Being from Michigan it sometimes gets easy to blame individual deer hunting misfortunes on our state. Michigan's too pressured, Michigan has too long a gun season, Michigan has too liberal of regulations. I myself am guilty of these kinds of complaints, as are a lot of people I know. And in all honesty many of these claims have a good bit of truth to them. But at the same time, while driving through the Southern Michigan countryside, I'm often reminded that all is not ill in the Mitten State. In fact, in some cases, the deer hunting opportunities abound. And this year, I'm in an area where just such a situation is present. I've been fortunate enough to have run ins on or near my hunting properties with some stellar bucks. I in fact would be willing to stack some of the bucks I've come across this summer against anyone's hit list bucks in states like Illinois, Kansas or Iowa. That being said, here are a few of the dandies I'll be chasing here in Michigan.
I first saw this buck, which I've now dubbed the Backyard 13, behind my house in a back corner of a soybean field. My first encounter was from about 500 yards away, but wanting to get better footage and a closer look at this stud of a buck, I put the sneak on the next day. After crawling on all fours for a hundred yards or more, I was able to edge within about 100 yards of this giant MI buck and captured some reasonably good video! Upon closer inspection, I discovered this buck had a real nice frame, but also split brow tines and a kicker off his right G3! Talk about character.
The weekend following my close encounter with the Backyard 13 I placed a trail cam on this back field, and like clock work this monster buck kept hitting the beans. Hopefully come October he'll still be in the area, and I'll be able to take a poke at him with my PSE! The one kink in my plan is that I actually moved to a new home soon after I saw this great deer, so my chances to hunt him will be limited. But upon moving, hopes were high about my new hunting area...
And luckily I wasn't disappointed with the new digs. In fact since moving to this new area of Michigan, I've seen a handful of truly impressive MI whitetails within spitting distance of my new 90 acre farm I'm living on. Above you can see a triumvirate of studs that I'm really hoping to meet again come October or November. The far right buck is a true stud I call Abrams, as he seems to be a real tank of a buck. And in the middle is an incredibly wide buck that I've yet to name, but he's a beast. Seeing these bucks made me instantly excited about my new location, but I had no idea the best was yet to come.
Soon after first encountering the three aforementioned bucks, I ran across a scene that shocked me even more. Another bean field, only a few days later, near my home farm held two of the biggest bucks I have ever seen in Michigan. In fact this is the biggest buck I've seen to date. Unfortunately the picture above is of quite poor quality, but you can atleast see the frames of these true Michigan giants. In fact I'm confident the buck on the left is a Michigan Booner. And that's something you don't see often! With all of these great deer on my home turf, I'm obviously excited beyond words. 2011 is shaping up to be a great year and hopefully when it's all said and done I can end the season with an Iowa quality buck on the ground!
So while big buck opportunities may not abound in states like MI at the same rate as they might in locales like Iowa, there are still big bucks to be had. So don't ever sell yourself short because of the state you hunt in. Work hard and search them out, because there are big bucks often in the most unexpected places, just waiting for a smart hunter to put them down for a good dirt nap!