Matt Kobs of East Tawas took this 10-point buck the morning of Nov. 21 in the Tawas area. The buck dressed out at 156 pounds and had a 17-1/2 inch outside spread for 223.5 points.

EAST TAWAS – An 11-year-old’s 13-point buck remains the leader of the 2020 new Big Buck Bonanza. 

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.

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  listed below turned in contest cards between Thursday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 29. Successful weekend hunters and those who turn in cards on Monday, Nov. 30, the last day of the 2020 firearm deer hunting season, 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.

Deer that scored at least 200 points include Matt Kobs, 44, East Tawas, 10 points, 156 pounds, 17 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 21, in the Tawas area for 223.5 points; Kevin Loew, 13, Tawas City, 8 points, 165 pounds, 16 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 2, in Baldwin Township for 221.25 points; Matt Michalski, 46, Tawas, 8 points, 154 pounds, 18-inch spread, Nov. 19, in Grant Township for 212 points; Alex Harvey, 18, East Tawas, 8 points, 152 pounds, 19-inch spread; Nov. 21, in the Tawas area for 211 points; Kevin Manne, 38, Tawas City, 10 points, 146 pounds, 17 3/4-inch spread, Nov. 24, in Alabaster Township for 207.75 points; Steven Bilacic, 66, Turner, 10 points, 139 pounds, 17 1/4-inch spread; Nov. 15, in the Turner area for 206.25 points; Daryl Johnson, 66, Hale, 7 points, 150 pounds, 18 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 18, in Reno Township for 203.5 points; Josh Kobs, 39, National City, 8 points, 146 pounds, 17 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 22, in the Tawas area for 203.5 points; John Bleck, 57, East Tawas, 7 points, 151 pounds, 17 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 18, in Arenac County for 203.5 points; Toby Suttle, 43, Tawas City, 8 points, 145 pounds, 18 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 20, in Alabaster Township for 203.25 points; T.J. Edmonds, 40, National City, 8 points, 146 pounds, 17 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 21, in the Mikado area for 203.25 points; and Jordan Henry, 22, Midland, 10 points, 133 pounds, 18 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 16, in the Whittemore area for 201.25 points. 


Scott Serda of Tawas City shot this 8-point buck Nov. 23 in Alcona County. The buck dressed out at 130 pounds and had a 15-inch outside spread for 185 points.

Rounding out the scoring are Austin Brown, 24, Tawas City, 7 points, 144 pounds, 18 3/4-inch spread, Nov. 23, in Alabaster Township for 197.75 points; Tanner West, 23, West Chester, Ohio, 9 points, 139 pounds, 13-inch spread, Nov. 19, in Tawas Township for 197 points; Dylan Hurst, 14, Tawas, 7 points, 145 pounds, 15-inch spread, Nov. 19, in Tawas Township for 195 points; Marcus Dean, 37, Tawas City, 7 points, 140 pounds, 19-inch spread, Nov. 21, in Gratiot County for 194 points; Gene Barry, 61, Tawas City, 8 points, 136 pounds, 12 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 20 in Whitney Township for 188.5 points; Steve Kirby, 58, Tawas City, 8 points, 131 pounds, 16 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 18, on state land, for 187.5 points; Mike Blust, 52, Whittemore, 8 points, 131 pounds, 15 1/2-inch spread , Nov. 24, in the Whittemore area for 186.5 points; Steven Ulman, 24, Tawas, 8 points, 125 pounds, 20 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 20, in the Tawas area for 185.5 points; Scott Serda, 49, Tawas City, 8 points, 130 pounds, 15-inch spread, Nov. 23, in Alcona County for 185 points; Mark Lewis, 68, Unionville, 8 points, 130 pounds, 13 3/4-inch spread, Nov. 22, in the Tawas area for 183.75 points; Jeff Archambeau, 69, Tawas, 8 points, 128 pounds, 13 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 27, in northern Arenac County for 181.5 points; Bernard Berger, 52, Howell, 7 points, 114 pounds, 14-inch spread, Nov. 19, in Wilber Township for 163 points; Austin Kushner, 29, Tawas City, 4 points, 112 pounds, 15 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 20, in Tawas Township for 147.25 points; Joseph Ernst, 18, East Tawas, 6 points, 105 pounds, 12-inch spread, Nov. 21, in the East Tawas area for 147 points; Paul Jones, 25, Tawas City, 7 points, 98 pounds, 11 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 23, in the Tawas area for 144.5 points; Joel Cadorette, 17, East Tawas, 6 points, 101 pounds, 12 1/2-inch spread, Nov. 21, in Wilber Township for 143.5 points; and Tim Jones, 61, Tawas, 4 points, 110 pounds, 10 1/4-inch spread, Nov. 21, in the Tawas area for 140.25 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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