Emmeline Olar, 11, of National City, shot this trophy 13-point buck that dressed out at 163 pounds and the antlers have a 17 1/2-inch spread. She shot the buck in Burleigh Township on Nov. 16 for 245.5 contest points to lead the Big Buck Bonanza. 

EAST TAWAS – A new Big Buck Bonanza leader emerged last week who is even younger than the previous leader.

Emmeline Olar, 11, of National City shot a 13-point buck Nov. 16 while hunting in Burleigh Township. The buck has a field dress weight of 163 pounds and the antlers have a 17 1/2-inch outside spread. That’s good for 245.5 contest points.

She’s beat out last week’s leader, from the opening day contest cards, Hunter Oliver, 13 of Tawas City, who shot a 9-point buck, weighing 176 pounds with a 17 1/2-inch antler spread while hunting opening day in the Tawas area. The buck scored 238.5 contest points.

Olar’s buck also leads currently the largest entered in the contest for youths and for the most antler points. Points are awarded on total antler points, the antler spread and the weight of the dressed deer. Entries must come from either Iosco, Arenac or Alcona counties.

All of the hunters with bucks bucks listed below turned in contest cards between Tuesday, Nov. 16 to noon on Friday, Nov. 20. Successful weekend hunters and those who turn in cards prior to noon Friday, Nov. 27, will be listed in next week’s editions.

The winner of this year’s annual Big Buck Bonanza will once again take home more than bragging rights to the local top buck of 2020 – the lucky hunter will win a Remington Model 783 Bolt-Action 308 rifle Compact Package, valued at $399, compliments of the Iosco County News-Herald and the Oscoda Press.

The sister newspapers join hands with many Iosco County merchants to provide cash and merchandise prizes, not to mention bragging rights for a year, to the best bucks taken during the 2020 firearm deer season.

Second prize of $50 from the sponsoring newspapers goes to the buck with the most antler points.   

There is a $25 cash prize for the youth, ages 17 and younger, with the most contest points.

Other deer that scored at least 200 points include Jerry Perrin, 37, Whittemore, 9 points, 174 pounds, 18 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Arenac County for 237.25 points; Doug McLellan, no age given, Lincoln, 10 points, 160 pounds, 21 1/2-inch spread, Nov 19, in the Harrisville area for 231.5 points; Justin Blust, 26, Alabaster Township, 9 points, 163 pounds, 20-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Alabaster Township for 228 points; Stanley Czarnik II, 22, Twining, 12 points, 151 pounds, 17-inch spread, Nov. 15, in the Omer area of Arenac County for 228 points; JR Osborne, 40, Fenton, 9 points, 162 pounds, 20-inch spread, Nov. 17 in Ogemaw County’s Richland Township for 227 points; Ken Nelkie, 43, Tawas, 8 points, 167 pounds, 16 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Tawas Township for 223.5 points; Troy Walker, 53, Oscoda, 8 points, 154 pounds, 20-inch spread, Nov. 15, in Wilber Township for 214 points; Curt Olar, 48, Pinconning, 10 points, 140 pounds, 18 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Iosco County for 208.5 points; Nick Nieman, 42, Blissfield, 12 points, 131 pounds, 15 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Wilber Township for 206.5 points; Tony McKerchie, 58, Roscommon, 8 points, 145 pounds, 18 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 16, in the Tawas area for 203.25 points; Mitchell Vamos, 18, Davison, 8 points, 145 pounds, 17 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 15, in Iosco County for 202.5 points; Steve Cadorette, 61, Tawas, 10 points, 135 pounds, 16 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 15, in Alabaster Township for 201.25 points; and Bryan Phillips, 42, Tawas, 11 points, 130 pounds, 16 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 16, in the Monument Road area for 201.25 points.

Rounding out the scoring are D’Anne Youngs, 56, East Tawas, 7 points, 148 pounds, 13 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Iosco County for 196.5 points; Matthew Lixey, 36, Saginaw, 9 points, 131 pounds, 15 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 17, in Baldwin Township for 191.25 points; Dean Lanning, 49, Hale, 8 points, 125 pounds, 17-inch spread, Nov. 15, in the Hale area for 182 points; Scott Drzewieck, 53, Flushing, 8 points, 123 pounds, 16 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 17, in the Whittemore area for 179.25 points; Dave Hill, 58, Tawas, 8 point, 124 pounds, 12 3/4-inch spread, Nov. 17, In Grant Township for 176.75 points; Angela Chrivia, 41, Whittemore, 8 points, 118 pounds, 12 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 15, in Sherman Township for 170.25 points; Richard Doak, 75, Tawas City, 9 points, 114 pounds, 15-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Baldwin Township for 160 points; Dick Whitford, 64, Tawas City, 8 points, 106 pounds, 12 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Tawas Township for 158.5 points; Carole Sheenhan, 51, Whittemore, 6 points, 111 pounds, 11 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Alabaster Township for 157.25 points; Jennifer Cadorette, 44, East Tawas, 5 points, 119 pounds, 13 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Wilber Township for 152.25 points; Joe Timreck, 36, East Tawas, 9 points, 95 pounds, 10 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 16, in Baldwin Township for 150.5 points; Tim Nickell, 50, Whittemore, 4 points, 116 pounds, 11 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 15, in the Whittemore area for 147.25 points; Shirley Nickell, 58, Whittemore, 4 points, 114 pounds, 10 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 15, in the Whittemore area for 144.25 points; and Phil Babe, 75, East Tawas, 6 points, 102 pounds, 11 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 17, in Wilber Township for 143.5 points. 

Rules for the contest are simple.  Any buck shot in Iosco, Alcona, or Arenac counties between Nov. 15-30 is eligible, regardless of the hunter’s place of residence.

The biggest buck winner is the buck which gets the most total points under the contest point system.

The scoring system awards one point for each pound of field dressed weight, one point per inch for each inch of antler spread at their widest point and five points each for each point on the antlers.  To be counted as a point on the rack, the protrusion must be at least one-half inch long.  

For example, a 141-pound field dressed buck with a eight-point rack and a 14-inch spread would total 195 contest points.

And everyone who enters their buck has a chance of winning one of the many cash and merchandise prizes offered by local merchants.

All of the remaining contest prizes from the various merchants are awarded based on a random drawing at the end of the season from the cards of all those who entered the contest by taking their deer to a contest weigh station.

Those weigh-in and registration stations are located at Miner’s Grove Party Store, located at the corner of Miller and Wilber roads in East Tawas and Roger’s Family Foods & ACE Hardware, 5112 N. US-23 in Oscoda. Weigh stations ask that if possible, you bring along a friend to help get your trophy hung up on the scales.

Winners of all of the prizes will be announced in the edition following the closing of the rifle season on Nov. 30. Winners also will be contacted by mail.

Prizes offered by local merchants in the contest include: 

Klenow’s Market  of East Tawas, two pounds of jerky valued at $40;

Dean Arbour Ford of Tawas City, THE WORKS – includes engine oil and filter change, up to five quarts of Motorcraft Oil, rotate tires and perform multi-point inspection, valued at $49.95;

Dean Arbour Chevrolet of East Tawas, multi-point vehicle inspection, free oil change and tire rotation;

Muffler Man of Tawas City, lube, oil and filter;

Wellman’s Party & Bait of Oscoda, $20 gift certificate (excludes beer and wine);

Ed Freel’s Market of Tawas City, a $25 gift certificate for fresh meat;

Tawas Do It Best Hardware of Tawas City, a $40 gift certificate for the heaviest field-dressed buck entered by a woman;

AuSable Do It Best Hardware and Surplus of Oscoda, $25 gift certificate;

Alward’s Market of Hale, five pounds of home smoked bacon valued at $35;

Tawas Roofing Company of Tawas City,  Outdoor Edge Wild-Lite six piece Knife Kit, valued at $44;

AuSable River Store of Oscoda, $25 gift certificate;

Haglund’s On the River of Oscoda, Grab Bag, valued at $25;

Hilltop Bar & Grill of Oscoda, $25 gift certificate;

Gary Oil of Oscoda, a $50 gas card;

Nedo’s Farm Market, Inc. of Mikado, a Hunter’s Gift Basket;

Nagy’s Tractor Sales, Inc. of Omer, a $50 gift certificate.

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