Trail cameras are one of today’s most productive hunting tools and lots of fun, even in the off season. They have become so popular that many camera companies and several outdoor magazines conduct contests for the best images. Usually these competitions are open to all game species, so don’t wait for deer season to get in the game. Mike Waber, for example, took the huge buck shown above with the assistance of a trail camera; the images were so good that he won an electric four-wheeler to boot! Here’s how he bagged this impressive B&C deer and got those winning pictures.
One man’s experience of taking the buck of his lifetime was made all the sweeter when he won a TORQ Hi Performance Electric Vehicle as part of the Buckeye Feeders Photo Contest. To win the contest, Mike Waber of Layfayette, Ind., submitted a game-camera image he had of a large 10-point buck with his Buckeye Feeder before hunting season and one of him and the deer after he shot it with his crossbow during hunting season. “I spotted the buck three years ago in a field 1/8 of a mile from my house,” Waber said. “I purchased a 35-gallon Buckeye Feeder, for deer and turkey, and a Moultrie trail camera in hopes of luring the buck to my property, so I could pattern him and later take him. I set the feeder and the camera up before the 2012-2013 season in hopes of getting better pictures of the buck, and possibly collecting his shed antlers. I thought I could pull the buck into the feeder, because I had seen him on my parents’ farm, which was only about 600 yards from my farm.”
During the second year of checking his trail-camera photos before and after deer season, Waber saw plenty of images of the buck he named “The Big 10” feeding at the feeder between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., but he didn’t get any photos of the buck during daylight hours. “One afternoon after deer season ended, I was taking corn to fill up my Buckeye Feeder, when I spotted one of The Big 10’s shed antlers on the path to the feeder,” Waber said. “When I looked at the pictures from my trail camera, I saw that the buck also had lost his second antler, but I searched and never found it.” Weary from carrying corn back and forth to his feeder, Waber visited www.buckeyefeeders.com to search for a larger-capacity gravity feeder. He also noticed that Buckeye Feeders was having a contest with the rules that a hunter had to submit a picture of a big buck coming to and eating out of a Buckeye Feeder before the season, and then have pictures of the hunter later harvesting that same big buck, for the chance to win a TORQ 72-volt Hi Performance Off Road Electric Vehicle. On Jan. 3, 2014, late in the afternoon, Waber climbed into his treestand with his Parker crossbow. After being in the stand only 20 minutes, he spotted the monstrous 10-point coming up a ravine toward him. “Once the buck turned broadside to me, I squeezed the trigger on my crossbow, and my Rage broadhead hit the mark,” Waber said. Waber’s hunt for The Big 10 was finally over. The buck gross scored 177 5/8 inches, netted 175 2/8 inches and was the winner of the Buckeye Feeders contest. Waber not only took the buck of a lifetime, he won the TORQ Hi Performance Electric Vehicle.
For more information on Buckeye Feeders and a more detailed story on Waber’s quest for The Big 10, go to buckeyefeeders.com.