11 Year Old Kills Huge Buck In The Thumb During The Youth Hunt
Brennon Rouse is a hunter at heart. Brennon, age 11, loves to hunt. In fact, the North Branch native hunts rabbits, squirrels and just about any animal that his parents allow him to hunt. He started hunting with his family at the age of 4. Since then, he has already shot a bull elk, fallow buck, doe and a five-point buck.
His love for hunting started out as a family adventure, as something fun. His desire to hunt burned inside; he has a passion to be in the woods. Hunting is a love his entire family shares, in fact his mom, Amy wanted her young son to know there is so much more to hunting than just antlers.
“Our usual rule with the kids is the first deer they shoot has to be a doe. However, when he got a rare opportunity to shoot an elk and a fallow deer, we couldn’t pass it up. We did however stick to the rule when it came to shooting a whitetail and the poor kid sat and watched many bucks before he finally had an opportunity to shoot a doe. My husband and I wanted the kids to shoot a doe first because we want them to realize that hunting isn’t all about the horns, even though it is a great trophy, does need to be managed as well,” said Amy.
His first whitetail deer was a doe. Last year he shot his first buck, a nice five-point.
The young man’s ethics and patience was about to be repaid. The 2013 hunting season was approaching quickly and Brennon had a lot to look forward too. Brennon’s stepdad and hunting partner, Ray Blackmer had been getting ready for the upcoming youth hunt. A couple weeks before the hunt, He was checking his trail camera pictures from the family’s nearby food plot. Ray had put the plots in several years ago and was starting to get frustrated with them.
“This is the last year, if the plots don’t hold some deer in here this year than I am not doing them again,” Ray said. His frustration was due to the fact that the family owns 10 acres and seven of the ten acres is their yard. The rest is a field with small fence row bordered by trees and a large section of pines.
All that frustration was about to change, with one image on his trail camera Ray was amazed.
There was a huge, monster whitetail buck frequenting their tiny parcel ant their food plot. They had several pictures of a huge 12-point buck. For the next couple weeks the big buck was a regular and the family started to get excited for the upcoming youth hunt.
Then suddenly the monster buck disappeared three days before the youth hunt.
“At the time, we all started to get disappointed thinking he may have gotten poached or spooked out of the area.” Ray said.
The first two days of the youth hunt went by with no sightings of the Michigan monster. Brennon and his dad had hunted most of the day Saturday and Sunday morning without seeing the big buck. They knew that they were slowly running out of time. With each second ticking away, Ray knew that their chances of shooting the big buck were slipping away. Then on Sunday night without warning, the buck slowly stepped out at about sixty yards in the food plot. At first the buck was positioned behind a tree preventing Brennon from shooting.
Finally the buck turned and was completely broadside and Brennon shot.
“I was shaking, I couldn’t believe it was actually him. I was shaking so hard there were acorns falling from the tree we were sitting in. When he stopped behind the pine tree and I took aim I just thought, oh my gosh, I can’t miss this buck, this is a buck of a lifetime,” Brennon said.
But he did. The emotions of buck fever can grip anyone, let alone an eleven year old kid. The deer trotted only a few yards after the first shot and stopped again.
“My dad said, “You missed bud, calm down, take your time and squeeze the trigger. I took a deep breath, tried to calm down and this time I made sure I was on him when I squeezed the trigger,” said Rouse.
Rouse wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. He slowly pulled the trigger and this time it hit its mark.
“When I saw him “donkey kick” I knew I hit him. Dad and I were high-fiving and I just couldn’t believe it, I kept thinking I just shot a monster buck,” Brennon said.
Ray added, “It was like nothing I have ever felt before and I hunt a lot. I was so nervous, I think I was shaking harder than he was. ”
Still shaking the father and son duo got down but only found a small amount of blood. They called some friends and family over and looked for about an hour before they decided to back out and look the next day.
“That night was horrible, I couldn’t sleep a wink and neither could my mom or dad. We all went out at about 9:30 a.m. the next day and started looking. We had looked for about 30 minutes and weren’t finding any blood or anything. My mom and I decided to go back where I had shot him and start looking back there. My dad was going to look out in the soy bean field which is just north of my stand,” said Brennon.
Just when hope seemed to be lost, Brennon heard his dad yelling, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh, I found him!” “My heart started pounding all over again and my mom and I took off running towards my dad. I couldn’t wait to put my hands on his monstrous horns. I don’t even know how to explain the feeling I had but it brought tears to my eyes and I just started thanking God,” said Brennon.
“I was happier and more grateful for my son shooting this buck than I would have been if I had shot it myself, I almost cried when I found it,” Ray said.
After finding the buck, people flocked to Brennon’s house to see it. That night he took his buck up to football practice to show his team.
“The coach stopped practice and my whole team came running over to see him. On the way up to practice we had people stop us on the road. There had been a lot of people watching him and hoping to get him. There were a lot of neighbors and other people that had pictures of him on trail camera pictures, he was famous,” said Brennon.
Not only will the buck be famous, but so will Brennon.
This is the type of buck that the whole family will talk about for generations to come. The story of Brennon and his Michigan monster buck will live on around campfires and in the Michigan record books.