By Mark Kenyon
As I’ve tried to do (to varying to degrees) in past years, this year I’ll be sharing a journal of sorts on Wired To Hunt, detailing the twists and turns of my 2015 hunting season. And so to kick this off, today I wanted to set the stage for 2015 with my travel plans, goals and current target bucks.
As always, my hunting plans for the upcoming seem to be in a constant state of flux. But as of now, I’m committed to hunting in my home state of Michigan, Ohio and Iowa.
Michigan is a bit of a wild card for me this year, as I’m not going to force the issue at home unless some quality bucks are in the area. Last year was pretty disappointing for me, as all of my holdovers from past years had disappeared in 2014, and the two most mature bucks I had left (both 3.5 year olds) apparently were killed during gun season. That said, this year I have low expectations, but at the same time I know that new bucks can certainly move into the area. Fingers crossed. If no big boys move in, I’ll simply hunt my local properties when time allows and will be putting a priority on doe management.
With Michigan likely taking a backseat, this year I’ll continue my frequent travels to southern Ohio and our small lease there. And based on the past few years, I’ve got very high expectations for the Buckeye state. In August, after I return from our extended stay in the Rocky Mountains, I’ll be heading down to check our trail cameras and do some velvet scouting. Can’t wait.
Finally, I also successfully drew an Iowa archery tag this year, so I’ll be heading to eastern Iowa throughout October, November and December (or until I fill my tag). On our way home from the Rockies I’ll be stopping in Iowa to spend a day or two knocking on doors and seeking out hunting permission.
Goals & Target Bucks
This year I’m raising the stakes and seeking out continued challenges as I grow as a deer hunter. In previous years my goal had always been to harvest a 3.5 year old buck, no matter the location. This year I’m going to be bumping that up to 4.5 years, except for in Michigan – where a three year old on my properties is still a damn miracle. That said, in both Ohio and Iowa I’ll likely be passing on a lot of nice three year olds, which will be a new, possibly painful, challenge.
As far as target bucks go, there’s not much to speak of in Michigan. I had a somewhat promising two year old on the farm at the end of the year with a split brow, so hopefully he’ll blow into a nice three year old and if so, he’ll likely be my top MI target. I’m also still holding out a very small bit of hope that Leaner might return, after disappearing last year. Only time will tell.
In Iowa I’ll be hunting all new properties, so no target bucks at this point. But in Ohio I’ve got a hefty list of potential shooters. At the very top of my list is Glenn, the five year old buck that will be entering his third year on my hit-list. In 2013 I missed him with my muzzleloader, in 2014 we got plenty of photos of him and had several encounters, and this year he will be the top object of my obsession. He’s going to be a fully mature, massive typical framed buck (likely), and a deer who I know very well. 2015 is the quest for Glenn.
In addition to Glenn, there are a number of other dandy bucks that we believe made it through to 2015. These include Junkyard, The Beast, JJ, and Blades. All of these deer will be at least 4.5 years old and absolute slammer deer. If Glenn isn’t still in the area, one of these bucks will quickly move to the top of my priorities.
So that’s it for now. Hopefully soon I’ll have updates, photos and new stories to share as the summer progresses and I’m able to visit a few of my hunting properties to check cameras and scout fields!
Gotta love this time of year. The dreams, the anticipation and the high hopes.