2017-11-09 / Outdoors

Manitou hunters tag most bucks since 1996

By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


ABOVE: DAN PLAMONDON presents one of the four deer he shot during the North Manitou Island Deer Hunt, an 8-point, in Fishtown Sunday morning. ABOVE: DAN PLAMONDON presents one of the four deer he shot during the North Manitou Island Deer Hunt, an 8-point, in Fishtown Sunday morning. Dan Plamondon didn’t seem to mind the cold and wet weather during his eight-day island getaway.

“It rained every day,” said Plamondon, one of 83 participants in the North Manitou Island Deer Hunt. “We were soaking wet on the way in. We set up camp on Saturday at 2 o’clock and I said ‘I’m going huntin.’”

And hunt he did.

Plamondon, who owns Cherry Bend Grocery in Elmwood Township, seemingly stepped off the Mishe Mokwa on Oct. 28 with his finger on the trigger.

“I’m less than five minutes out of camp and look up on the ridge and there’s a buck standing up there,” he said. “So I kneel down — boom. Spike down five minutes into the hunt. I thought this is going to be pretty good.”


RIGHT: JESSE TEACHWORTH shows off the rack of one of the two deer he shot, an 11-point. RIGHT: JESSE TEACHWORTH shows off the rack of one of the two deer he shot, an 11-point. Plamondon didn’t stop there, either. He harvested a doe on Day 2, an 8-point on Day 3 and a button buck he mistook for a doe on Day 5.

His four-deer haul contributed to a 47-deer total this year — the most since 52 were taken in 1998. Hunters bagged 32 bucks, the most in 21 years. Chief Ranger Phil Akers of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore said a 13-point was among them.

Last year, 77 sportsmen crossed the Manitou Passage and shot 33 deer, including 19 bucks. Perhaps the most impressive was a 14-point shot by Mike Smith of Muskegon.

The National Park Service conducts the special hunt annually to control the deer population and preserve the natural vegetation of North Manitou Island.

“It’s a tough hunt,” Plamondon said. “You earn every deer. Last year I got one small buck and hunted hard all week. It’s just the luck of the draw. Everybody out there’s a good hunter.”

Jesse Teachworth of Lake Odessa lived up to that billing last week, dropping an 11-point and an 8-point.

Teachworth, like Plamondon, didn’t seem to mind the cold and wet weather.

“It was awesome,” Teachworth said after posing for a few pictures in Fishtown. “Makes for perfect hunting.”

Steve Jebb of Coopersville also had a memorable experience last week.

Jebb saw and shot an albino deer on the west side of the island.

“Crazy,” Jebb said of the doe. “Once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Hunters had extra opportunities to hunt this year — and not just due to daylight saving time.

Manitou Island Transit didn’t send the Mishe Mowka across the passage Saturday due to wavy Lake Michigan waters, extending the trip 24 hours.

The first of two ferry trips returned to Fishtown on Sunday at 11:13 a.m.

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