BIG RAPIDS — It doesn’t matter where there’s a sporting clays shoot Don Hillis loves to compete.

The LeRoy resident was at a sporting clays shoot at the Mecosta County Rod and Gun Club. He also participates in shoots at the Reed City Sportsman Club and at the Flat River Conservation Club events in Greenville.

“I like the camraderie,” Hillis said, adding it provides him and other participants with good shooting practice. He’s been doing it for several years.

“It’s always something different,” he said. “You keep changing those traps and it’s always a different target. The (conversation) never stops.”

Hillis bagged an 8-point buck during the 2015 early bow season in Osceola County on his property. “It came by surprise,” Hillis said. “It had a 21 1/2 inch span.”

It’s among the most impressive bucks he’s shot. Hillis was 15 yards away when he made his shot.

With December being mild, Hillis expects a strong deer survival rate and wouldn’t be surprised if upcoming deer seasons are even more productive. He’s confident the antler point restriction, making it necessary for shooters to bag bucks that had at least three points on each antler side, will make upcoming seasons even more successful.