The 5 1/2 year old buck field dressed at 232 lbs…
Nick Perry bow bagged a 15-point whitetail buck in St. Joseph County on the morning of October 6 that is sure to be the highest scoring nontypical known taken by a hunter in the county. The massive antlers have a green gross score of 193 and net 187.
The highest scoring hunter bagged nontypical currently listed for the county in state records maintained by Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM) was taken in 1999 by Edward Chupp. The official score of that buck was 174.
Perry said he first saw the exceptional whitetail during 2008 and hunted hard for him, but was unable to connect.
“We saw him all of the time when shining during 2008,” Nick commented, “but I never saw him while I was hunting. He must have been primarily nocturnal. We got trail camera photos of him, too.”
Perry and his hunting partners named the buck One Eye because only one of his eyes would reflect light from a spotlight. The other eye had been injured somehow. During 2008, they estimated his antlers would score in the 160s. Although unsure about exactly how many points the rack had that year, Nick thought there were 12 or 13.
They were not successful in finding the buck’s shed antlers. When they were unable to locate the buck when scouting during 2009, it was natural for them to assume it had been killed, perhaps by a vehicle after he had shed his antlers.
“We gave up on seeing that buck this year,” Perry said. “Then the week before bow season, we were shining one night and saw One eye. We were happy just to see him. That was an exciting night.”
The buck’s antlers were bigger than they had been the year before. Based on what they saw of the deer’s antlers, they figured the rack would score as high as 180.
Perry operates a lawn care business and it was October 6 before he got the chance to bowhunt. The wind was good for the treestand he planned on hunting that morning, but, as an added precaution against being scented, he was fully outfitted with Scent Lok clothes. He got in position at 6:50 a.m.
Soon after it was light enough to see, Nick spotted three deer coming toward him through a bean field behind him about 300 yards away. One Eye was bringing up the rear. Perry assumed the first two whitetails were small 8-points he had been with when they saw him while shining. The trio of deer headed for a fencerow near the bowhunter’s stand then disappeared from view.
“Twenty minutes later, I looked down and there he was at 25 yards,” Nick said. “He was feeding in the beans and didn’t have a clue I was there. When I had a clear shot, I took it.”
Perry was using a Parker Hornet bow, Carbon Express Arrows and 3-blade,100 grain Rage broadheads. The arrow passed through the deer and had good blood on it. Fifteen minutes after the shot, Nick found the buck laid out in the bean field. He thought the whitetail was headed for a nearby cornfield after the hit, but it never made it out of the beans.
“I’m pretty proud of this buck,” the hunter stated.
Not surprisingly, it’s the avid deer hunter’s highest scoring whitetail. He bagged a typical 10-pointer scoring 154 with a muzzleloader during 2006 that was his previous best. His highest scoring bow kill prior to this year, scored just over 100.
Nick has been bowhunting since he was 12 years old and he’s now 25, so this is his 13th year of deer hunting. The 15-pointer had a huge body with a field dressed weight of 232 pounds. The buck may be as much as 5 1/2 years old.
For more reading about how the state’s biggest bucks were bagged, refer to a series of five books written by the author titled Great Michigan Deer Tales. Book 5 in the series was just published this year. For more information go to www.richardpsmith.com.