Clugston reflects on hunting
BALDWIN — Baldwin hunter Tyler Clugston returned home for the holiday break from his studies at Central Michigan University and couldn’t resist providing an update on his hunting season.
“Preseason prospects looked great going into the bow opener in October,” Clugston recalled. “But after that huge storm that went through the county coupled with about a trillion acorns dropping, the deer limited their range and stuck to the deep woods. I saw a lot of small bucks and does in the first few weeks but nothing that was legal.
“Around the end of the month, some legal bucks, under the APR (Antler Point Restrictions) law, started to show up but nothing that fits our self implemented standards. Grandpa (Jim Warren) and I decided a few years back to only take bucks with four points on one side that we’re at least 3 1/2 years old. It makes things challenging when it comes to passing on decent bucks, but in the long run, it’s led to a lot of really nice bucks in our hunting area.”
The DNR, on its website, points out: “An APR is a tool used to protect an age class of bucks from being harvested in order to graduate them to the next age class by only allowing hunters to harvest bucks with a certain number of antler points on a side. Check station data are used to determine for any proposed area the minimum number of antler points necessary to protect at least half of yearling (1.5 year-old) bucks.”
As Clugston recalled, “gun season rolled around and the deer up and disappeared. I only saw one doe and a fawn over the couple weekends I came home. Muzzleloader season (in mid-December) was the same story. No deer to be seen. I was finally able to connect with a mature doe while sitting on a piece of state land with my bow.
“In the end I’d much rather take a doe for meat than killing a young buck. You can’t shoot big bucks if they don’t live long enough to mature.”