The state record score among nontypical bucks bagged with crossbows keeps edging higher. New record marks in that category have been achieved three times in the last two years. Jamie Beattie from Owosso was the latest hunter to collect a nontypical with a crossbow that has antlers larger than all of the others previously entered in state records.
He bagged an 18-pointer in Shiawassee County on November 6 that had an official gross score of 189 1/8 and the antlers netted 186 4/8 after deductions were subtracted for symmetry from one antler to the other. Net scores are the ones entered in state records.
A pair of state record nontypicals were taken with crossbows during 2011, both of which were bagged in Monroe County.
On November 14, 2011, Brad Burton from Monroe arrowed a 16-pointer that gross scored 188 2/8 and netted 180 7/8. On November 30, Larry Hensley, who also lives in Monroe, collected a 15-pointer that grossed 189 7/8 and netted 183 4/8. Burton’s buck was measured during the 2011 scoring period, which closed at the end of March 2012. The antlers from Hensley’s buck weren’t measured until May of last year.
Last fall was Beattie’s first year of hunting with a crossbow and he made good use of the 175-pound-pull Carbon Express that he purchased last September. Due to a torn rotator cuff on one shoulder, he could no longer draw the compound bow he preferred to hunt with previously.
“Being able to hunt with a crossbow was a better alternative than not being able to bowhunt at all,” Beattie said. “I didn’t get the crossbow until the first or second week of September. It didn’t take long to sight it in. After five or six shots, I had it sighted in.”
As a veteran bowhunter with 23 years of experience, Jamie said he’s selective about the bucks he shoots. The fact that the big nontypical he got with the crossbow is not the first 180 class buck to his credit, nor is the crossbow buck his biggest, hints at why he’s selective.
His best buck is a 15-point nontypical that he got with a muzzleloader on the last day of the 2011 firearms season. Those antlers measured 191. He shot that whitetail from the same treestand that he connected on the crossbow buck from.
“I don’t shoot anything under 140 anymore,” Beattie stated. “I’ve been managing my property for 10 years now to produce big bucks. To tell you the truth, I had my mind set on getting another deer that would have scored 150 to 160 when I got the 18-pointer.
“I had not seen the nontypical before nor did I have any trail camera pictures of him. He must have been pushed in from a different area.”
Rightfully so, Jamie calls the treestand he shot the state record buck from his “hotspot.” The stand overlooks a runway that leads from an alfalfa field down into a swamp. The stand is 10 to 15 yards in the woods from the field. The nearby terrain slopes downhill into a river bottom, too.
Beattie got the buck about 9 a.m. and he knew the whitetail was a big one when he saw it. As the deer approached an opening for a shot, the bowhunter used a grunt call to stop it. The buck paused briefly, but then continued down the trail. A second grunt from the call brought the buck to a stop at 35 to 40 yards.
“When I hit him, I didn’t know I hit him,” Jamie explained. “I had the crosshairs from the scope on my crossbow where I wanted the arrow to hit when I shot, but he never moved. He never flinched. I was freaking out. I was thinking, ‘There’s no way I missed him.’
“Then he took off. He only went 15 to 20 yards before he went down.”
Jamie said does had used that runway earlier in the day. He also walked on the trail within view of the stand that morning before climbing in the stand, after applying Tink’s 69 scent to the bottom of his boots. He felt the scent might have played a role in attracting the buck.
The broadhead that brought the state record buck down was a 3-blade Muzzy.