Reed City youngster is Big Buck Classic winner

REED CITY — Brandon Wirth is 13 years old and likely has quite a few hunting years ahead of him.

But he might remember the 2014 season for a long time.

The Reed City youngster shot an 11-point buck with 18.25-inch rack span opening day of the rifle season, Nov. 15. He recently received his prize, a muzzleloader, for taking first place in the rifle division of the Big Buck Classic.

The muzzleloader was donated by Dr. John Bailey, of Bailey Chiropractic, Big Rapids.

Wirth used one shot for his first deer ever while hunting in the Reed City area. He was hunting with his dad, Jim. It’s Brandon’s third year of hunting.

It all happened around 8:30 a.m. opening day.

“We were sitting in the blind,” Brandon recalled. “I looked out to my left. I saw a doe. My dad kept telling me a lot of times that morning that if there’s a doe, there has to be a buck following it.”

The buck came out and Brandon looked at the rack, making sure it met Antler Point Restrictions that are in force for Osceola County. He was about 75 yards from the buck.

“I put the gun on it, saw the rack and took a deep breath,” he said. “I hit him just behind the shoulder. It ran about 75 yards and stopped on the hill. It hunched over like it was about to go down.”

His dad asked Brandon if he wanted to shoot it again. But the 13-year-old hunter declined, thinking that the trophy buck was going to fall.

“It went with two does and it took off again,” he said. “We thought it ran off, but we looked for blood. We traced it at all the way to the side of the road. Across the road, we saw some blood. I looked over my shoulder and it was (down) about 20 yards away.”

The Wirths didn’t realize it was an 11-pointer until they got right at the buck.

It was quite a thrill for Wirth who is an eighth-grader at Reed City Middle School and currently plays basketball.