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Local hunters show off prey at Big Buck Bash

Oxford Township resident Mike Kubiak poses with seven-point buck he shot locally on the opening day of bow season. Photos by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
October 09, 2013 - The buck pole was a little sparse, but hunters still had a great time Saturday as they gathered at The Burning Oak Smokehouse (595 N. Lapeer Rd.) in Oxford Township for the MI Buck Pole Big Buck Bash.

Among the hunters proud to hang his prey on the pole was Oxford resident Mike Kubiak.

Kubiak bagged a seven-point buck in Oxford Township on Oct. 1, opening day of archery deer season. He shot him with a crossbow at about 7:30 a.m. The buck was about 15 to 18 yards away from his blind.

North Branch resident Brock Wilkison bagged this meaty eight-point buck in Oxford Township on Oct. 3. (click for larger version)
"I knocked him right down," Kubiak said. "I hit him in the spine and down he went."

He estimated the buck had weighed about 185 to 190 pounds. He said it was the fattest buck he's seen in years.

"He was just well, well fed," Kubiak said.

Not wishing to waste any meat, Kubiak had already processed the buck himself prior to the Big Buck Bash. He brought the head and hide to hang from the buck pole.

Oakland Twp. resident Piarre LaFountain shot this seven-point during the Youth Hunt Sept. 21. (click for larger version)
The inside spread of the buck's antlers was 13.5 inches.

"It's decent," said Kubiak, who's buck won him the prize of an Outpost Feeder.

Kubiak started hunting deer at age 14. He's now 60.

Kubiak estimated he's shot 40 to 45 bucks in his life. Add in does and he estimated he's harvested 150 to 175 deer.

"I take a lot of does because they're better eating," he said. "I'm real big on the meat. I do my own butchering. I make my own jerky and sausage."

While many deer hunters will tell you their favorite parts to dine on are the inner loins (tenderloins) or the backstraps, Kubiak prefers the heart.

Kubiak engages in both bow and gun hunting.

"I started out long-bow hunting back in the 1970s," he said. "I never scored anything until I got a compound (bow)."

Brock Wilkison, 19, of North Branch, brought the head of the eight-point buck he shot Oct. 3 on private land in Oxford Township. He took the buck at about 7 p.m. with his compound bow. It weighed 184 pounds.

It earned him a $300 Dunham's gift card as a prize.

An avid outdoorsman, Wilkison said, "Ever since I could walk, I was in the woods."

The buck's antlers had an inside spread of 14 inches.

Even though he didn't bag his buck during bow season, Oakland Twp. resident Piarre LaFountain, 11, still wanted to show off his prey, so he brought the antlers of the seven-point buck he shot Sept. 21 during the Youth Hunt.

The sixth-grader at Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills harvested the buck in Marion Township, which is located in northern Michigan's Osceola County. He shot it with a 6mm Ruger rifle at about 5 p.m.

LaFountain said his buck had two others with him. "He was the biggest," he said.

This is third deer of LaFountain's hunting career.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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