February 01, 2013

Jackson County, Michigan, has a long history of producing Boone & Crockett class whitetails. On November 15, 2012, Gary Reed added to the county’s legendary status when he tagged his very own Boone and Crockett qualifier.

Reed was hunting on the ten acre parcel behind his home with his brother John. Gary sat in a stick, ground-blind that he has hunted for the last twenty years which is located in a hardwood bottom. Brother John was positioned up on a nearby ridge. Shortly after the arrival of daylight, Gary saw the giant whitetail at a distance of two hundred yards. The trophy was walking directly towards him through the tamarack pines and proceeded to do so for the next twenty minutes in a slow and deliberate manner. When the buck reached the thirty yard mark he slightly turned allowing Reed a shot opportunity at the deer vitals. When Gary pulled the trigger of his 12-gauge Remington 870, the trophy buck hit the turf. Reed’s slug hit right between the neck and shoulders and took out the lungs and liver. The 48 year old barber took the memorable shot at 7:30 a.m. on that magical day that many Michigan hunters refer to as a holiday, the firearm opener.

Gary’s monster buck is a main-frame 6×6, 12-point that sports three additional sticker points for a grand total of 15-points. The inside spread eclipses the desired twenty inch mark and tallies 20.5 inches. Reed’s taxidermist aged the buck at 6 1/2 years old and green scored it at 190 3/8 gross Boone and Crockett points. The net typical score is estimated to be in the mid 170 inch range which barring any severe shrinkage or miscalculations should place it in the national Boone and Crockett book which requires a 170 inch minimum net score.

Gary Reed of Grass Lake took this record book 15-point hunting Nov. 15, with his brother John on his 10 acre backyard!

Reed states that he has never seen this buck but after he killed it a friend showed him over two hundred trail camera pictures that he had collected two miles away from the kill site. The last picture was taken on November 5, 2012. Gary stated, “This is the only buck that I have ever considered having a shoulder mount of. I have shot a lot of deer but my biggest buck has probably been about an 8-point. I usually shoot one to feed the family and fill the freezer.”

Gary is very thankful for having the opportunity of taking this great buck on his own property and of the opportunity of being able to share the occasion with his brother John who is experiencing health issues and only made it out for this particular hunt. Reed’s buck is at least the third buck to be shot on the opening day of the Michigan 2012 gun season that carries a gross score of over 190 Boone and Crockett points. The January issue of Woods-N-Water News highlights the other two bucks, shot by Will Finkler and Andy Borders.

The 2012 season will be remembered for two very distinct story lines. The first will be the widespread devastation of the EHD disease that killed thousands of whitetails in southern Michigan. The second story will be the high number of world class bucks killed in our Great Lakes State. Congratulations Gary on your Backyard Booner!