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Bowhunting Extra Innings For Whitetails
The rut is over, but your archery tag isn't filled yet. Now what? Here's some worthy advice for late-season bowhunting. ... [+] Full Article
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Texas Sportsman
Our Top Bow Bucks Of 2004
Texas bowhunters scored on some big bucks last deer season. These stories and photos will give you a good idea of just how big!

Midland deer hunter George Tucker was more than pleased with the prize that his Webb County ranch yielded up to him last fall. At 171 2/8, it was the No. 2 typical bow buck turned in to TBGA last season.
Photo courtesy of George Tucker

Thanks to abundant precipitation and some of the best habitat conditions in years, the deer-hunting season of 2004-05 was a great time to be a hunter in Texas.

And that was true from one end of the Lone Star State to the other.

In fact, by the time all of the smoke had cleared from last year's deer hunting campaign, the Texas Big Game Awards program records were bulging with entries. While rifle kills certainly dominate those records, more Texas hunters are discovering with every passing year that the ancient art of the stick and the string is a mighty fine way to take a mighty fine whitetail.

Here's a closer look at the hunts that produced some of our best bow bucks from last season.

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171 6/8, McMullen County

To say that Kirk Folsom is a bowhunter is well -- a serious understatement.

After being introduced to the bow as a youngster growing up in Ohio, Folsom was hooked. After moving to Texas more than two decades ago, the Austin resident began in earnest to arm himself with archery tackle when he went off to chase whitetails. These days, the 48-year-old Folsom not only returns to the Buckeye State each fall to hunt deer, but also belongs to a bowhunting-only lease in McMullen County that is intensively managed for whitetails.

Last year, as the annual whitetail rutting frenzy kicked into gear, Folsom found himself easing toward his stand in the crisp pre-dawn December darkness. He was thinking about a South Texas archer from centuries gone by. "On the day before," he said, "I found this arrowhead in the sendero and said, 'Man, this is it -- this is my lucky arrowhead!'"

After getting settled in his ground blind, Folsom waited quietly for shooting time. When it finally arrived, he didn't have to wait long to test the arrowhead's influence, thanks to a big buck stepping into view.

"I saw him and thought, 'Holy cow!'" he recalled. "I picked up my glasses and looked at him, and said, 'This is making him look too big.' Then I put them down and said, 'Man, he is that big!'"

As the buck casually observed a nearby doe for about 15 minutes, the hunter quietly turned on his video camera to capture the drama. "I videoed him until he got about 35 yards away, and then I put the camera down and figured I had better get ready," Folsom said.

At that moment, disaster seemed to strike. "As I set the camera down, I forgot that I had another chair in the blind that my son sits in at times. Unfortunately, as I was setting the camera down, I hit it, and the camera flipped over and hit the ground." Amazingly, the big buck showed little if any reaction.

The archer was wondering exactly how much help his lucky stone arrowhead could give him with Murphy's Law when the giant whitetail turned to follow a doe away from the blind. "I thought, 'Man, did I blow it!'" Folsom said. "But she stopped 40 yards away and flicked her tail. He stopped, and when she came back, he came back to within 18 yards. I told myself, 'Focus on a spot -- and do not look at the horns.'"

Easier said than done. But Folsom maintained his composure, readied a Thunderhead 100 broadhead and let the arrow fly from his Mathews Legacy bow. On the release, the buck moved forward to nudge the doe, an action that caused the archer's arrow to deflect upward through the deer's chest cavity and into its spine. The giant whitetail fell to the ground immediately and lay still.

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