Jason and the mighty 9-point
Jason Bosch of Sterling Heights took this nine-point Nov. 16 weeks after having received a kidney transplant from his mother Betty.
MAHFS photo by Mac Arnold
By Mac Arnold
After years of being a lone wolf on the opening day of deer firearms season, I got an opportunity to be part of a camp and had a ball.
It also has its benefits, which I'll get to later.
We dropped six deer in two days.
For sure the best deer of the weekend is a story that was definitely spectacular. Something that has been missing lately on this blog ...
Uh, moving along.
Jason Bosch, the son of our group's fearless leader and property owner, George Bosch of Clinton Township, connected on a 200-something pounder nine-point and a real nice doe on the second evening of the season.
That in itself, would be a pretty good story, but wait it gets better.
See, Jason, 32, received a kidney transplant Sept. 26 from his mother Betty and is only now getting his strength back. His kidneys failed gradually over the years because of a birth defect.
When the action went down as dusk slowly approached at the Sanilac County, Mich., farm, Jason was able to peek through a small window of branches from his blind at the buck moving 100 yards out. On the first shot, his 12-gauge kicked up and bucked into his chin, so he knew he missed but was confident the second shot was true yet the brute acted strangely like a deer not hit.
Then the doe made its appearance. Already slightly perturbed at missing the buck, Jason was even more determined for the next go around.
"I said, 'I'm not gonna miss two freaking deer in one night,' " he recalled.
And sure enough, down she went.
After getting out of the stand and having some assistance from another hunter Paul, they both confirmed there was no blood or hair and began to deal with the doe.
Later, George was surprised at the headquarters -- the trailer in the center of camp -- that his son, a reputed awesome shot, hadn't brought down the monster.
"This kid just doesn't miss, I can't believe it," he said.
But hold on a minute, the story doesn't end here.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, we got into our positions around the farm and hoped for more action on the third day.
The day proved to be quite slower than the previous two with maybe the echo of 10 shots from the surrounding farms and none from ours.
I was planning to get down around 10:30 a.m. when at 9:52 I received a text from George, saying, "Got it."
I'm thinking at this point, "it"? Really? (There is a absolute wall-hanger running around the property that everyone is hoping to tag and make history.)
I wasn't even sure I had heard a shot.
So I responded I would check him out after I got down out of the blind at 10:30.
As it turns out, when George went to leave he turned around to climb down and caught a glimpse of a deer's white belly. When he walked over, lo and behold, it was Jason's buck from night before.
He had hit him a little back in the liver.
So it was good they didn't really investigate the scene hard on the night of the shot because he might have gotten up and headed over to the neighboring farm and possibly beyond.
Liver shots require a little more time of waiting before a deer will expire.
There was evidence the deer had moved from the open field and tried to hide better in the bordering woods, probably when the two hunters had initially looked for blood and hair. The buck had likely heard their impending footsteps.
The benefit of other than being included in this great event on what is one of most time-honored traditions here in Michigan was both Jason and George looked at me and asked, "You want him?" Minus the horns obviously, and knowing the lame season I was having at this point.
I was stunned and wondering if they were half serious or what.
"We just want to be helpful," they told me.
George had taken a buck as well the previous night to go with Jason's doe, and they were loaded to the gills with venison.
So the moral of the story for this grizzled whitetail stalker is sometimes it pays to be a self-taught deer processor.
Which is a skill that comes from only one thing: having experience from cutting up a few of my own deer. So even though this year hasn't been the greatest in the hardwoods for me, I took advantage of other know-how I learned in the hunting game.
With November being the month for gratitude, that's what I am, grateful a bountiful supply of succulent venison.
But surely Jason is grateful for much more this Thanksgiving season -- the gift of life with a donated kidney from his mother Betty and more time with wife Jennifer and their two-year-old daughter Farrah Grace.
And, yes, for more time in the field deer hunting.