This is a leter to the editor that I copied from the news paper;
(this is from the same area that we hunted for the last 3 Mich. firearm deer seasons)
The King of Gladwin County is dead.
Long live the Duke.
The King of Gladwin County is dead. We believe that he was poached on November 12, Three days before the start of the 2006 Michigan firearm deer season.
We have watched and played the hunting chess game with this massive deer for the last three years. He was a cagey old buck, but we thought that we had finally had his number.
When the shooting started each November 15th, the king would be nowhere to be found and seemed to just disappear.
Last year, my wife called me on the two way radio and said that she had seen a great buck out on a small island in the middle of the swamp that she was hunting.
A few days latter I was seating in her tree stand and keeping an extra eye on that little island and lo and behold there he was. I picked up the rifle just as he lay back down out of site. It is hard to believe that a deer could hide on this little island, it’s only about fifty feet long and twenty feet wide covered with buck brush and small tag elders. It’s surrounded for at least two hundred yard in each direction by bogs, beaver canales and ponds, reminiscent of quicksand. It would have been next to imposable to retrieve him if he was killed out there without an army of help.
On the evening of November 12th, just before dark, a friend of ours was seating in his tree stand bow hunting and watched the King pass by fifty yards away. A few minutes later, there were two shoots a few hundred yards behind our friend, he waited and watched as two flashlights maneuvered around in the woods in the direction where he had last seen this great deer.
Our friend called the DNR and was asked if he had actually seen a deer poached, NO he didn’t, and was told that some small game was still open and maybe it was small game hunters. As far as we know, there was never an investigation.
A great buck was taken to a local processor after the firearm season opened, though I never got to see it, I’m told that you can’t get your hand all the way around the base of the antlers. This deer was probably the deer we called the King of Gladwin County.
It’s a shame to have lost this deer if he was poached, but there is hope, The Kings geans have been spread, and other hunters have told me of seeing another great buck not yet as big as the King, maybe next year, on the state land in southern Gladwin county north of the Midland county line between M18 and M30.
The King of Gladwin County is dead. Long live the DUKE OF GLADWIN COUNTY.
On Wixom Lake