It is an amazing event, whenever a 200 class Boone and Crockett buck is shot in Michigan, and truly phenomenal when this event occurs late into the month of December. On December 20, 2007, Homer resident Tim Tackett shot just such a buck with his 50 caliber Remington 700 muzzleloader in southern Calhoun County. The dream deer has a green score of 214-1/4 non-typical Boone and Crocket points. The current muzzleloader state record is an Ingham County buck shot in 2004 by Dustin W. Hotchkins that scores 204-1/8. Barring no major shrinkage or mishap in scoring, the Tackett buck should be a new state record after the mandatory 60 day drying period.
A majority of Michigan’s licensed deer hunters have either tagged out or simply given up once December arrives. The days are extremely short and the weather is usually harsh. Add in the mentality that, “all the big ones have been shot” and this results in hunter numbers being quite low as compared to the months of October and November.
Mr. Tackett’s hunter success actually started in November during the firearm opener. Tim used chest waders to reach his chosen ambush spot, a treestand in the middle of a flooded swamp. He was in his stand at 6 a.m. and didn’t see a deer until 9:30 a.m. Two does then came through followed by a 10-point buck. Tackett successfully downed the animal with his shotgun. He then enlisted the help of his son Travis and they canoed the buck out of the southern Michigan swamp.
During the month of October, Travis had seen a huge, multi-tined buck while bow hunting the same 500 acre parcel. Travis observed the buck as it rubbed his antlers, made scrapes and even swam in the deeper waters of the swamp. Unfortunately for him, the megabuck never came closer than 60 yards, so the anxious bow hunter had to just hope that he would get the chance to see the giant again. As fate would have it, he did see the buck again the following day but that would prove to be his last sighting of him while the buck was alive.
Knowing that there were even bigger bucks than the 16 inch, 10 pointer that he shot Nov. 15, Tim decided to save his second tag for an even bigger buck.
Every year the state of Michigan schedules a muzzleloader season in December and in 2007 that season ran from December 7 until December 23 for southern Michigan’s zone 3.
On December 20, Mr. Tackett still had a buck tag burning a hole in his pocket and he elected to go hunting. He is sure glad that he did. On this fateful day there was at least eight inches of snow on the ground. While enroute to his stand, Tim came upon a blood trail. The snow also provided further evidence that the deer was dragging a rear leg. Tim followed the trail across an open field to a big pothole. After a short 80 yards of tracking, Tackett saw a huge buck jump from his bed and try to run away. The rear leg dragging in the snow made it a struggle for the deer. One shot at just 40 yards put the monster right down. Tim’s shot hit the buck in the shoulder.
Like virtually everyone else in this day and age, Tim had a cell phone on him and he called his son Travis. Tim did not mince words, he shouted into the phone, “I shot a big one.”
Travis followed up with, “What did you do, shoot the sticker buck?”
Indeed he had. The Tackett buck has 19 scoreable points. It has a typical 6×5 frame. There are an additional 4 abnormal “sticker” points on both sides making him a 10×9. There are also two broken tines including what would have been a drop-tine. It has an astonishing 8 inch mass measurement around the widest circumference on the right side. The longest tine measures 13 inches. Because of its incredible height and freaky mass throughout the entire rack you hardy notice its world class spread measurement of 22 inches.
Incredibly, the Tackett buck is the second 19-point, 200 class B&C buck taken in Michigan during the 2007 season. As recorded in a previous issue of Woods-N-Water
News (12/2007) Bob Reits shot a huge non-typical in Van Buren County during the October archery season that has now been officially scored at 205 5/8.
The two hunters had a chance to meet each other and compare these awesome sets of antlers at the Q1 Video Network – The Big Buck Pole Prize Party, which was held in Battle Creek in early January. Each of these two bucks took top honors in their respective counties and the Tackett buck took number one overall out of the 840 total entries. It was quite impressive, attending an event in Michigan and seeing 420 inches of antler with just two bucks.
In September of 2007, the village of Homer made local news for having the rock legend and Detroit native, Alice Cooper make a special guest appearance at a local restaurant. Sorry Alice but I believe that you have been upstaged. After 34 years of hunting, Tim Tackett said it all when he stated, “I’ve finally shot my buck of a lifetime.”