If you’re following W2H on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen last week that we discovered that the buck we called Backyard 12 is actually a 13! Upon reviewing my footage of him on the big screen, we noticed a short sticker point coming off of his right G3. Needless to say, this buck is a stud. Big frame, split brows and now a sticker point to boot! In addition to the revelation of the 13th point, I also got a couple trailcam pics of this Michigan giant, as you can seen above.
So as exciting as it is to have a buck like this on my farm, it’s a little bittersweet. I say this because I’m actually going to be moving to a new farm this week! But that’s a story for another day. That being said, I’m still looking to keep hunting rights on this property. I’m just going to have to hunt it before or after work, since it’s close to work but far from my new home. So with that in mind, I’ve developed a revised gameplan for hunting this buck come bow season.
Now it’s all well and good that I’ve got video and trailcam pics of this buck in my field now, but we all know that things change come hunting season. Actually they change in September! As many of you are aware, a large number of bucks travel away from their summer ranges once velvet comes off in late August or early September. So with that in mind, I’m guessing that there is probably an 80% chance that this buck will not be living on my farm come October 1. And even if he is, he’ll most likely not be on the same pattern, because the soybeans he’s eating now will likely have turned by then. In all honesty I’m assuming he’ll be long gone, but at the same time I just can’t throw in the towel either.
So my gameplan is this. I’m going to be working on a variety of different properties over the coming months, and won’t be hitting this farm up for awhile. But a week or two before the season opens, I plan to sneak back on the farm and place a few cameras after work. If the buck is still in the general area, he’ll likely be in or around the corn field next door, so I’ll place my cameras and BB2 near the field and hope to catch him on my TrophyCam.
My best shot, if he’s still there, will be to hunt that part of the farm during the first couple days of the season. So I’ll hunt a few evenings during the beginning of the season and check those cameras on my way to my stands. If he’s on there, I’ll know that we beat the odds and that he’s around. But if not, I’ll probably back out and not hunt this farm again until maybe the rut. This farm has been heavy on does and yearlings but nothing more, so if the Backyard 13 has moved on, I’ll prioritize other areas. But if by some twist of fate he decides to stick around, I’ll be doing my best to stick him.
Getting to hunt a buck like this is a rare opportunity in Michigan and one that I’m very excited and privileged to have. Hopefully with a little luck and good timing, I’ll get to put my eyes on him one more time. And maybe, just maybe my hands on his rack too.
To see more pics of and hear the story of how I got some up close film of the Backyard 13, click here.