Loads of hardcore deer hunters would let you know that September, with its predictable bed-to-feed buck exercise, is a greater time to tag a monster whitetail than October, with its so-called lull. However based mostly on the bucks we’ve rounded up for the second installment of The Greatest Bucks of 2023, this deer season has flipped that script.
Whereas hunters shot some nice deer in September (simply scroll right down to see them), there weren’t fairly as many true slammers as in years previous. However October 2023 has made up for it, with some absolute giants falling to arrows, crossbow bolts, and muzzleloader bullets, together with a number of whitetail topping the 200-inch mark. Under is among the greatest crops of October bucks we’ve seen shortly.
Control this house, as we’ll add extra October giants as we hear about them after which observe up with month-to-month installments by means of the center of the rut and nicely into the late-season to showcase absolutely the greatest whitetails of 2023. Right here we go.
The Greatest Whitetail Deer of October 2023
Terry Drury of Drury Open air is aware of sufficient to not strain a mature buck, however he felt like situations had been good for taking a number of swings at this big whitetail—all from the identical stand. “We knew this buck very nicely from two years of pics and encounters, and after we bought his pics this summer season it was really a ‘Wow!’ second. He’d simply exploded from the earlier 12 months,” Drury advised F&S. “He was additionally a homebody buck with a comparatively small core space and that included a pond within the timber. We felt like that pond was the important thing to killing him, as we had an enormous drought this 12 months.”
Drury and cameraman Forrest Bonin arrange in a field blind close to the pond a minimum of 10 instances and had a number of encounters with the buck, however excessive care with scent and entry/exit routes stored the buck on his sample. Lastly, on October 16, the buck walked out in full daylight, made a rub, and gave Drury a 20-yard shot. The enormous buck sported 30 inches of nontypical factors, a drop tine, 48 inches of mass, and grossed 216 inches B&C. You may learn the entire story of Drury’s large buck right here.
Veteran Ohio bowhunter Ben Rising has tagged 16 bucks over 170 inches, two of which broke the 200-inch barrier. Effectively, Rising tagged his third 200-plus-inch monster on October seventh on an Illinois hunt. “We hunted this deer final fall, however once I lastly had an encounter with him, he’d damaged off one in every of his predominant beams, so I gave him a cross and began making ready for this fall. We knew his bedding space fairly nicely, and once I noticed a chilly entrance within the forecast for early October, I made a decision to take a swing at him,” mentioned Rising.
He arrange close to a line of scrapes close to the buck’s bedding space, the place a CRP discipline meets a block of timber. On Rising’s fourth sit, the buck lastly confirmed up, and he made the shot depend. Rising’s Prairie State monster is a main-frame 5X5 with a number of stickers and kickers, grossing 212 inches B&C.
Christmas Tree Buck
Wisconsin faculty scholar Kaden Stracke bought the primary pic of this distinctive buck again on August 11 and determined instantly he was holding out for the large nontypical. Whereas Stracke noticed the buck on opening weekend of Wisconsin’s bow season, the deer was hanging in a bachelor group that contained 5 different bucks, none of which ever bought nearer than 200 yards. Then Stracke bought busy with faculty and couldn’t discover any looking time for a number of weeks. However Stracke continued to watch the buck by finding out path cam pics, and his homework paid off on October 28th.
“I wrote down the date, time, wind, and barometric strain each time he was on digicam in daylight,” he advised us. “After mulling over 30-some footage I bought, I noticed that he was daylighting when the strain was 28.8-29.3, and people had been the situations once I might lastly hunt.” Stracke hung a tree stand within the buck’s wheelhouse, then grunted and rattled the enormous in for a 5-yard shot. The triple-beamed big sports activities 16 scorable factors.
Cody Payton and his household have hunted some good bucks on their Kentucky farm, however by no means the form of true giants which have made the state well-known. That every one modified two summers in the past after they bought pics of a monster whitetail that frequented their property, proper as much as the archery opener. When the buck confirmed up once more this previous summer season, Payton felt like he needed to get on the buck as early within the season as potential in case the deer relocated once more.
Payton noticed the buck briefly and from a distance on the opener however then went two weeks with out sighting. Then, on a night hunt, with a doe and a younger buck in entrance of him, Payton regarded up and far to his shock noticed the enormous approaching. When the buck hit the 30-yard mark, Payton despatched an arrow behind the buck’s shoulder and into his coronary heart. The principle-frame 10 level has six nontypical factors, stable mass, and a tough measurement by an skilled scorer positioned the buck within the mid-190s B&C.
When Ohio hunter Jeff Stitzlein bought his first trail-cam pics of this big buck October 8 after which some extra on the 11th, he knew what he wanted to do. “It was the largest buck I’d ever hunted, and I used to be fairly decided to carry out for him.” On a mid-October evenining hunt, he watch 9 deer stroll by in bow vary, after which one other group about an hour later. “That second group had a 5-year-old 8-point that was an incredible deer, however I used to be set on the large one,” he mentioned. “These deer filtered away aside from a 3-year outdated buck that hung round, and when he began staring behind my stand, I heard one other deer approaching.” It was the enormous Stitzlein had been ready for, and it walked in, giving him an ideal 15-yard shot. “I needed to keep within the stand for a minimum of 20 minutes after the shot, simply to provide myself time to settle down. I used to be shaking like a leaf!” Stitzlein had motive for the jitters; his central-Ohio whitetail sported 15 scorable factors, two kicker factors, and unbelievable mass. The buck inexperienced grossed 181-⅝ inches B&C.
Present-Me State Monster
Missouri whitetail skilled Chris Propst and his father, Jeff, had been holding tabs on an incredible buck that they’d given a cross for 2 seasons in a row. However the gloves got here off this 12 months when the buck grew 50 inches of latest antler. When a giant chilly entrance got here in on October ninth, Propst knew he needed to strive for the buck.
“We bought pics of him slicing throughout a finger of corn between timbered ridges and figured that was a very good place to kill him. I crawled into an elevated field blind, and the buck simply learn the script, coming in for a 30-yard shot.” Propst buck grossed 191 B&S. “It’s my greatest buck and I’m tremendous pleased with him,” Propst mentioned. “If he had higher mass, he’d go over 200, however he’s a main-frame 7X7 with six irregular tines, 25-inch beams, and a 16-⅞” inside unfold.” You may learn the entire story of Propst’s Missouri buck right here.
When Logan Marum drew a coveted nonresident Iowa archery tag, he didn’t waste any time getting cameras up on the farms he’d be looking along with his dad, Ted. “We began getting pics of this large buck and since he lived not removed from a junkyard, I made a decision to name him Oscar the Grouch,” Marum mentioned.
When the primary main chilly entrance of October hit southern Iowa, Marum swung into motion. “I made a decision to take a seat a inexperienced meals plot bordered by CRP and a few oak flats on my final sit of that journey. The wind determined to have a thoughts of its personal that evening and switched to a straight east, which allowed two totally different does to bust me. About 10 minutes later, I regarded up and Oscar was 55 yards and shutting quick.” The large buck walked in to fifteen steps and Marum made good on the shot, with the buck piling up after a 60-yard run. The heavy-racked 12-point grossed 185 inches B&C.
Iowa bowhunter Dillon Bennett had all the time been one step behind an enormous Hawkeye State 8-point for 3 seasons. “I had tons of encounters with him however was by no means shut sufficient,” he mentioned. “This 12 months I did a pair early-season hunts however not for this deer; for some motive he by no means appeared on my farm till October 12, and when there was a chilly entrance approaching the 14th, I made a decision to go hunt my little “kill plot” the place I knew he could be.
Bennet noticed a small buck and few does early on however then heard a ruckus out forward of him in a bean discipline. “I made a decision to quietly get out of the stand and stroll slowly as much as the bean discipline to see if I might spot something.” What Bennett noticed was the enormous 8, standing solely 35 yards away. Bennett backed down the slope, readied his bow, then slipped again into place. The buck noticed Bennett—however too late, as his arrow was on the best way. The 150-inch 8-point sported a 23-inch inside unfold, a flyer off his G2, and was a minimum of 6 years outdated.
Okay, I do know this buck isn’t any world-beater. However I don’t care and, extra importantly, neither does the person posing within the image above, who occurs to be my dad. He’ll flip 94 in a number of weeks and he nonetheless crawls up into tree stands, nonetheless loves the fantastic thing about the autumn woods, and remains to be fairly good at convey dwelling the venison. That is his fifth crossbow buck in six seasons. (He hunted with a traditional bow till he was 87).
This fall’s buck got here from his personal property, a 5-acre wooded hillside that has simply sufficient room for one 18-foot ladder stand overlooking a pond. We had pics of a minimum of six totally different bucks within the months previous the September opener, and whereas a pair had been mature bucks that almost all of us could be keen to attend for, dad was having none of that. “I’m going to take the primary respectable buck that reveals up,” he mentioned. And on the afternoon of October 15, this fantastic 2-½ year-old 8-point gave Dad an ideal 15-yard shot. Dad’s new Ravin crossbow carried out completely, and the buck piled up after a 40 yard run. Of all the good bucks taken in October, this was my private favourite—and in case you my dad’s age to the buck’s rating, you get fairly darn near that magical 200 mark.
The Greatest Whitetail Deer of September 2023
The primary weeks of the deer season can produce some unbelievable motion, with even the largest mature bucks on their toes and sometimes sticking to a predictable bed-to-feed sample. Our first installment of The Greatest Whitetail Bucks of 2023 proves it. The hunters under all took benefit of this primary blush of alternative to tag a dream buck within the month of September.
Noon Buckeye-State Monster
Ohio has a well-deserved fame for producing whopper whitetails, and in response to his Instagram put up, Ashton Jankowski arrowed simply such a buck in the midst of final month. Jankowski was looking the state’s CWD “Illness Surveillance Areas,” which has an earlier archery opener than the remainder of the state–when he shot the buck at 11:45 a.m. on September sixteenth. Jankowski had noticed the buck throughout a midsummer scouting session, obtained permission to hunt close by properties, and stored tabs on a buck he nicknamed “Casper.” In line with Jankowski’s put up, the enormous whitetail inexperienced scored 225-2/8 inches.
Shopping for a brand new looking property is an thrilling course of, however when you realize there’s a B&C-caliber whitetail on the place inside weeks of signing the deal, it’s even higher. That was the case for LeRoy Purrier, when he picked up a matched set of sheds on the 90-acre, southeast Minnesota farm he purchased final January. “Just about every thing I did on the property from that second on was accomplished with the hopes of tagging that buck,” Purrier advised F&S. The 45-year outdated customized dwelling builder planted meals plots, native grasses, and hung stands and blinds in preparation for the 2023 looking season. Because it turned out, that season lasted only some hours for Purrier when his goal buck stepped right into a meals plot with 40 minutes of taking pictures gentle left on opening day. Purrier made good on the 35-yard shot along with his crossbow, and tagged a 6X5 with towering tines that grossed simply shy of 180 B&C. You may learn the complete story of Purrier’s buck right here.
Kansas Muzzleloader Monster
Passing on a 160-class buck isn’t any straightforward process, however that’s what Kansas hunter John Reichert and his buddies did with this buck in 2022. “He was a dandy final fall, however we knew he could possibly be even higher if we let him go, and he managed to flee different hunters,” Reichert mentioned. “When he began exhibiting up on path cams this 12 months, we knew we’d made the best determination. He was actually particular.” Although the buck didn’t seem in daylight typically, Reichert, nationwide gross sales supervisor for Massive Tine, felt the buck was not bedding removed from his meals plots. “Simply earlier than the opener, I had him on digicam quarter-hour after taking pictures gentle, so I used to be hopeful once I went out on the second day of our muzzleloader season,” he recalled. “When the buck stepped out on that clover plot, I acknowledged him instantly and by no means checked out his antlers once more.” Reichert took the shot when the buck turned broadside and after a brief wait, the hunter was gripping the antlers of a real big. “I’m an emotional man and cried tears of pleasure once I held that rack,” he laughed. The tears had been justified because the 14-point buck grossed over 181 inches B&C.
Kansas Public-Land Colossus
Kansas information and clothing store Jason Cooke turned heads late final month when he posted a photograph of a large nontypical whitetail on Instagram. In line with Cooke, he arrowed the mature buck on public land within the southeastern a part of the Sunflower State on September 24—and he roughed scored its rack at a whopping 224-4/8 inches. It’s unclear if Cooke’s inexperienced rating is predicated on the Buckmasters or the Boone & Crockett scoring system, however the deer in his picture has large bases with tons of kicker factors and a few lengthy drop tines falling off it left predominant beam. The seasoned information referred to as it a “deer of lifetime,” and there’s definitely no arguing that.
Bluegrass State Velvet Icebreaker
Sara Wagoner has hunted the Kentucky early archery season for a number of years however had by no means managed to tag a full-velvet buck—till the opening weekend of 2023. “I went out on opening day and noticed quite a lot of deer, however nothing I used to be able to shoot,” she mentioned. “On the second day, this buck got here in and was feeding with one other, smaller one. They lastly labored their method into bow vary, and I made a very good shot at about 20 yards. The buck has 18 scorable factors, and whereas we haven’t had him formally measured, we expect he’ll be a 160-class buck. This was my first full-velvet buck, and I used to be actually excited to reap him!”
Potential Georgia State-Report Stud
Georgian bowhunter Grant Bailey was looking the micro woodlots of the Atlanta suburbs when he began getting pics of a buck that beat any deer he might pursue on greater properties out within the nation. Bailey arrowed the buck, nonetheless in velvet, on September tenth and the wonderful typical stands an incredible likelihood of claiming the highest spot for archery typicals, in response to a put up by colleague Steve Hill, who wrote: “With 27 ½-inch predominant beams and a really symetrical rack that tallies solely about 6 inches of deduction, the velvet buck’s inexperienced rating grossed just a little over 185 with a internet rating of 178. The state report archery typical, in response to data maintained by Georgia Out of doors Information, is a 177 1/8 deer shot by Manny Kaloyannides in 2018. Each Georgia and Pope & Younger enable racks to be measured with the velvet on, and that’s what Bailey plans to do after the necessary 60 day drying interval is up.” You may learn the complete story of Bailey’s buck right here.
Full-Velvet Good 10
Again in 2021, Kansas hunter Keith Marquardt tagged a B&C-class 8-point, a buck we featured in a gallery of October giants. Effectively, Marquardt is again, this time with a full-velvet big. “I’ve had this buck on digicam for 2 years,” Marquardt advised F&S. “In 2022, he was a promising younger deer, and I hoped he would make it by means of the 12 months. After I lastly bought my first trail-camera image of him this previous July, I knew straight away who it was. After watching him develop all summer season and getting his sample down, I knew I might get on him early and hoped he would nonetheless be holding his velvet. On the second day of season, he stepped out in full velvet and gave me an ideal 70 yard broadside shot with my muzzleloader.” Marquardt’s completely clear 10-point grossed 156 B&C.
Associated: The Greatest Bucks of 2022
Sport-Over Kentucky Big
When a large buck walked below his tree stand on the Kentucky archery whitetail opener, Chandler Barnes knew precisely what deer he was taking a look at. “I had the sheds from him from final 12 months, when he was a 165-class buck,” Barnes mentioned. “I’d advised my buddies I used to be holding out for him this fall, or consuming my tag. I couldn’t consider it once I heard a deer coming in from behind me, then glanced down and noticed him. He stood below my stand endlessly, then slowly walked out within the meals plot, the place a number of different bucks had been feeding. He stopped at 15 yards and turned broadside to lick his flank and gave me an ideal shot.” Barnes’ arrow flew true, and he shortly recovered the 188-⅞-inch buck. Whereas there are almost zero downsides to tagging such a large, Barnes mentioned he in all probability submarined a big-deer contest he enters along with his pals. “Yearly, all of us chip in $10 at the start of the season, and whoever will get the largest buck will get the pot,” he mentioned. “A few of the guys hadn’t thrown of their cash but, and after they heard about my buck they had been like ‘Effectively neglect it for this 12 months!’”
Beats-Working Kansas Buck
Donnie Monroe isn’t any stranger to massive whitetails; we profiled his 230-class Buckmasters state-record muzzleloader buck on this house final 12 months, and this buck was truly working with that one then. Monroe’s shed canine discovered this buck’s matched set of antlers this spring, and he was in the identical space through the summer season. Because the season neared, the buck began visiting a pair of ag fields, and Monroe was ready to determine the place he was bedding.
“I used to be truly purported to be in a gathering the evening I shot him, however once I noticed the wind was good for one in every of my stands, I begged out of labor and my boss mentioned ‘Go get him!’” Monroe advised F&S. “I had a bunch of deer feeding by me a short while after stepping into my stand, and when a giant doe regarded again within the timber towards his mattress I adopted her stare and right here he got here.” The buck walked to 25 yards and Monroe made a virtually good bow shot. “After I took up the blood path, I figured he’d head again to his bedding space, however as an alternative he adopted the sting of a steep ravine. When the blood stopped by a steep, 40-foot financial institution, I regarded over the sting and thought, No method! However I made a giant loop that bought me down on the creek financial institution and located him on the backside of that financial institution, laying within the water. I needed to quarter him and cape him out to get him out of there.” Monroe’s 6X7 sported three huge sticker factors and grossed 172-⅜ on the Buckmasters scoring system.
Indiana Youth-Season Shooter
Many hunters who handle floor compile a “shoot/don’t shoot” checklist of greenbacks previous to the season. Indiana deer hunter Dave Ranard had one too, however he needed to shred it when an incredible buck that fell within the don’t-shoot class appeared as Ranard sat along with his grandson, Maverick Hudson, through the Hoosier State youth deer season. “Earlier than we went out that day, I advised Mav there have been three deer I didn’t need him to shoot,” Ranard recalled. “And, after all, a kind of bucks–a stunning 9-point that’s solely 3-½ years outdated and poised for greatness–comes out and feeds in entrance of the blind like a cow. I checked out Maverick and realized him getting a buck was far more necessary than something that deer would grow to be, assuming he even lived lengthy sufficient to do it. So I advised him to go forward, and it was the proper determination. Mav made an ideal shot on the buck, and he was so excited after we recovered the buck and he bought his palms on these antlers. I believe I’ve a deer hunter on my palms now!”