Paris, Evart man among successful firearm hunters

BIG RAPIDS — It’s all about big bucks.

Area hunters had some success in the early part of the firearm deer season that ended on Nov. 30 and many entered their trophies in the Pioneer’s annual Big Buck contest.

That included Chris Holsworth, of Paris, who has had success in the past and did it again on opening day with a 10-point buck, featuring a 17-inch rack span at the widest point. The Paris resident was hunting in the Rodney area.

He’s bagged many deer in his lifetime and said this was his second biggest. He’s also a bow hunter, but it’s his first buck this season.

“I grunted a few times and he came busting out of the swamp,” Holsworth said. “I figured there was something there by the scouting I had done.”

He was 75 yards away and used one shot with his seven magnum to bag the buck. It went down right away.

Holsworth said he’s seen “quite a bit” of deer and the rest of the season should be favorable. Bow season continues through December.

Evart resident Dennis Militello was also a successful first-day hunter. He bagged a 12-point buck with 23 1/2-inch rack span while hunting in Van Buren County.

It’s the 20th deer he’s shot in his lifetime.

“He walked 60 yards across the food plot and I shot him,” Militello said. “We tracked him about three quarters of a mile. I had to shoot him again to kill him. It took 2 1/2 hours to find him.”

Militello has a tag for another doe, but won’t be shooting any more bucks this year.