Deer of the Year

Ernie Scheelar, Athabasca, AB Ernie had almost convinced his brother Richard to switch stands with him the afternoon he shot this massive Alberta buck. The palmated rack scored 195 1/8 Boone and Crockett points.

Greg Hanneman, Wisconsin Rapids, WI Greg had trail camera photos and several minutes of video of this 180-class buck, but the deer always kept its distance--until one November day.

Adrienne Thompson, Spruce, MI Adrienne took off sprinting when she saw this Montana muley crest a ridge a half mile away. She closed to within 275 yards before making her shot.

Jason Leonhart, Potsville, IA Jason connected with this 170-class deer on opening day. He dropped it with his fourth shot as the buck ran beneath his stand.

James Porcelli, Freehold, NJ James started shaking when he first saw this buck. The 175 7/8-inch rack puts him in a tie atop the state record book.

Stephanie Rainey, Lakeside, AZ "I've never been a gal much for wearing bows in her hair," says Stephanie. This 4 by 4 muley in velvet is proof that she knows what to do with a bow in her hands, however.

Kort Cook, Great Bend, KS His three older brothers were going bowhunting, but since it was Kort's first season, his father suggested he try a .243 instead. Kort dropped this 180-class buck on the second day of the season.

Neil Cushman, Aiken, SC Neil worked two jobs last year to pay for his Illinois hunt. This 185 2/8-inch buck (complete with 13-inch brow tines) was his reward.

Jordan Reid, Oakley, KS At one point this 168 1/8-inch buck was rubbing the very tree in which Jordan was standing. The hunt ended after a stalk and a ground shot.

Rudy Klancer, St. Marys, PA A shot across a valley dropped this 8½-year-old buck as it ran along the opposite ridge. It was Rudy's first buck in 13 years.

Jon & Jenny Brewer, Newport, MI Jon and Jenny shot their two bucks from the same spot just five minutes apart during Michigan's 2005 Youth Hunt.

Anthony Francescon, Chestnut Ridge, NY Anthony first spotted this deer in 2001, when it was 6 months old. The buck had given him the slip ever since, until last season, when it walked past his stand at 9 yards.

Brandon Edrington, Homer, IL Last summer Brandon answered an ad in the local paper offering "Hunting Privileges for Gardening Work." The property ended up being 160 acres of timber bordering a river and open fields. The rack scored 186 6/8.

Alan Moore, Albin, WY Just after daybreak, Alan crawled 600 yards to intercept this 200-class buck with a 200-yard shot before it could disappear into a canyon.

Robert Clark, Lehi, UT Robert spent three seasons hunting the whitetail he had dubbed "the General," and watched it grow year after year. Final score: 258 2/8.

Andy Braun, Detroit Lakes, MN After not seeing any bucks on opening day, Andy decided to hunt from a different stand the following morning; he connected with this 22½- inch wide 9-point buck. As his father Craig says, this turned out to be the deer of a lifetime for Andy. Sadly, the 16-year-old died in January following heart surgery.

Brett Herbeck, Rock Falls, IL Brett passed on one nice-size buck as it chased a doe by his stand. Something told him to hold out. Sure enough, shortly afterward, this brute stepped into the clearing and Brett claimed it.

According to scorers, common bases on the left and right G-2s and G-3s prevented the buck from becoming the new No. 2 B&C typical whitetail. Instead, it scored 212 non-typical: a heck of a trophy.

Waylon Johnson, Sallisaw, OK After a day and a half of not seeing any deer, Waylon decided to head back to his camper and pack for home. On the way he jumped this 211 5/8-inch non-typical buck.

Jeff Stephens, Carpentersville, IL Jeff arrowed this 150-class 10-pointer on November 5. Just nine days later, on the same northern Illinois farm, he took a 146-inch whitetail with his bow. Now that's what you call a good archery season.

Geena Leschisin, Webster, SD Geena, 12, hunted with her father on opening weekend of her first season but struck out. Later in the week, her mom guided her to this 155-inch whitetail, which she dropped from 130 yards.

Tracy Ledbetter, Mt. Pleasant, IA This is Tracy's first buck in three years of hunting. Talk about making a splash: The deer's rack scored 164 6/8.

Tim Viele, Penn Yan, NY Hunting with his cousin Chris in Colorado, Tim (left) dropped this 199 5/8-inch mule deer on the second-to-last day of the season.

Andrew Snucins, Lillooet, BC It was a day of firsts for Andrew. On the first day of the archery mule deer season he shot the first deer that walked past his stand with the first arrow he'd ever loosed at a big-game animal. The buck scored 169 6/8. Andrew had only intended to scout that day--hence his lack of camouflage.

Prize Winners (selected at random): Stephanie Rainey, Yamaha EF1000iSEB Generator; Robert Clark, Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx; Geena Leschisin & Rudy Klancer, Buck Knives Limited Edition Yellowhorse Coyote Valley knife; Adrienne Thompson, Kort Cook & Alan Moore, BowTech Tribute bow; Brandon Edrington, Tim Viele & Andrew Snucins, Simmons 3--9x40 ProHunter scope; Waylon Johnson, Leatherman Collector's Kit; Anthony Francescon, Cabela's Extreme Hunter Ultralight Pack.

*See more photos from readers like you at outdoorlife.com/doy.