Dennis Colmer from Lapeer bagged the highest scoring typical-antlered whitetail entered in state records maintained by Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM) from 2022 seasons. The Lapeer County 11-pointer had a gross score of 183 7/8 and netted 176 5/8.
“I’ve never seen a deer like that before,” Colmer commented, and the same thing applies to most Michigan deer hunters. “We knew the deer was something special. The first time I saw him in the flesh was his last day,” he added.
Dennis shot the buck on November 19, soon after daylight. Although Colmer had never seen the buck in person until that morning, he had game camera photos of the buck during both 2021 and 2022. So he knew what the buck looked like and that it spent some of its time on private property that he hunts.
A hunting partner who hunts Dennis’ property (Daryl Winslow) actually saw the special buck on two occasions, once in 2021 and then again in 2022, but was never able to get a shot at it.
“My buddy had two run-ins with the buck,” Dennis said. “The deer was either too far away, or it was too dark. Daryl saw him on November 5, 2022, while bowhunting, and he was 60 yards away. That’s farther than we normally shoot with bow and arrow. He saw the buck again during muzzleloader season in 2021, but it was too dark that time.”
Photos of the Boone & Crockett caliber buck also showed up on cameras on nearby private property. In fact, another hunter almost killed the whitetail on November 15, 2022.
“A young man missed him on opening day at 70 yards,” Colmer explained. “He told me the story when he came to look at the buck after I shot it. I kinda felt sorry for him. The fact that he missed the deer on his property might have pushed it to where I got it.”
The blind that Dennis killed the whitetail from was a different one than the location where he had gotten pictures of the buck, though. The two spots were about a quarter mile apart. The blind that Colmer shot the booner from had a proven track record, however.
“I shot all of my deer that I have mounted from that blind,” Dennis said. “It’s in a bedding area. It’s a thick swampy area with cattails.”
Colmer’s biggest buck, antlerwise, prior to 2022 is a nice 8-pointer that scored 134. He shot it from the same blind where he met with success last fall. The blind is an elevated box blind that is about seven feet above the ground.
“It was just starting to get light on the 19th when I saw something to the south,” Dennis remembered. “I tried to see what it was with my binoculars, but wasn’t able to make it out. The buck came from behind me and he was only about 20 yards away. It was light enough to see by then. He was looking at the same thing I had been looking at.
“He was just walking. He never stopped. Once he got by me I waited for him to angle away. I shot him at 35 yards.”
Dennis dropped the whitetail with a Winchester 3-inch sabot slug out of his Remington 1187 shotgun in 12 gauge. The gun is mounted with a variable scope that he had set on 6X when he made the shot. He commented that he now has difficulty finding slugs like the one he shot the booner with.
Colmer said the buck’s antlers were similar in 2022 to what they had been the year before.
“The main beams were heavier in 2022 than they had been in 2021,” Dennis said. “The tine lengths and spread were similar both years.”
The buck had a dressed weight of 190 pounds. Dennis didn’t have the buck aged, but he guessed that it was at least 4 ½ years old. The antlers had an inside spread of 20 6/8 inches and four tines were between 11 and 12 inches in length. The right antler was 26 1/8 inches long compared to 25 4/8 for the left beam. The antler bases were about five inches in circumference.
Colmer has been deer hunting for more than 40 years. He was 16 years old when he started deer hunting, and he got his first buck that year. It was a 5-pointer.
Anyone interested in entering deer in state records that were bagged this year or any other year, maintained by Commemorative Bucks of Michigan can find a list of scorers on their website (www.buckfax.com). Antlers have to air dry for a minimum of 60 days before they can be officially measured.