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First buck is a trophy

Spencer Petoskey, a seventh-grader at Oxford Middle School, poses with the 9-point trophy buck he bagged during the Michigan Youth Hunt. The deer dressed out at 192 pounds. (click for larger version)
October 05, 2011 - For a deer hunter, there's no greater thrill than bagging that first buck, except when it also happens to be a trophy-sized whitetail.

Oxford resident Spencer Petoskey, 12, experienced both those thrills on Sunday, Sept. 25 when he shot a 9-point buck that dressed out at an impressive 192 pounds.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, this is a huge deer,'" said Spencer, who's a seventh-grader at Oxford Middle School. "It's the biggest one I've (ever) seen in my whole life . . . I thought I was going to get a doe, not that big deer."

His dad, Joel Petoskey, couldn't be prouder of his son.

"I think I was more nervous than he was," he said.

"I didn't have time to be nervous because it came in so fast," Spencer noted. "When I shot it, I was really excited."

Spencer bagged the buck in northern Oakland County with a 20-gauge shotgun loaded with ¾-ounce, 2¾-inch Winchester slugs. He shot it at about 7:50 a.m. during the Michigan Youth Hunt. The buck was at a distance of about 30 to 35 yards when Spencer fired.

"The way it came in, you couldn't see the head," Joel said. "To be honest with you, I thought it was a doe because there were a lot of does in the area. All of the sudden, it just popped out around the bushes. At that point, it was right there and (Spencer) was all ready. It walked out and he shot."

Spencer couldn't have been more pleased with the result.

"He was excited," Joel said. "He teared up a little bit and gave me a high-five and a hug."

Joel was especially impressed with his son's buck given it was bigger than any of the deer he's ever harvested.

"The largest one I've ever gotten is a five-point and it looks like a baby compared to this thing," he said.

Trophy buck aside, Spencer said he "had a good time going out and spending time with my dad."

"It was just fun," he said.

Joel indicated he so enjoyed this bonding experience that he'd be perfectly content just watching his sons hunt from now on.

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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