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Mitch legit killed alot of GIANT deer in Michigan. He was a crazy man.... sleeping in hollow trees for days on end, etc.Ask Skip he’s a old Michigan guy! He used to see a lot of world class bucks in Michigan!
From an outsider looking in, I am sure they could have determined if it’s was legit .. fairly easily ??
I know you did not say it but I agree that Michigan is no Iowa. But in Washtenaw County, MI, I know two people who have taken deer over 190".Oh goodness!!! Dude lived 10 mins from my me when I lived in traverse city.
1) I spent countless time looking at trophy books at archery shops & hunting stores in N MI. They had them kinda like “family albums” …. Out of thousands of bucks - there were a % of mature bucks. In N MI I never saw one that could grow past 160”. 140” was more like “top end”. The nutrition, winters, lack of food, poor sandy soils, lack of crops, low quality browse timber all limited the size of the bucks. Maybe, I mean MAYBE I can recall a buck hitting 180” in 20 years of watching N MI. I don’t believe for one second the potential is there to grow a state record & a world record. What he shot…. He got the state record up there 10 years prior. Then later he shoots world record. Both of poor nutrition poor quality forest (& i think??…. PUBLIC LAND). Sorry, there’s no way. When mature bucks go 115-140” with the occasional 150’s - no way, I don’t buy it. That isn’t proof but never get me to buy it.
2) I never met Mitch. Could be a great guy. Could be a dirt bag. Not my place to judge. I can tell u being in that community…. He’s had a lot of issues with the law. Stuff like “filming up lady’s skirts with camera on shoe at the mall” is one that comes to mind when locals talk about him. He’s had “a lot of issues” according to law & locals. I don’t know him but that rap sheet makes me question a lot. I’m not the judge though. Don’t wish Ill-will upon the guy. I do think his family had a high fence deer pen down south for whatever that’s worth. None of this is proof- but interesting context
3) I saw a statistician from MI do the math on chances of shooting a state record & world record. It was hilarious. It was like 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000. Or something wildly insane. Not proof but funny.
4) the “he’s a great hunter”…. MI is filled with maniac mature buck killing machines. Dudes that are probably better hunters than anyone in iowa I could dream up. Dudes that do find mature bucks. & somehow these magic hunters kill them consistently - which is insane craziness for MI!!!! When a small yet “large amount of guys” (like in the 100’s) do live in MI & do kill mature bucks consistently- what do they score??? 125-160”. U MIGHT find a guy that got one that’s 180’s+ & that’s in S MI & still rare. So few mature bucks but
Dudes that find them- they score maybe 120-150” on high side. For dudes in MI to find a deer with genetics & nutrition to grow 180’s is just not realistic. Unless it’s S MI. & that’s once in a lifetime. Most that see mature bucks don’t go over 150”. I just dont buy that he finds state & world record & does it in the worst part of state. Nope, I don’t buy it. FWIW- my brother shot the “biggest buck shot in MI” for that year- few years before Rompola buck…. that’s the whole state …. It was 174”. I’m sure someone else shot one bigger but none that were registered that year. Nice deer but no where close to 200”. & that’s whole state!!!! A 180-200” deer in MI is like a 270-300” deer here in iowa. To shoot 2 of them…. Come on.
One schmucks vote for: I don’t buy it!!!
Southern MI blows away N MI. & “could” rival Iowa as it has the POTENTIAL. No contest. U have tons of potential in: washtenaw, Jackson, hillsdale, van buren, berrien, Kalamazoo, allegan, etc. I’ve been all over those areas. They have gotten better. Genetics & nutrition & habitat are INSANE around there!!!!! What is helping S MI is 2 things…. 1) way more guys passing deer up. More guys forming coops. 2) MI has lost almost a third of deer hunters in last 25 years. That alone is less pressure. I’m sure it still seems like an army - which it is- but MI regs have caused a lot of dudes to quit & thus allowing a bit more for big bucksI know you did not say it but I agree that Michigan is no Iowa. But in Washtenaw County, MI, I know two people who have taken deer over 190".
My neighbor and another gentlemen up the road about three miles. It scored over 200". They are becoming more common as hunters let deer grow older. With that said our Calhoun County farm does not seem to hold mature bucks long.
Our issue there is two fold.
1. Most bucks are only 8 points and it is hard to score more without adding points.
1.A Our Neighbor did take a 160" 8 point.
2. Once we identify one on our land, they just do not stay past the end of November. I am sure it is something we are doing to push them away as they do not show up the next year. We talk to a lot of our neighbors and they are not shooting them.
So google has bested me, or I just simply don’t know what I’m looking for- what’s the state records for Michigan other than his deer? I mean- are there legit a pile of 170s? Or is it a pretty big drop off? At least I can find the records in Iowa that I could go- “oh it’s possible since it was close to these scores”. But if there are only 2 over 180 for example, and he has them both. Huge red flag. Back when it all broke I was really young and thought it was fishy then. Everything was just TOO symmetrical, every tine, every curve just was SO close to matching. And I always thought the head looked weird as well.