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Best Bucks of 2012

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Great Bucks from Around the Country

Field & Stream has amassed 20 great deer stories in one blog that includes pictures of each behemoth buck and the happy hunter. If the winter blues are getting you down and you need a spark of inspiration, just peruse these great successes. You may be surprised to learn that several of these whitetail giants were taken on public land with a variety of harvest methods. Some were taken in early season, some in late, some by women, and some by youngsters. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

Hunting Louisiana’s Tensas National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 7, Alton “Tadpole” McLeod was playing a hunch when he decided to sleep in. “I’ve hunted Tensas for 25 years and always had good luck at midday on a full moon,” McLeod says, “so me and my buddies started late. It was 10 a.m. before I reached my spot, an area where I’d seen a couple of big-bodied bucks crossing a week before.” Several hours after he settled into his stand, a flock of buzzards roosted nearby and raised a ruckus that, Tadpole thought, surely ruined any chance of seeing a wary buck.“If I’d been alone, I’d have left,” McLeod recalls, “but I didn’t want to mess up my buddies’ hunt. So I stayed in my tree.” Good thing he did.

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.