Alright ladies and gents, it's that time of year when we take a moment to recognize all of your hard work in the field and on the water. You've caught 'em, shot 'em and photographed 'em, and now we're putting y'all in a lineup of the best reader photos from 2012. We've got the veteran hunters, like 81-year-old Henry Pitts, and the youngsters, like Cami Benetti, age 8, with her first squirrel kill of a lifetime. We've got the sourest faces you'll ever spot in a grip-and-growl photo (you know who you are), and we've got the always charming huntresses from every age group.
On November 14, 2012, opening day of shotgun season in Connecticut and shotgun/rifle season on private land, Vlad Tepish had a choice, go on a 32 acre lot he has permission to hunt, or try our luck on state hunting land. He was talked into hunting opening day on state land by his brother-in-law even though he had some impressive pictures on trail cams from their private land. His 11 point buck was also his biggest deer, and on state land to boot. He shot the buck at about 7:45 am — only a mere hour-and-a-half into legal shooting time.
Shelby M Rudie, 19, shot her first buck on November 10, 2012, with a Browning A-Bolt medallion .243 in Boyd County, Kentucky.
On the opening morning of the 2012 gun deer season, Brittany was very hopeful that she would get her first deer. Wanting the first to be a "wall hanger," she easily passed up a 4 and 6 pointer that they watched fight for several minutes. Shortly after this 10 pointer stepped out and her Savage .243 hit its mark.
Eighty-one-year-old Henry Pitts of Richton, Mississippi proudly displays a wide antlered 6 point buck taken in Wayne County on November 29, 2012.
Joshua Franz killed his buck in Grant County, (Maysville, West Virginia) on November 10th, 2012. He brought the 10-pointer down on an archery hunt.
Craig Jones' buck he shot on opening day of the 2012 Wisconsin rifle hunt. He is from Beloit, WI. The deer was harvested near Beloit as well. It was the 50th anniversary of Jones hunting in WI (1962-2012). The rack had 16 scorable points and had an inside spread of 21-3/4". It gross scored non-typical 193 5/8 unofficially (hasnt been 60 days since deer was harvested to get an official score).
While visiting family in Benton County Indiana Scott Bennett took this Massive 12 point buck on 11-19-12.
2012 Youth Hunt.
Who: Eric Hall of Milwaukee, originally from Louisiana...in WI completing radiology residency. Grandson of Oma/Lyle Benzine of Rio, WI.
What: 11 pt, 18 3/8 inside spread, raw 183, B+C 164 preliminary score
How/when: taken with bow, grunted to within 25 yds from >125yd, 11-8-12 at 9am outside of Jefferson, WI on private land.
Bow buck of a lifetime for this hunter! 10 years and one month ago I harvested a 115-class 8 pt on my first-ever bow hunt in Mississippi. A few hundred bow hunts in-between and I finally got my second bow-buck...and my first-ever WI whitetail buck.
Lane Babb. Age 16, from Fisher Illinois. Shot this 22 pt buck in Edgar county on Sunday of the first 2012 shotgun season, at 6:40 a.m. Should score around 200 inches. Used a Remington 1187. Field dressed 201 lbs.
Dick & Larry Ashenfelter
Here is a photo of the bobcat Dick and Larry Ashenfelter caught in their trapline November 2012 near Corning, IA. Dick has been trapping for 75 years and Larry has been trapping for 44 years. This is the first bobcat they have caught.
This is a pic of Cami Benetti, 8. This is her 1st year hunting on PA's mentored hunting program.
She shot her 1st animal, this grey squirrel with her pink .410/.22 Rossi combo in Beaver County when we were hunting this past weekend.
Jessica Harter of Macon caught this 42" Grass Carp out of a local pond on a worm and bobber!! This is Jessica's first Carp and biggest fish caught yet!
Jim Livengood of Lincoln, California fishing in the Sacramento River in the Rio Vista Area on November 23, 2012 landed this 65 3/4 inch, 62 lbs Sturgeon using a medium action Tiger Ugly Stick, Shimano Tekota reel with 17 lb test. This fish took two big runs, the second requiring us to pick up anchor and drift down the river until he tired.
Lonnie Price of Shady Springs took this 10-point buck in Raleigh County with his Mathews bow about 8:00 am on November 3, 2012.
Mark Nelson caught this one with his nephew Parker Johnson (5 years old) the very next day on the same black finesse worm weighing almost exactly the same --- 7.5 lbs. Nelson let him reel it in and he was very excited. It was an incredible 2 day stretch of fishing.
Robin Worsell, of King Ferry, New York, caught this 8.1 pounds, 24.5 by 15 girth, large mouth bass, while on a fishing trip in Flordia during March of 2011.
Terry Moore's buck of a lifetime was killed opening day of muzzle loader in Vurginia. He was chasing and was very fortunate to get him to stop with a grunt done by mouth. He has been initially scored at 173 4/8 gross and 169 3/8 net. 26" main beams and 21 1/2" inside spread.
This fish was caught in the lower Rogue River in September. Tiffanie Young goes with Chris Carson's Guide Service every year for a week end getaway and always catches huge amounts of fish. Best part is she always catches the most and the biggest!
This is Hannah, 17, from Beavercreek, Ohio. This is her first deer taken in Adams county during youth hunt. It was a perfect 35 yard shot she patiently waited on. The best part is that it was with her great grandma's gun! A 20 gage with open sights! She's hooked.