2016-09-22 / Outdoors

Youth hunters harvest nine bucks

Three 8-points harvested
By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


LILY JULIAN, 13, took down this doe on private property in Kasson Township on Sunday after passing up on about a dozen deer on Saturday. LILY JULIAN, 13, took down this doe on private property in Kasson Township on Sunday after passing up on about a dozen deer on Saturday. Memories were made in deer blinds throughout the peninsula on Saturday and Sunday as Leelanau County kids participated in the 2016 youth hunt.

Proud parents and grandparents have sent in photos of 11 smiling kids so far. Nine of 11 youth hunters shot bucks, including one who dropped an 8-point beauty near Empire.

Suttons Bay sophomore Caleb Smith set up shop in national parkland near Empire on Saturday with his boss, county cherry grower Al Steimel. Steimel said they spotted several does and fawns before seeing the 8-point.

“We had this buck come out and thought we were going to be able to get a shot on him when another deer snorted and they all took off,” Steimel said. “He said, ‘I think he’ll come back,’ and sure enough, a half hour later he came back. He made a great shot on him and the deer went down quickly.”


THE FIRST shot of 10-year-old Tyler Bixby’s hunting career was good enough to drop this 5-point in Kasson Township on Saturday. Bixby, a student at Glen Lake Community Schools, is the son of Matt and Nicole Bixby. THE FIRST shot of 10-year-old Tyler Bixby’s hunting career was good enough to drop this 5-point in Kasson Township on Saturday. Bixby, a student at Glen Lake Community Schools, is the son of Matt and Nicole Bixby. Smith, 15, had never hunted before — but came home with a buck that dressed at 145 pounds with a 16-inch inside spread.

Call it beginner’s luck.

“It was like hitting a grand-slam in his first at-bat,” Steimel said.

Disabled veterans and accompanied youth ages 16 and younger are eligible to take part in the two-day deer hunt on private and public land across the state.

County kids reported to the Enterprise that they shot two does and nine bucks — one 10-point, one 9-point, three 8-points, two 7-points and a pair of 5-points — over the weekend.

LANDRY FOUCH, 10, took this 8-point while hunting with her grandfather, John Fouch. Landry Fouch is Emory Fouch’s sister and Warren Asher’s cousin. All three also harvested deer in 2015. LANDRY FOUCH, 10, took this 8-point while hunting with her grandfather, John Fouch. Landry Fouch is Emory Fouch’s sister and Warren Asher’s cousin. All three also harvested deer in 2015. Emory Fouch, 12, took the 10-point while hunting with her father, Scott Fouch on private property; her sister, 10-year-old Landry Fouch, shot an 8-point while hunting with her grandfather, John Fouch. Both girls attend Leland Public Schools.

Griffin Middleton harvested the 9-point in Kasson Township while hunting with his dad, Patrick Middleton; his sister, Reagan Middletown, shot an 8-point in full velvet — on her birthday — while hunting in Mesick with her grandfather, Randy Hendges.

Not all hunters targeted bucks, however.

Such was the case for 9-year-old Colby Connor, who shot his first deer near his grandparents’ farm in Cedar.


WARREN ASHER shot a 5-point while hunting with his aunt, Shari Fouch Prevost. Emory Fouch and Landry Fouch are Asher’s cousins. All three also harvested deer in 2015. WARREN ASHER shot a 5-point while hunting with his aunt, Shari Fouch Prevost. Emory Fouch and Landry Fouch are Asher’s cousins. All three also harvested deer in 2015. “My dad said I had to shoot a doe before I could shoot a buck,” Connor said. “He says it’s important keep the doe population in control.”

Connor is the son of Lauren and Peter Connor from Lake Leelanau.

Others harvesting deer were Warren Asher, Tyler Bixby, Chloe Crick, Braylon Hobbins and Lily Julian — who passed on a dozen deer Saturday before taking a doe on Sunday.

Youth hunt photos delivered to the Enterprise by Tuesday will appear in next week’s paper. Pictures may be emailed to jason@leelanaunews.com.



EMORY FOUCH, 12, shot a 10-point while hunting with her dad, Scott Fouch. Emory Fouch is Landry Fouch’s sister and Warren Asher’s cousin. All three also harvested deer in 2015. EMORY FOUCH, 12, shot a 10-point while hunting with her dad, Scott Fouch. Emory Fouch is Landry Fouch’s sister and Warren Asher’s cousin. All three also harvested deer in 2015.

GRIFFIN MIDDLETON, 12, showcased a steady hand while harvesting this 9-point in Kasson Township. It was the family’s first deer taken at the property in 16 years. GRIFFIN MIDDLETON, 12, showcased a steady hand while harvesting this 9-point in Kasson Township. It was the family’s first deer taken at the property in 16 years.

COLBY CONNOR, 9, harvested his first deer near his grandparents farm in Cedar over the weekend. Connor is the son of Lauren and Peter Connor of Lake Leelanau. COLBY CONNOR, 9, harvested his first deer near his grandparents farm in Cedar over the weekend. Connor is the son of Lauren and Peter Connor of Lake Leelanau.

CHLOE CRICK, 10, overcame jitters in time to pull the trigger and drop this 7-point in Suttons Bay on Saturday. CHLOE CRICK, 10, overcame jitters in time to pull the trigger and drop this 7-point in Suttons Bay on Saturday.

BRAYLON HOBBINS, 9, shot his first buck, a 7-point, in Cleveland Township on Saturday morning. Hobbins, a student at Long Lake Elementary School, saw one other buck while in the woods. BRAYLON HOBBINS, 9, shot his first buck, a 7-point, in Cleveland Township on Saturday morning. Hobbins, a student at Long Lake Elementary School, saw one other buck while in the woods.

CALEB SMITH, 15, dropped this 8-point while hunting near Empire with Al Steimel on Saturday. The buck was Smith’s first. CALEB SMITH, 15, dropped this 8-point while hunting near Empire with Al Steimel on Saturday. The buck was Smith’s first.

REAGAN MIDDLETON shot an 8-point in full velvet while hunting with grandfather Randy Hendges in Buckley on her 14th birthday. REAGAN MIDDLETON shot an 8-point in full velvet while hunting with grandfather Randy Hendges in Buckley on her 14th birthday.

Return to top