At the beginning of this year’s firearms hunting season for deer, we unveiled a contest designed to allow hunters to share their success stories with others.
Today, it’s time to unveil the winners of our first BDN Biggest Bucks contest: Tom Kittrick of Millinocket topped all entries in the “heaviest deer” category at 250 pounds, field dressed, while Amy Prenier of Lubec took top honors in the “most points” class, with her 15-pointer.
Each of our winning entrants have won one free deer hunt stay at Wilderness Escape Outfitters in Danforth, where they’ll be hosted by Field & Stream whitetail deer expert Randy Flannery.
Kittrick explained that as far as suspense goes, his hunt was a bit lacking. In fact, he hadn’t even arrived at his stand when he spotted the 250-pounder. Hunting is a tradition in the Kittrick family, and after bagging the deer he had his wife bring the kids to the woods so they could pitch in on the dragging chores.
As for Prenier, her first big buck came just a year after learning a valuable lesson in the woods: Keep your rifle within reaching distance. She said she missed a chance at a small buck a year ago when she’d put her rifle down and decided to eat a few M&Ms. This year, she was ready. And the fact that she managed to stuff that 220-pound buck into the trunk of her Toyota Camry was a feat of its own.
Some hunters said they’d wished we’d extended our contest through muzzleloader season, which lasts for another week or two after the regular firearms season wraps up. Others have suggested that allowing a few more days for entries to roll in might have paid dividends.
We’re listening, and future contests will certainly be subject to a bit of tinkering in order to get as many people involved as possible, and to share as many cool stories as we can with our readers.
Ah, the stories.
All season long, we featured a deer a week from the list of our entrants, and asked those hunters to tell their tales for you. They did, and you, the readers showed you cared: Year-in, year-out, the deer stories that successful hunters share rank among the most popular offerings on our website. This year was no exception, and we’re happy to have been able to celebrate Maine’s rich hunting tradition in this format.
If you missed any of our “feature deer” from the contest during hunting season, you can check out all of the tales below.
Levi Williamson and his 243-pound “swamp buck,” from Nov. 10.
14-year-old Logan Swallow with his 247-pound 11-pointer, from Oct. 3.
And as you may have noticed, not all of the deer stories we’ve been sharing came from our contest. Here are some more stories from folks who didn’t even enter. Trust me: That doesn’t mean that the deer are any less impressive. In fact, a couple of these tales are among the most popular we’ve run all season:
Note: A previous version of this blog was unclear when talking about the number of prizes to be awarded in the BDN Biggest Bucks contest. Two grand prize winners each receive a hunting stay at Wilderness Escape Outfitters in Danforth.