within shooting range. With the buck distracted by a truck in the distance, Miller took aim and downed his dream buck. Read the full story here.

Robert Taylor

If you enjoy a good story about a kid and his very first buck, you're sure to love the true tale behind the 254-inch bruiser whitetail Texas archer Robert Taylor brought down in Grayson County during the waning days of the state's 2012-13 deer season. Read the full story here.

Ty Schaefer

Ty Schaefer overtook Pennsylvania's No. 4 archery typical of all-time spot with this impressive 172-inch buck. It was the first deer he had ever taken with a bow, and what a beauty. He set up in a staging area between a grass field and a nearly impenetrable thicket, it appeared to be in a prime location. At just 20 yards the buck didn't stand a chance. Read the full story here.

Brett Carman

Brett Carman nabbed this astounding 194-inch non-typical on his 154-acre 'whitetail paradise ' in Adams County, Ohio. Read the full story here.

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