Steve Gruber, a Michigan resident and host of the Outdoor Channel’s Deer City USA television show, posted a blog on his website in July titled, “The Year of the 200 inch buck.” Gruber wrote that the midwest was “blessed by almost perfect conditions to promote better high end bucks…..heavy rains in April and May mean big bucks in the fields come October and November.”
Gruber’s home state of Michigan has prophetically proven him right. As of this mid-November, this writer is aware of three Michigan Monsters that have been green scored with mass measurements over the mystical 200 inch mark. On October 6, crossbow hunter George “Ike” Swan shot a Calhoun County buck which scored 203 4/8 (see page 12). On October 23, Kyle Bonner arrowed a Lapeer County brute that scored 209 (See December issue).
A third 200 class buck was shot on November 13, by St. Joseph County bowhunter, Ryan Glass. At 8:10 a.m. on that fateful morning Ryan arrowed a beautiful 19-point that was later measured by his taxidermist at a gross score of 202 4/8 NT Pope and Young points. The green net score is 193 which easily eclipses the present county’s archery record of 149 1/8 which was taken in 1999 by Larry D. Miller.
In Ryan’s own words he has been lucky the last couple of years. Glass is self-employed and owns his own construction company. Business takes up a lot of time so Ryan attempts to maximize his time afield by developing a strategy that has proven effective. The hunter plans at least one out of state hunt a year which has included successful elk hunts in New Mexico and whitetail hunts in Kansas and South Dakota. This year Ryan took a 140 inch 9-point in the Mount Rushmore state. The bowhunter’s Michigan strategy includes hunting the first weekend in October and then leaving his properties alone until after Halloween.
“I hunt family properties and incorporate quality deer management practices. I plant food plots and believe in letting the little bucks go to let them grow,” states Ryan.
On Glass’s successful morning hunt he located himself on the west side of his property because earlier hunts revealed that a shooter buck was traveling that area. Glass used his Summitt Climbing stand and ascended a tree a full hour before shooting light.
When daylight arrived it didn’t take long to see deer. Ryan states, “The first deer that I saw were four does that came out of a cornfield. These four does were staring into a brushy fence-row that was a good 300 yards away. A shooter buck soon appeared in the fence-row. The does then came into my area but the big buck disappeared. Within a couple of minutes the buck reappeared and this time he was following a doe. Both deer were coming straight in towards me. The area around my stand had some thick spots and I was able to draw my bow without being detected. I then bleated to stop the buck and got a quartering away shot.”
Ryan released the arrow which was tipped with a 2-blade Rage broadhead and watched it strike right in front of the deers hip. The buck ran off about 40 yards and the elevated hunter could visually see the arrow hanging out of the opposite side.
Glass waited about a half-hour and then snuck out of the area. The deer had entered his neighbor’s property so he went to acquire permission to follow-up on the wounded animal. He did indeed receive permission but also learned that there were hunters hunting the property that day.
To pass time Ryan decided to go into town to buy gas. When he returned from town he saw a truck parked on the neighbors land very close to were he last saw the buck. Glass went to investigate and found out that the hunters were building a blind for the upcoming gun season.
The anxious hunter asked the group of three people if they had seen the big buck that he had hit. A lady in the group told him that she had bowhunted the hill that they were on and she had not seen the buck. She had a pair of binoculars with her and glassed the bottom of the hill were Ryan had last seen his buck. She quickly found the trophy while doing so.
The four of them immediately went to the fallen trophy. As it turned out the buck only went 60 yards from were he was shot. The arrow had passed through and exited right behind the opposite shoulder. The neighboring hunters had a camera and insisted that Ryan pose for some field photos.
Glass knew that he shot a big buck and he had guesstimated a 150 or maybe even a 160 class animal. He was pleasantly surprised with a huge 200 inch, 19-point that carried incredible 10 inch brow tines. This great buck has an 18 inch inside spread and is a main frame 7×7. Once word got out about Ryan’s deer he learned that neighbors had trail camera pictures from this year and 2009 and another person had found the left side shed from its 2009 rack. Ryan himself had never seen the buck before unless it was a big buck that he saw during the 2008 season.
Ryan plans on having his trophy officially scored at the Lansing, Deer and Turkey Expo which is held annually in February. At that time it should officially a new St. Joe County record for non-typical archery bucks. Glass has also entered his trophy into the Big Buck Pole contest and it currently is in the top three, statewide.
2010 as being the year of the 200 inch buck; for Ryan Glass 2010 is a year that he will never forget. Two bucks and nearly 350 inches of bone, I don’t think even the great swami, Steve Gruber could have predicted that one.