10 Awesome Bucks

The Archer’s Choice television show is the first to feature a husband-and-wife bowhunting team and the popularity of Illinois’ Vicki … Continued

Vicki Cianciarulo’s Top 5 “This Colorado buck is the biggest I have ever seen in the wild,” Vicki says. “We spotted him as he jumped a cattle fence into a green field with 9 other bucks. It was November 13 and the bucks should not have been hanging together, but for some reason they were. I tried grunting and rattling at him but he didn’t care. Then I tried my HS “Ezee-wheeze” and he lifted his head and started walking toward me. Ralph was filming the hunt and we both were making the tree shake where our stands were hanging. I took the shot at 17 yards. He grossed 203 5/8 points, easily making the record book.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“Ralph and I went to Texas and were hunting out of pit blinds for deer,” says Vicki. “I was sitting there as the sun was coming up, and heard a strange noise on top of the blind. I thought it was a bird landing. But about a minute later this buck comes from behind the blind and shows himself. He has the widest rack of any deer I’ve shot, with a 23 ¿-inch inside spread, scoring 164-inches of rack.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“I will always remember this hunt,” Vicki says. “We drove almost 40 minutes from the ranch to get to this spot in Colorado where we had set up a stand in some cottonwoods for mule deer over a dry creek bottom. When we were almost there, we realized that we had taken my Hoyt bow out of the truck the previous day. Grrrrr!! We turned around, picked up my bow, headed back to the spot and got into the stand. Incredibly we made it back before the muleys walked through that drainage. It was a short wait, I made a good shot, and the deer ran off. After the shot I was able to track and recover the 158-inch buck with my 10-month old son RJ- carrying him on my back. It was a great family experience.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“Ralph and I went to North Dakota to hunt with Double B Outfitters,” Vicki says. “They had a box blind set up for gun season, but it would work with the wind direction we had. Ralph and I were trying to film and shoot out of the same little window blind hole, which was pretty interesting. This buck came in from out of nowhere, and I got the shot, while Ralph filmed the action for our television show. I leaned a little too close to the window hole and smacked my head on the wooden blind. Of course Ralph got that on film, and it aired. Here I’m with my son RJ, and my heavy-beam, 152-inch, 10-pointer.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“Ralph and I went out to glass deer one morning on the sage flats of Colorado, hoping for a muley stalk hunt,” Vicke recalls. “We located a nice whitetail buck instead. Figuring we had nothing to lose, we put a stalk on him. We covered 300 yards fast and slowed down when we thought we were getting close to where we saw him bed down with a doe. The doe jumped up, but the buck didn’t. I grunted and he stood up 80 yards away. He put his ears back and started walking towards us. I couldn’t believe it, he must have thought we were trying to get his girlfriend. The 155-incher got to about 40 yards from us and I took the shot, and he went down fast after the arrow struck home.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ralph Cianciarulo’s Top 5 “Vicki and I were eating our Thanksgiving dinner of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the tailgate of our truck,” Ralph says. “We were talking about deer sign we’d found and where to place our Kansas tree stands. We chose a location between a large open prairie and a river, keeping the wind in our favor near some major buck sign. An hour in stand I decided to rattle, and from across the river came a tall 8-pointer looking hard in our direction, but seeing nothing he lost interest fast. Vicki was in a tree stand filming seven above me and spotted a huge buck that I couldn’t see. She said to rattle and grunt, and when I did he just appeared from nowhere, walking right towards us. I knew he was big, so I never looked at his rack, and when he turned broadside I released my arrow. The Spitfire struck right behind his front leg. He took off toward the river and disappeared. It was getting dark, so we left him for the morning. I paced back and forth the entire night and the next morning I was holding my 188-inch buck that we call my PB & J Thanksgiving Booner!” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“Vicki and I were hunting out of ground blinds with Double B Outfitters in North Dakota,” Ralph recalled. “We were set up on a narrow piece of north-south timber. We had a strong west wind and deer were filtering through all day. Suddenly I noticed a good buck working his way through the timber in our direction. At 15 yards I drew my Hoyt, and sent a Beman carbon shaft through his chest. He jumped up, spun and went down right in front of us. The 148-inch deer was huge, weighing over 300 pounds live weight. Being on the ground and that close to trophy animals is incredible.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“We were driving and glassing sage flats for monster southern Colorado mule deer, when we saw a bedded buck with his rack protruding up and over the sage,” says Ralph. “With a spotting scope, I confirmed he was a monster, so big he couldn’t hide well in the sage brush. I quickly plotted out a plan for a stalk, got the wind in my favor and slowly made the approach without noisy boots. I moved step-by-step over cactus and sage, trying to be as quiet as possible. I noticed his tines at 70 yards facing away. I continued making my move to close the distance. I drew on him at 50 yards, back downed and got to 40, drew and backed down again, got to 30, drew and wanted to get closer. At 21 yards I came to full, snorted and wheezed, holding my pin where I figured his chest would be when he stood up. He did, and my arrow hit right on the crease behind the shoulder. He ran just 40 yards and piled up. He’s my best mule deer, scoring just over 228-inches.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“I was hunting an Illinois farm and found some great ridge buck sign near a big cedar tree overlooking a small corn field,” Ralph says. “It was a cold November morning, a north wind, and at 8 a.m. I heard movement behind me. I grunted and it didn’t take long for a big boy to come out of the thick stuff, all puffed up and posturing to the decoy I had out. The 174-inch buck stopped right below me, and made a scrape near my cedar tree. He walked out, and I was at full draw. The arrow hit perfectly, and he went only 50 yards before piling up.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
“I was in Colorado and located a good whitetail buck coming out every evening to a winter wheat field,” Ralph says. “The only problem was there was no place to set a stand. But there were hay bales in the field, so we decided to relocate some of those bales and make a blind, which helps conceal scent, too. The next afternoon I was in the hay bale blind, with deer feeding all around, as they moved out of a river bottom to feed. Right at sunset here he came with a doe. The doe passed at 8 yards, but he kept coming and I took him at less than 10 yards. The 168-inch 10-ponter ran 50 yards, falling in the field.” Outdoor Life Online Editor

The Archer’s Choice television show is the first to feature a husband-and-wife bowhunting team and the popularity of Illinois’ Vicki and Ralph Ciancarulo has grown with each season they’ve been on the air. Ralph is a long-time and top bowhunter, having owned one of the most successful archery shops in the Chicagoland area. Vicki shares Ralph’s hunting passion, and they are passing it down to their young son RJ. Here are their 10 top deer trophies.