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By far my Biggest!

Started by Langer, November 10, 2008, 01:00:55 PM

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A group of my friends I hunt with in the Thumb get invited each year to a private deer ranch for a little population control. This year our quota was three 12pts or better, one 8 point, and 5 untagged does. There were 13 of us.

Now most people think of ranch hunts as being easy, like shooting fish in a barrel! Well this place is not!! Being there were only 9 deer to be taken and 12 guys we did a drawing before each hunt to see who would be able to hunt and who got to stay back and cook (or Drink). After the guys were drawn we did another drawing for who got to shoot a buck or a doe.

My first two hunts I was drawn for a doe tag and didnt see anything but Bucks, big bucks and lots of them. They were everywhere running does! But out of those deer I never saw anything over 12, and neither did anyone else.

While eating dinner Thursday night we talked to the ranch manager about how many 12pts or better are actually out there, his best guess was only a handfull or so. So we made the determination that we werent going to draw for the 12 pt tags anymore and everyone would have one and just to make sure we communicated via text messages or radios whenever there was a shot. We figured the chances of seeing a 12 pt or better was slim to none, especially with them being spread out over 560 acres!

Friday morning we awake to a nice steady rain that didnt want to give up, so off to the woods we went, luckily they have nice blinds to sit in. I wasnt in my stand for more then 5 minutes when I had the first deer show up, a small buck, but too dark to see how many points, then a twig snaps and the small buck looks over his shoulder and coming into the food plot was a monster, again too dark to count points but I sat there in awe as this monster walked by twice scent checking the air for a hot doe!

I bet he would of scored 160 or better! As it got ligther more and more bucks started showing up, at one time I had 7 in front of me ranging from a button buck up to 3 different 8 points. Around 8:30 a nicer one came in and I started counting points 11 and a small sticker point off the main beam, now the questions start rolling through my head, is that sticker big enough to be a point? Does it need to be an inch? Is that an inch?

Counted and re-counted at least 25 times. Had the cross hairs on him 3 times and all 3 times talked myself out of shooting because I didnt want to make a mistake and shoot an 11 point when the rules said 12 or better, so after an hour of watching him he walked off into the woods. I thought I made the right descion to pass until I talked to the ranch manager after the hunt and explained the buck and its rack, and he said nope that it was a point and actually had another point off the base that I didnt see that made it a 13 pt!

I was heart broken, I had an opporunity and blew it. Well I ate a quick lunch and went right back out in hopes he or the bigger one from the early morning would come back and give me a 2nd chance. I sat from 1pm til 3:30 without seing a deer, then a button buck and 2 does came in to mill around the food plot. I watch them for about 20 mins until they walked off into the woods where they came from.

Around 4pm I heard another snap of a twig and looked up from my game of Yatzee (keeps my from moving around too much in the blind) And there was the 13 pointer from this morning! I quickly glassed his head gear to make sure we was still at least a 12, still couldnt find the 13th point, but was able to count to 12, just to make sure I recount twice to verify. Ok now its time to get down to business, thats when the buck fever rush hit me, I watch that deer and all the others in the morning with out so much as an increased heart beat, but that was because I hadnt made the determination I was going to harvest the animal, but as soon as I made that determination the Fever hit me, by now the deer is eating in the foodplot, I guess i wasnt moving slow enough bringing the gun up and he caught movement and started walking away into the brush, oh no did I blow it again!

I quickly re-grouped and scanned the brush for an opening to shot through, found my spot got ready and as he stepped into it I mouth bleated and he stopped, saftey went click, gun went boom, and deer went down!

Here he is, ended up only being a 2.5 yr old!

Wayne County Bass Anglers
-2008 President


Very Nice!!  I know all about that buck fever thing,  happens to me every year.


The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.

Firefighter Jeff

How'd you get him to hold his head up for the picture?????  lolol


Training... lots of training ;D

Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.


 ;D ;D
The author just told a great story !!! How awesome was that !!!

We went North a Gladwin on semi state / private land. The folks we go with pretty much have stands put in - like 7 different areas, all w/in 500 yds into the woods from the road - which has farmland private on the other side. I banged my 3 yr old doe 5 min into opening morning for the meat locker, but failed to see a buck this year. Lot a spikers.

Did you have to pay for the private ranch you hunted ? Sounds like quite an invite. Nice deer by the way - hope the cape and head are ready for mount !!
Thanks Dan for bringing year round Catch and Release to Michigan


The trip cost me a total of 35 bucks that we each pitched in for the food we bought and for a tip for the caretaker. It really is a great opportunity I have.
Wayne County Bass Anglers
-2008 President

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