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Tag Archives: Whitetails

Season Recap – Antler Discovery

Four antlers, two deer and one lucky hunter. That pretty much sums up my 2011 hunting season. As documented here on AHT I killed a deer dubbed ‘The Ghost Buck’ on Nov. 19 with archery tackle in hand.

'The Ghost Buck' Mount

The only history I had with the deer was a single trail camera photo – or so I thought.

On Nov. 23 I tagged another hit list deer I had dubbed ‘The Shed Buck.’ I had both sets of sheds from the deer from the previous year. I was thrilled with the outcome of my season – one that I deem my best in my nearly quarter century hunting career.

'The Shed Buck' - And The Sheds


The story however got even better in early April when I picked up ‘The Ghost Buck’ from my taxidermist. After securing the buck in the trophy room and admiring him I recalled a set of sheds my then 3-year-old son and I had retrieved the previous year. We had found the sheds just a stone throw away where I arrowed the buck.

The Sheds

I dug through the shed pile and located the antlers in question. I held them up to the mounted animal and was amazed to see that they were a near perfect match. The deer had grown significantly, but carried the same characteristic – sweeping beams with small times, and more of them on his left side. There’s no doubt in my mind that indeed the antlers I found in 2010 are a match set to ‘The Ghost Buck.’ This discovery means I have matching sheds to both bucks I killed in 2011. You can’t ask for a more satisfying feeling in the deer hunting woods.

Proof that passing young deer grows bigger deer.

To say I’m tickled would be an understatement. We’ve put a lot of effort, time and money into growing deer on our properties.

My accomplishments in 2011 are the result of this effort. Taxidermy photos of ‘The Shed Buck’ expected in early May.

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He Got the Cover (Twice)!

In honor of this week’s release of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, which includes Kate Upton as its cover model, I thought I’d share something I stumbled upon by pure coincidence a few weeks ago.

Alsheimer's Buck Is a Cover Boy ... Twice (click photo to enlarge)


As I sat in my recliner, the magazine rack next to me had a pair of hunting magazines resting next to each other. The magazines were the October Outdoor Life and December Deer & Deer Hunting. As I glanced at them, likely pondering if I should pick one up, I noticed how much alike the massive buck pictured on their respective front covers was.

Then I looked closer.

I realized that it was actually the same deer, in almost the exact pose, possibly over the same log, at a completely different time (the D&DH photo includes a snow-covered ground beneath the buck).

I thought that was interesting.

And as I suspected, each cover was shot by renowned deer photographer (and fellow Southern Tier of New York native) Charlie Alsheimer.

That buck has done well for Charlie! I’m really surprised that both photos ran so closely to each other (within a matter of a few weeks). I wonder if either publication had any issue with that.


Roots of Hunting Passion Linked to Turkey Day

My brothers and I were among the less fortunate youth who grew up in New York State waiting until we were 16-years old to legally chase whitetails with a gun. Most states are far more accommodating to introduce youth to hunting deer at an earlier age – and I applaud New York for finally starting a youth mentoring program that gets kids hunting earlier.

Many years after those initial hunts with my dad (far right), my family still hits the field. This picture, from 2008, is only missing my oldest brother, Bud, from our core group.


In hindsight, that long wait years ago helped introduce me to archery and bowhunting as it afforded me the chance to get into the woods earlier. For that I am thankful.

But one of the things I’m most thankful for during this time of year, is that my dad let me accompany him on a special Thanksgiving Day hunt when I was just a little tyke.

Each year, dad would keep me held in suspense until after the tryptophan had nestled itself deep into our bellies before he’d invite me to join him, my two older brothers and my uncles for an afternoon hunt on Thanksgiving Day. I’m sure there was a bit of constant nagging by me leading into those moments, but being able to join made me look forward to that day more than most others during a calendar year. During those years, the season opened on Monday and the it was only four-days old each time we went afield.

It mattered none that I walked and sat next to my dad unarmed. To me, I was hunting. And you needed to look no further than the solid blaze orange hunting suit I wore to know I dressed the part!

I think I was a solid good-luck charm too. Very few trips to the woods ended with someone not finding luck on those hunts.

Something about those Thanksgiving hunts planted something in me that no amount of drugs can tame. Perhaps it was the anticipation of the hunt alongside my family. It very well could have been the opportunity to share something with my dad. Maybe it was a reclamation of my hunter roots. It might have had something to do with my birthday always falling somewhere near that day. More than likely, though, it was a combination of all of those things.

Regardless, the passion for chasing whitetails that those early hunts instilled in me runs deeper than the roots of a century-old oak. For that, to me, is something to be thankful for.

Cat Tales: With a little boy expected to join the world any day now, this marks one of only a handful of years that I’m unable to hunt with my family on our farm in NY during the opening days of gun season in New York. Obviously, it’s a lot easier to take when the reason includes such an awesome blessing as having a child enter our family. There will be many more “openers” in the future – and I look forward to sharing them with my kids. For starters, though, I can’t wait to take them on Thanksgiving! In fact, I’m likely going to take my little girl “hunting” (which will consist of a short walk in the woods) later this week here in NC. She has been asking to go all season!


Blue Tongue (or EHD) Leaving a Dark Cloud Over Future of Montana Whitetails

It started with a simple Tweet. Outdoor icon Michael Waddell shot the following to his nearly 20,000 Twitter followers on Sept. 1:

“Headed to MT soon. Bad news EHD hit the river and supposedly killed alot of the deer. I will have a report soon.”

Image shared by Michael Waddell, of a whitetail suspected of being driven to a brutal death by EHD


The “report” he promised wasn’t good. Turns out it continues to get worse in Montana. Call it blue tongue, call it EHD, it doesn’t matter what you call it – its outcome is devastating.

Blue tongue, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease, appears to be the culprit. And the aftermath of it, once complete, appear to be headed toward near disaster for the whitetail deer herd in many areas of the state.

Waddell reported, via Twitter, seeing only “10 to 18 deer where we typically see 100.” That report, coupled with many outfitters accounts along the famous Milk River have numbers pegged at between 80-90 percent decimation. That’s extremely sad for a state that has been quickly becoming a favorite destination for whitetail enthusiasts.

That also puts numbers where there probably should be little hunter harvest for the next several years to allow for rebound. It will take plenty of time, based on what I’m reading.

For those wondering, here is what I’ve learned about EHD:

First Blue Tongue and EHD, by definition, are different. Blue Tongue is really the sister disease that affects livestock. Regardless, in it’s most slang sense, hunters know what it means.

It’s a contagious virus affecting deer and is spread by gnats. It is most found near waterways and standing water encourages its spread. While most biologists recommend you discard the carcass of a dead animal found with questionable symptoms, there are no known spreads of the disease to humans.

You’ll likely be seeing more about the actual outbreak in Montana in the coming months (I’m sure whitetail magazines are gearing up coverage), however the true impact of its destruction will surely be felt by hunters in that region for many, many years to come.

That’s tough – especially for someone who has long dreamed about glassing those endless prairies for a Milk River whitetail to put a strategy to. I wish the herd, and the hunters impacted, the best.


VIDEO: King of Bucks Tour

Our local Bass Pro Shops hosted the “King of Bucks” tour recently. Join us as we take the tour and catch a look at some of the largest whitetails ever killed in North America.

For those wondering, a representative shared with AHuntersTales that all the deer on display for this tour are the actual mounts (no replicas).


Reliving the moments all over again

There’s something amazing about really good taxidermy. I’ll bet that’s something you don’t hear everyday!

But something magical happens for me each time I sit in my man cave and let my mind wander back to the hunts of yesterday, reliving each moment of many specific hunts and then piecing them all together to reflect on the success that came out of those days.

Kurt's 2010 Illinois buck mount


This week I was able to pick up both of my 2010 whitetails from my big game taxidermist, Eric Gardner. He did a fantastic job. My Illinois deer couldn’t look better and I’m pleased I decided to go with a wall pedestal for the mount. The second I saw the deer on Eric’s wall ready for pick up, I couldn’t help but be taken back to the moments before the shot.

The thrill of seeing the deer movement out of the corner of my eye … deciding to capture him on video … praying he would give me a quality shot … watching him for what seemed like hours rub on small saplings … and the climactic moment of the shot … all the way to the recovery and the great times in camp with great friends.

It’s crazy to me how all those memories can light up a soul in less time than it takes to write them for this blog.

Another view of the buck


I’m off today to showcase the Illinois deer on behalf of Riverview Outfitters at the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh, N.C. I’m looking forward to it primarily for the opportunity to catch up with both Tyler and Josh. With very little voice after a bout with a cold this week, I’m expecting to go hoarse reliving many of the moments of the hunt this weekend with fellow outdoorsmen.

Stop by if you’re headed that way. We’ll be at 1-K06. I’ll probably be smiling next to the big guy pictured in this post!