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Mike Lutt's Incredible Season of Nine P&Y

by Brenda Potts 25. February 2011 13:27
Brenda Potts

It is not unusual for a person who hunts for a living to kill nine animals with a bow in one season. It is great deal harder for the guy who works two jobs and can only hunt on weekends or vacations. Being self employed does help, as in the case of Mike Lutt, a taxidermist in the fall and winter, and landscaper in spring in summer. During the 2010 hunting season Mike tagged nine animals, all of which qualify for the Pope and Young record book.

 
"During a normal year I usually shoot 3 to 4 animals," said Mike. "But with the kids out of the house and an employee who stays behind to take care of the animals coming in to the taxidermy shop, I was able to spend more time hunting this past year."


It started with antelope in the early season. Mike got permission to hunt on some private property in Wyoming. The landowner, Jay Butler has since decided to start an outfitting business and Mike helped him book 20 clients for his new Antelope Outfitters.

In late August he shot a mule deer, still in velvet, on public land in Colorado. It was the second day of the season and he was spot and stalking mule deer coming off private land onto public land. He watched the buck for a couple of days, and was able to sneak up on the bedded buck and make the shot.

Mike shot another antelope, this time using a decoy, while hunting in South Dakota. The buck was in a wide open area of a wheat stubble field. Mike laughs at how they all hid behind a single decoy. "We had a guy who was 6 foot 4 inches tall holding the decoy, a cameraman that was 6 foot 2 inches, and me, all behind this decoy." But the ploy worked and it was all captured on film, as were most of the hunts for the season.

A 33 inch wide hard antlered mule deer was the next buck to wear Mike's tag. He was hunting on private property owned by a friend in South Dakota, in September.  On the first attempt as spot and stalking the buck in a sunflower field, he missed the buck at 20 yards. This did not discourage the hunter.  He kept after the buck and finally shot him 4 days later in the same field.
While hunting another buck in Nebraska that same month, Mike spotted him in velvet . He was hunting on an Indian reservation. Although it was private property you still had to draw the tag for the area. Circumstances did not allow Mike to take a shot until a few days later when he found that same buck, now hard antlered, feeding on acorns. The Hoyt Alpha Max performed as expected and another P&Y was added to the list.

In November, Mike headed to Iowa with a buck decoy. He set up near a spot where a big 160 class buck traveled a fence. The spot where the buck normally jumped the fence was near a scrape and an alfalfa field.  Everything worked as planned and the big buck presented a 4-yard shot. Needless to say, another buck went down.
In late November Mike was in his home state of Nebraska , cold calling for rutting bucks. He rattled in 2 bucks from 80 yards away. The bucks circled each other, but soon left. Mike quickly grunted and brought the buck back within range. The only problem was the buck came in head on to 5 yards. "He saw me and we stared at each other for 5 minutes. I know it was at least 5 minutes because my video camera shuts off automatically after 5 minutes of no activity. The buck turned toward the other buck that was also returning and offered me a good shot." Mike took the shot.

Buck number 8 came from a walk-in property in northern Kansas. "It was 2 degrees," Mike recalled.  "I had the decoy out and saw a buck chasing a doe. I think the doe saw the decoy first. She came closer, then a 150 inch 4x4 crossed the creek and gave me a 5 yard shot.

Mike finished the season on his own property in Nebraska. The year before he had passed on a nice buck that he rattled in. In early December he had another chance at him. "I grunted at him and he stood still for 5 to 10 minutes before finally making his way to 20 yards."  Once again, Mike connected on his trophy.

Most of his hunts from last fall can be seen in the Great Plains Edition of Bill Winke's television show. After the hunting season Mike goes to work in his taxidermy business, mounting about 100 deer between January and April. Then he switches gears and directs 25 employees in his landscaping business until late summer. When fall returns, Mike will be back in the field filming, hunting and working hard for another great season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End of a Bowhunting Season; Pope and Young Club and Treestand Safety

by Todd Graf 18. January 2011 04:36
Todd Graf

 One would think that since the hunting season officially ended this past weekend in Illinois that I would be able to catch up on a little rest and enjoy some down time.  Not so fast, my friend!  As many of you know I was in Indianapolis this past weekend for the annual ATA Show and as I write this I am packing my bags and getting ready to head to Las Vegas for Shot Show too.  In between all of all this, I was able to get my 2010 buck officially scored by my good freind Jim Carlson and became an official member of the Pope and Young Club.  Jim turned me on to the Pope and Young Club and inisisted I join, and after hearing Jim tell of all the good things the Pope and Young Club stands for and represents, I immediately joined.

    October 15th was easily the best day I had hunting for the 2010-2011 season as I was able to harvest a mature self-filming.  This is my third mature buck I've been able to harvest while self-filming in the last three years.  For those of you who are on the fence about self-filming and question whether or not it limits your chances, I am here to tell you it can be done!  If you have ever thought about filming I urge you to give it a try.  Bowhunting itself is fun, but when you add a camera into the mix it only adds to the enjoyment.  Plus, you get to relive all of your hunts whenever you want to.  Stay tuned because we are going to have some self-filming tutorials soon!  When I harvested this buck, I guessed the buck to score in the mid 150s.  Well, my intuition proved to be correct as my buck officially scored 154 7/8”.  In case you missed the footage of me harvesting this buck; check out Episode 3 of Bowhunt or Die by clicking here.  

My record book buck from the 2010 season.  He was just an all around gorgeous buck that ended up grossing 154 7/8".

 I am also proud to announce that I am finally an official member of the Pope and Young Club, and that I entered my buck into the P&Y record books.  I had always wanted to become a part of the Pope and Young Club, but never really had the time to sit down and join. The Pope and Young Club is an organization that every bowhunter should think about joining.  According to the P&Y website, the Pope and Young Club is a non-profit, charitable, membership-based organization whose mission is to ensure bowhunting existence for future generations by promoting and protecting our rich bowhunting heritage and values.   It offers bowhunters around the world a chance to partake in an organization that truly protects our bowhunting rights and ensures a bowhunting future.  I encourage all of to consider joining!

If you are serious about protecting our bowhunting heritage and promising a bowhunting future, I encourage you to join the Pope and Young Club.  I recently did and it's a great organization.


   The Pope and Young Club also supports the National Bowhunter Education Foundation and the two have recently teamed up to unleash an all out attack on tree stand accidents and tree stand safety.  This campaign will be called Project STAND (Stop Treestand Accidents ‘N Deaths).  The goal is to significantly reduce the number of injuries and related deaths associated with tree stand accidents..  Studies show that 50% of tree stand hunters never wear a safety harness.  Studies also show that between 10-30% of all tree stand hunters will experience a fall or near miss during the hunting career.  By 2012, the Pope and Young Club and STAND are hoping to drastically reduce these numbers.  According to the Pope and Young Club, 83% of all P&Y Record Book whitetail entries were taken from a tree stand.  Also, tree stand accidents kill and injure more hunters than firearms.  Those really are sobering statistics and should be an eye opener for everyone.
  Unfortunately, I became a statistic this past fall as I nearly fell from a tree stand while out filming with my cameraman, Cody Altizer.  I was wearing my safety harness while hanging a new stand, and removed it before my descent.  One of the straps on my Lone Wolf climbing stick snapped and I nearly fell.  I was able to grab onto the platform of my stand to prevent a painful landing, but I did injure my right bicep pretty badly.  Thankfully, that was the only injury I had to endure.  I know my wife and little boy, Craig, are thankful too.  I am now taking a serious stand (pun intended) on tree stand safety.  I've been particularly impressed by Scent Blocker's new safety products for 2011, the Tree Spider Safety harness and vest, as well as the Livewire Descent system.  The harness itself is very light, fast and easy to put on and but more importantly safe.  The Speed Vest offers all the same features but in a vest style harness which can be worn into Scent Blocker clothing.  The Livewire Descent System allows for safe, quick, hands free descent from your tree stand.  To learn more about the Tree Spider Safety System from Scent Blocker click here.  I certainly learned my lesson after the fall and immediately ordered the Lifeline System from Muddy Outdoors for all of my treestands.  It is a literal life saver in the deer woods, because you are safe and secure from the moment you start climbing your treestand, to the moment you get down at the end of the hunt.  All you have to do is attach it to the tree when you first hang the stand and you are promised safety henceforth.  I really do encourage all of you to look into the Lifeline System for all of your treestands; the cost certainly outweighs the potential risk. 

The Pope and Young Club and the National Bowhunter Education Foundation have recently joined forces to create an educational campaign called STAND designed to educate bowhunters on treestand safety.  The above image is the logo for this new movement and both parties encourage bowhunters to help promote the cause.


   It is hard to believe that another hunting season has come and gone and quite frankly, I don’t even want to think about bowhunting right now.  I am one burnt out bowhunter.  I worked extremely hard this year and was able to harvest a beautiful 154” buck and two does with my bow, all on film, so I really can’t complain.  Before I know it spring will be here and I will be working tirelessly on my food plots and habitat management program on my property.  Shed hunting season has already begun too.  There truly is no offseason for the serious bowhunter!  If you love bowhunting as much as I do, I urge you to become a member of the Pope and Young Club to protect our bowhunting rights and the future of the sport we all love. However, I most encourage you to hunt smart and hunt safely!

Pope & Young Announces Four New World Records

by Justin Zarr 10. June 2009 02:05
Justin Zarr

Four new World’s Records were officially recognized during the Pope and Young Club’s 26th Biennial Convention and Awards Banquet in Denver, Colorado, this spring.  Bowhunting.com would like to congratulate all of these bowhunters on their amazing acheivements!

Species: Polar bear
Score: 26 10/16
Location: Cape Brown, Northwest Territories
Bowhunter: Jimmie Ryan
Year: 2008

This bear bested a World’s Record that had stood since Richard McIntire’s Alaska polar bear shot in 1958 (which was tied by a 2002 bear from Nunavut).

Species: Roosevelt’s elk
Score: 378 6/8
Location: Columbia County, Oregon
Bowhunter: Clifford M. Hayden
Year: 1991

The gigantic coastal rainforest elk exceeded the previous world’s record by over 11 inches (367 3/8, Tillamook County, Oregon, Dale Baumgartner, 1985).

Species: Tule elk Score: 312 5/8
Location: Solano County, California
Bowhunter: Audrey Goodnight
Year: 1990

Audrey’s bull is the first declared world’s record for a new record book category that was formally introduced last year. Found in central California, Tule elk are an elk subspecies that exhibit the similar crowning point structure as do Roosevelt’s elk, found on the west coast further to the north. Since establishing the category July 1, 2008, the Pope and Young Club has accepted 22 Tule elk entries into the Records.

Species: Desert Bighorn sheep
Score: 178 6/8
Location: Hidalgo County, New Mexico
Bowhunter: Jim Hens
Year: 2007

New York state bowhunter Jim Hens traveled to New Mexico on a lengthy hunt that resulted in a ram that narrowly surpassed the previous world’s record (178 2/8, Tiburon Island, Mexico, George Harms, 2000).

Just over 100 of the biggest and best animals taken in the last two years were requested and received for verification by the 26th Biennium Panel Judging Session prior to the Denver Convention. These outstanding specimen represented all 34 categories of North American big game and were displayed in an unforgettable public exhibit during the three-day convention in Denver.

My First Official Pope & Young Whitetail

by Justin Zarr 3. June 2009 14:28
Justin Zarr

Growing up and cutting my teeth bowhunting here in Illinois I never quite realized just how spoiled we are when it comes to big whitetails.  My first few seasons in the field and throughout high school I saw more P&Y caliber whitetails, and screwed up more chances at them, than many hunters may have in their hunting careers.  It wasn't until I hit my early twenties that I started taking my bowhunting a little bit more seriously, and consequently started to experience some more success.  I have been fortunate enough at my ripe young age of 28 to have successfully harvested 3 whitetails with my bow that gross over 130", and while this may not be a grand accomplishment in the vast hunting community, I am fairly proud of these bucks.

In the fall of 2007 I was fortunate enough to harvest a nice 3 1/2 year old whitetail while participating in the Campbell Outdoor Challenge TV show in Southern Illinois.  After rough scoring the buck shortly after he was shot, I had a good feeling that he would net high enough to be entered in the Pope & Young Record Book.  Being a die-hard bowhunter and believing very much in with the Pope & Young organization stands for, I decided to have my buck officially scored several weeks ago. 


My 2007 Southern Illinois whitetail.

Local P&Y scorer, and former P&Y Vice President, Brian Scarnegie was kind enough to do the honors for me.  After the tale of the tape was added up, and then deducted, my buck ended up net scoring 127 0/8 inches even - just barely squeaking past the 125" minimum requirement.  So once my check and paperwork go through, I too will have my name in the famed P&Y record book.  I have to admit, it's a pretty cool feeling.

For those if you interested in learning more about Pope & Young, or to find official score sheets or a P&Y scorer in your area you can find all the information you need on their website at http://www.pope-young.org/


The official score sheet.

Speaking of this particular buck, shortly after he was officially scored he was also mounted and is now at home on my wall where I can admire him.  My local taxidermist, Dale Schwab, does a wonderful job and has been mounting animals for my family and friends since I was a little kid.  This particular mount is done on a McKenzie "Ben Mears" Semi-Upright Offset Series mannikin and I think it looks great.  Dale does a wonderful job on the eye and nose detail, which to me makes the world of difference when it comes to a good mount.  Hopefully I won't get skunked again this fall and have another trophy whitetail for Dale to mount come November!

 

If you're looking for an outfitter in Illinois that will take great care of you and has some AWESOME whitetails check out Campbell Illinois Whitetails at www.illinoisdeerhunting.com.  These guys have some of the very best ground in Illinois and offer what I feel is a very good chance at harvesting a P&Y caliber buck.  My buck was taken in 2007, and on our return trip this past fall I was lucky enough to film my hunting partner Mr. Mike Willand shoot a beautiful mid-130's buck on the 2nd day of our hunt.  Two P&Y bucks in two years, it's hard to argue with that kind of success!




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