Sharp finds success with his bow

MECOSTA — The firearm deer season starts up Thursday but various bow hunters haven’t had to wait until then before enjoying some success.

That includes Doug Sharp of Mecosta who had success early Tuesday morning, He was hunting south of Mecosta.

SHOT: Doug Sharp shows off his 9-point buck he shot Tuesday hunting south of Mecosta. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

He used his compound bow to bag a 9-point buck with 15-inch rack span. He estimates that it’s the 28th deer of his lifetime.

It’s the second deer he shot with a bow this season. The first one was a 7-pointer with a 16 1/2-inch spread.

”This year it’s good, it’s been great,” said Sharp, who added that he’s been seeing a lot of bucks “just recently. I haven’t through half the season.”

The 9-pointer “is probably the third biggest one I’ve shot,” Sharp said.

“I was sitting there and heard some rustling in the thicket. I noticed a doe coming along the thick area I hunt. She walked by my stand at about 15 yards. I started to hear some grunting coming from that area. (The buck) came right along and was 15 yards when I shot him. He was grunting right after her.”

Sharp then took his successful shot.

“He ran a little bit, about 80 yards. I actually watched him fall. It was a good shot,” Sharp said.

Sharp indicated that deer activity is picking up.

“Deer are chasing a lot of does,” he said. “I think it will be a good rifle season.”

Cold weather will enhance deer hunting prospects.

“It’s been a good year for me,” he said.

Ashley Autenrieth, Northern Regions Deer Program Biologist of the Department of Natural Resources’ Gaylord Operations Service Center, said the firearm season prospects are promising.

“We’ve had three mild winters in a row,” she noted. “Last year, we had a 20 percent increase in the harvest. We would expect a similar increase this year. While we’re not necessarily seeing more hunters out there, what we are seeing is that the hunters that are out there are more successful because deer populations are going up and they have a lot of opportunities to go out there and harvest them.

“We have been seeing a decline in hunters ove the last 10, 20 years. That’s very unfortunate.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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