And the winner of the big buck photo contest is…

Ava Corbiere and her eight point buck (150 pound buck). This is her first deer (harvested). She shot it on the family property in Billings Township with her dad as coach.

GORE BAY – It seems the number of entries for the annual Tom’s Recorder Rack Roundup Big Buck photo contest followed the trend reported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for this year’s Manitoulin Island deer hunt, with less hunters being on hand for the hunt and less deer harvested.

The photo contest had a total of eight entries this year, a far cry from last year’s 30, which was the highest number we have had since the contest was initiated four years ago.

Amy Wheale was actually the first hunter to get her deer entered into the contest, explaining that she harvested her deer, “on Saturday, November 14 at 5:10 pm with my crossbow. I harvested it in Ice Lake in Gordon Township.” It weighed 180 pounds and had 10 points. 

Bill Hayden of Gore Bay harvested a 10-point buck which weighed 197 pounds (field dressed). Mr. Hayden hunts out of the Up Home Hunt Camp, located in Burpee and Mills Township. He harvested his deer on Monday, November 16 at 8:05 am. 

Graham Van Every is the son of Lyle Van Every. Lyle told the Recorder in an email that his son, “lives in Hamilton as he is a student at McMaster University. The deer (Graham) harvested was in Meldrum Bay as part of the Van Every Hunt Club. It was shot on Tuesday, November 17 at 4:50 pm. It has nine points, but we didn’t weigh it.”

Ryan Corbiere reported on his daughter Ava’s harvest of a buck. Under the photo he wrote, “this is my 12-year-old daughter Ava and her eight point buck (150 pound buck). This is her first deer (harvested). She shot it on the family property in Billings Township with her dad as coach.”

The Corbieres live in M’Chigeeng First Nation, and Ava harvested her buck at 9:15 am on Monday, November 16. “She let two does go and was waiting for a buck,” reported Mr. Corbiere.

Jayne Claridge of Callander explained, “I had a lot of fun hunting this fall on our property in Billings Township. My husband Brad and I have enjoyed hunting there for over 30 years. I shot this 11-point buck (which weighed 155 pounds dressed) on November 8, with my crossbow.”

Patti Jo Woods reported to the Recorder, “I’m sending you a picture of the nine-point buck that was harvested this week during rifle season by David Molnar of Timmins. He is part of our hunting group of NEMI Township (Chris Molnar and Patti Jo Woods, David and Elaine Molnar).” She noted the harvested deer was estimated to be a 300-pound animal.

Richard McDonald with his big buck 2020

Kyle Kauppi, of Whitefish, harvested a 10-foot buck, which weighed 204 pounds (dressed out) and was harvested on the Lyle Honess farm in Burpee and Mills Township. The buck was harvested on Wednesday, November 18 at 8 am. 

Richard McDonald harvested his buck on Monday, November 16 at 9:55 am. It was shot in Wildlife Management Area 43A, and he is at the In-Law Outlaw Hunt Camp. The hunt camp is in Meldrum Bay. The buck has 17 total points with 15 countable points and weighed over 200 pounds.

Again this year, this is a very difficult contest to judge. I liked all the entries and I thank all of you for participating this year, and hope you (and many more hunters) will send in your photos from the hunt again next year to participate in this contest.

Well, it is time for me to pick the two prize winners: the first prize of a $100 gift certificate from Up Top Sports Shop in Mindemoya, courtesy of the Manitoulin West Recorder, goes to Ava Corbiere. The second prize of a $50 gift certificate to Up Top Sports Shop goes to Richard McDonald. Congrats, hunters!