With only a few weeks left to go before we hit the woods it’s time to unveil the 2012 Whitetail Weekly Hit List. This summer proved a bit more difficult than last year in terms of getting good bucks in front of the cameras but we still managed to find a few. Early on we identified a handful of bucks that looked to be off to good starts and that we thought were going to be good bucks this fall. Then, just as quickly as they appeared they seemed to disappear on us and we were left scratching our heads.
Thankfully as we entered August and got our fall food plots in the ground the bucks re-appeared and were once again passing in front of our camera’s with regularity. We were able to identify a few of the bucks that we spotted in the spring and they had grown into good bucks just as we had originally thought they would.
We’ve really seen our property blossom over the last few years and it seems as though our hard work, along with the hard work of our neighbors, is really beginning to pay off. Last year was really the first year we saw enough good bucks to put together a hit list and we hoped that this year would follow suit. Last year the bucks were infront of the cameras all summer long and we had hundreds of pictures of our hits list bucks (see the 2011 hit list here: http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showthread.php?p=4246056#post4246056). This year was a bit tougher but we’ve still got some good bucks that we’re after and that we’re proud to share with you.
3. Bob Marley — This buck got his name thanks to how high his rack was growing back when he first started building his frame. We lost track of him for a while but once he re-appeared we were able to identify him thanks to his wide, tall frame and his single brow tine. While he doesn’t sport the tallest tines in the world he certainly has an impressive frame and we’re pretty sure he’s a 3.5yr old deer since we think we knew him last year as a 2.5yr old. While he may be the number 3 buck on our list this year it would be hard to let him walk if he passed by the stand.
2. High Brow — This buck’s nickname comes from the fact that his brows are not down near the base of his antlers but are a bit higher up on his beams. Once we saw the frame that this deer blew into we knew right away that he was going to be on the hit list no doubt about it. He has a great frame, some really long beams and a nice spread as well. We don’t recognize him from last year but I would have to guess that he is also 3.5 years old. While I may find the will power to pass on Bob Marley if he comes by early in the year, you can be sure that High Brow will be in trouble if he passes within range of me.
1. Shadow — When we first saw the early spring pictures of this buck starting to sprout his rack he reminded us of a buck from last years hit list that we called Corners. They looked like they could have been twins at that point so we named this buck Shadow. While Shadow didn’t follow Corners path like we thought he would he still blew into a great buck in his own right.
While Corners was a wide, short 10pt it appears that Shadow is a taller 8pt. He isn’t as wide as Corners was but he is still out past his ears and certainly not a tight racked buck. He is a classic big racked 8pt and is definitely the number one buck on the list so far this year. We actually got one set of pictures of him in July on our small plot and at that point he was the only good buck we had shots of. Thankfully he came back in August with the other bucks andwe got several of him moving from our food plot back out to the cornfield to our south.
The first picture was taken in late August, the second picture was taken in early July.
Last year we had a few more bucks on our hit list but I’m certainly not disappointed by any means. Last year was our first real “big buck” year and we were hoping it wasn’t just a fluke. By seeing the bucks that we’ve seen this year, along with the bucks that our neighbors have been seeing, we now know that the work we’ve put in over the last several years is starting to pay off.
The stands are hung, the plots are planted and the season is right around the corner. It’s the time of year that I love to hate; the anticipation of the season is awesome but it just can’t get here soon enough!! Hopefully one of the bucks on this years Hit List will make the wait well worth it.
Take care, and thanks for reading!!