Area hunter recalls a unique experience

REED CITY — Deer season isn’t quite over yet. There’s still muzzleloading and archery season this month. But it was a memorable season for Ivan Giese of Osceola County, who said he bagged an 8-point buck the first day of archery season. He shot it from 25 yards away and loaded it in his truck himself .

“Opening morning, I got out there aboutt 7 a.m.,” he said. “I looked up 7:30 and saw a deer coming down. He got a little closer, about 40 yards. I started counting his antler points to make sure (it had enough points). I could see it was the 8-point buck. I got 25 yards away and had a nice shot on him.”

 Giese also went out during the recently completed rifle season.

“I didn’t see a lot of deer,” he said. I didn’t see any this year. I went out opening weekend, sat out there and didn’t see one deer. I saw one about 155 yards away from me. I got a glimpse at it. 

“The ones I hunted with, nobody up here got a deer that I know of,” he said. “In my area, there’s not a lot of deer but a few deer around. We saw a nice 8-point later on when we were bow hunting. I saw a nice 4-point with a nice rack.”

He was planning on doing some muzzleloading this month.

“It’s nice to sit out there and see the deer, “Giese said. “I’m not ready to shoot one. It’s fun to be out their hunting. It’d have to be a monster buck before I shoot one.”

The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that the muzzleloader deer season opened across the state last Friday.

“Having a statewide opener for muzzleloading season really eases confusion hunters have on when and where this season starts,” said DNR deer biologist Ashley Autenrieth in a statement.

Zones 1 and 2 are open until Dec. 14. Zone 3, which includes the southern half of Mecosta County, has seven more days of muzzleloader hunting, with the season ending Dec. 21. For hunting zone information, hunters should go to the Hunting and Trapping Digest or visit Michigan.gov/hunting.

Hunters need to have a base license and either a deer license or deer combo license to take an antlered deer, the DNR notes. An antlerless license is needed for an antlerless deer while muzzleloader hunting. For archery hunters, a deer or deer combo license can be used to take an antlerless deer. Hunters should see the 2014 antler point restriction map and chart for applicable antler point restrictions on bucks.

Archery equipment, the DNR notes, still can be used through the muzzleloader season.

Kyle Randall of Paris, host of the outdoor TV Wilderness Journal, wasn’t too upbeat over preliminary reports of the season.

“I characterize it for most people as a great disappointment, unfortunately,” Randall said. “As I predicted, the number of older deer 2 1/2 and 3 1/2-old deer (was good). But sightings and number of deer harvested were off significantly.”

In Lake County, “it wasn’t the best year,” Tyler Clugston of Baldwin said. “I saw a lot of does and fawn. It could have been a better year.”

He said his grandfather, Jim Warren of Baldwin, shot a 7-pointer.

“I do hold out some hope for the second half with the late bow season and the coming black powder season,” Randall said. “I’m standing in Trigger Time (Outfitters of Big Rapids) and am told there’s more than average traffic in the store, guys and gals, prepping for the black powder season. There’s still hope out there. Obviously all the deer aren’t gone. They certainly didn’t have the harvest during the gun season most had hoped for and far less than I thought there would be.”