Warren Walton, 62, of Imlay City has been hunting for 45 years and although he doesn’t consider himself a trophy hunter, he was happy this massive, 5 1/2-year-old Lapeer County buck walked his way.
The monster whitetail buck tipped the scales at over 200 pounds field dressed and his taxidermist green-scored the bruiser at 175 3/8 gross and net 170.
“This is the first 10-pointer I ever shot, Warren says, I’ve taken mostly 6s or 7s.”
Warren took a 6-pointer on opening morning this season as well. Which means his second buck must have at least four points on one side.
“I almost didn’t get a chance at him, there was a buck that came out about 50 yards away at about 8 am, on the second day of the hunt,” Warren said.
“I was not sure he had four points on one side, I think he did, but I couldn’t be sure, so I let him go. I wouldn’t have seen the big fella had I shot that one,” he says gratefully.
Shortly afterwards that morning Warren noticed a buck with a doe standing on a hill about 250 yards away.
“He was big, I knew that, I just didn’t know how big,” he went on to say.
“He stood there licking the neck of a doe. And I could see he had four points on one side for sure,” he recalled.
The doe lead the big buck back into the woods. Moments later the buck reappeared with the doe, this time at about 150 yards. Warren took a shot, but missed. The buck and doe ran around a little as if they didn’t know which way or where they were going.
Disappointed and with a self-admitted case of buck-fever, Warren reloaded his Thompson Center Omega muzzleloader.
He didn’t think he would see the buck again.
A few minutes later though, the buck followed the doe back into view again, this time about 130 yards. This time Warren could see the buck was even bigger than he had thought.
“I tried not looking at the horns, I was pretty nervous by now, shaking pretty good,” he said smiling.
Warren although suffering from a little buck fever, which is understandable, readied his muzzleloader again for a shot. Placing the scope on the buck he squeezed the trigger to a surprising ‘click.’
Although he reloaded the muzzleloader he didn’t put a fresh firing cap on. The big buck paid little attention to click. This time the muzzleloader barked and a cloud of smoke rang out.
Warren began to follow a blood trail for about 150 yards. He decided he should wait.
In the meantime his wife Janice had also scored on a pair of bucks, that morning, a seven and a six pointer. They have been hunting together for nearly 25 years and her Shadow Hunter blind was just a few hundred yards from Warren’s.
He field dressed the bucks and got them back to the farm. It allowed enough time to let the buck settle down and not risk pushing him.
Warren’s friends Mark Reeves and Gerald Nelson showed up to help recover the buck. The three tracked the deer just across the road and there he was in the deep grass, a monster whitetail buck.
“I was pretty happy when I heard Gerald had found him,” Warren stated.
“I guess it was my time to get a chance at a big one,” concluded Warren.