posted on August 11, 2013 10:52
By Mike Handley
Had it not been for trail camera photographs of two wonderful bucks and the opportunity to hunt from one of the most productive stands on the property, Robert Sopsich would've been content to spend the remaining half-hour of daylight inside his home on Nov. 2.
Even so, it took a hard sell from his younger brother, Donny, for him to bother suiting up and heading afield for a very short hunt.
The brothers from Milford, Mich., had to work an hour later than usual that day, which meant they didn't get home until after 5 p.m. Robert had decided not to hunt, but Donny wooed him by reminding him that the rut was approaching and by offering up his stand.
It helped that nobody had arrowed either the big 12- or 10-pointers both men so desperately wanted.
Donny's stand is at the corner junction of two fields in Oakland County. Suspecting that deer might already be in one or both, Robert snuck through some pines to reach it.
Arrow nocked, he was more in still-hunting mode than in a hurry to climb a tree.
When he reached the edge of one field at about 6:15 (sunset was about 6:30 that day), the big 12-pointer just happened to be crossing it - well away from the stand. If Robert had been aloft at his usual time, he'd have never seen it.
Accustomed to practicing long shots, Robert made the 45-yarder look easy, though he admits he was about to fall apart at the seams.
After a two-hour tracking job, he and Donny recovered it together.
The 4 1/2-year-old 12-pointer had a dressed weight of 185 pounds, and it bests the previous Michigan (perfect-class) bow record by nearly 20 inches. Its BTR composite score is 186 inches.
Richard P. Smith's version of the story will appear in RACK magazine this fall.