By Louie Stout
Does Indiana produce more trophy bucks than Michigan?
Sounds farfetched, I know. Michigan is supposed to be one of the country’s top deer hunting states and little ol’ Indiana, with its vast, fence-row to fence-row plowing seems hardly a deer hunting mecca.
But North Liberty deer scorer John Bogucki says Hoosierland kicks out more trophy bucks than our northern neighbor.
He should know. He is an official scorer for the Hoosier Record Buck Program, Commemorative Bucks of Michigan, Pope and Young, The Longhunter (muzzleloader record book) and Boone and Crockett.
In addition, Bogucki is the record keeper of the Hoosier record book and tracks all the stats of top deer harvested in the state over the years.
And while he doesn’t maintain the records for Michigan’s program, he is an official scorer and studies their record book annually. He knows what’s being killed north of the border.
By Louie Stout
Chris Collins poses with the record book buck he shot in Marshall County.
Chris Collins knew the giant buck he’d seen for a few years still lived somewhere on his farm near Lake Maxinkuckee.
“I found his shed antler last spring and saw him last summer in our bean field,” said the Marshall County real estate broker. “We saw him again on our trail cameras and my brother (Alan) and I were thrilled he was still around.”
The Collins brothers named the buck “Twin Towers” because of its large (29 inches) of brow tines to go along with massive main beams.
They manage their property for quality bucks and this one certainly exceeded the standards. If they were going to kill him, they knew their window of opportunity was closing.
“We’ve been specifically hunting this buck since mid-October,” said Collins. “We passed on several mature bucks because we knew this was the one we wanted.”
Trevor Draves climbed off a roof at the A-Team Construction site where he worked in Rolling Prairie, rushed home to grab his hunting gear then drove to the woods in southern LaPorte County.
It’s what avid bow hunters do in late October when the early rut is underway.
“I didn’t get in the stand until 4 o’clock,” said the 21-year-old LaPorte resident. “But when I saw a good number of does milling around, I figured it was going to be a good night.”
He had no idea just how good it would be.