GORE BAY – Wow! I think the annual ‘Tom’s Recorder Rack Roundup Big Buck photo contest’ has been discovered!
We had about 30 entries with pictures of hunters with their big bucks submitted for this year’s deer gun hunt on Manitoulin Island. To say this is an increase over last year’s total of 11 would be a huge understatement. In fact, we had more entries this year than the first two years of the contest combined—and this doesn’t include two others that weren’t eligible for the contest, one from a lady artist who sent a photo of a beautiful painting she had done of an eight-point buck and a second from a gentleman who took what was, granted, a fine picture of two live bucks up close in Mills Township.
Among the many photos and stories that were sent in, one was from Andrew Kenny who harvested a 14-point buck, 190 pounds after it was field dressed (so over 200 pounds). A resident of London, Ontario, Mr. Kenny told the Recorder the buck was harvested in Burpee Township. “I’ve been hunting this property for almost 10 years and this was the first deer I have ever harvested. The property is owned by Gord Orford, who does all the hard work getting the land ready for deer season.”
Youth weren’t left out either, as 13-year-old Kowan Orford harvested a large buck “shot on Poppa’s property in the townhip of Burpee and Mills.” It was the first time Kowan harvested a deer with a rifle. He and his mother Daylin had previously shot a four-pointer with a bow.
Cindy Harley told the Recorder, “my husband Darrin harvested this nice eight-pointer and it is his first deer. (It) weighed in at 220 pounds dressed. Very exciting moment for him. One thing off his bucket list.”
Mike Tilcox and his son Austin, who is eight, harvested an eight-point buck in Kagawong.
Carly Newlands said of her harvest of a big buck, “I got this deer in Ice Lake. It has 11 points.”
Twelve-year-old Noah Holmes harvested his first big buck in this year’s hunt. It was shot at 8:43 am the first morning of the hunt in Assiginack Township. The deer was a 10-pointer and weighed approximately 170 pounds.
I loved Brooke Addison’s brief note describing the deer she felled during the hunt. Brooke wrote, “here’s my buck I shot Sunday. Came out chasing the does, took a shot at him at 300 yards and dropped him with my 243. Shot in Spring Bay.”
Then there is the story by Leah McMurray (formerly McAllister, daughter of Keith and Brenda of Providence Bay). I shot this 10-point (almost a 12-point, it had two drop tynes starting) at 4:30 pm on Monday, November 18 in Tehkummah. Not my first buck but my biggest so far. My favourite part of the hunt was seeing the look on my dad’s face when he came to help me clean it, unreal.” Leah added, “harvesting this big buck was amazing, but the best part of deer season for me will always and forever be hanging with my amazing family in the bush for a whole week.”
Believe me folks, this was a very difficult contest to judge. I loved all the entries and I thank all of you for participating this year. I hope you (and many more hunters) will send in your photos from the hunt again next year.
But, since it is up to me to pick two prize winners; the first prize of a $100 gift certificate from the Up Top Sports Shop in Mindemoya, courtesy of the Manitoulin West Recorder, goes to Marc Boudreau who harvested a very large buck—16-points and weighing (on the rack) 270 pounds.
The second prize of a $50 Up Top Sports Shop gift certificate to goes to Danny Nadeau, a member of the ½ Chance Hunt Club on Barrie Island. The picture shows Mr. Nadeau with family members and friends, and the eight-point, 169-pound buck he harvested.