Ann Arbor’s Scarberry shoots 170-class whitetail buck
By Bill Parker
Ann Arbor, Mich. — Mark Scarberry didn’t have a lot of opportunities to hunt deer this fall. Between suffering through a case of pneumonia himself, and caring for his parents who also were ill last fall, the avid deer hunter didn’t make it into the whitetail woods until opening day of the firearms season. But he made the most of his limited opportunity.
Hunting on leased land in Washtenaw County, Scarberry shot a typical 14-point buck that measured 1745⁄8 inches under the Boone and Crockett scoring system. The official measurement was tallied by John Knevel, of Commemorative Bucks of Michigan, the state’s official record keeper of trophy deer, bears, elk, and turkeys.
Perched in a pop-up blind in a patch of pines overlooking an alfalfa field, Scarberry said there was a lot of action around him early on the morning of Nov. 15.
“We had a fair amount of shooting all around us. I saw a few little ones, but nothing big,” Scarberry told Michigan Outdoor News. About 10 o’clock a lot of people started moving. Around 10:15 my buddy texted me and asked if I was going to buy him breakfast. I texted back, ‘Not until 1 o’clock.’ ”
That proved to be a good move. A short time later, while Scarberry was eating a granola bar and reading Rolling Stone magazine, he heard leaves crunching nearby.
“I put down my magazine because it didn’t sound like a squirrel,” he said. “Then I could actually smell the musky scent of the deer.”
Looking out the window of the blind, Scarberry saw deer movement, but because of the thick underbrush he couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe.
“I thought it would walk away from me,” he said, “but it turned and headed east, right in front of my blind.”
Scarberry said he grunted to stop the deer and made a clean kill shot from just 40 yards away.
“I didn’t realize how big it was because he came from out of nowhere and I didn’t have time to get a good look at him,” Scarberry said. ”They were combining corn to the south of me and I think they may have jumped him up.”
The 31⁄2-year-old buck didn’t run far before piling up.
“It was pretty exciting,” Scarberry said. “That was the extent of my hunting this year.”
The rack grossed 1853⁄8, but had about 11 inches of deductions. It features a 201⁄2-inch inside spread, the main beams are 266⁄8 (right) and 263⁄8 and the G2s and G3s are all over 9 inches long.
“It’s just a beautiful buck,” Scarberry said. “The rack is so symmetrical.”
To make the event even more exciting, Scarberry was hunting with a new 20-gauge Savage shotgun he received for Christmas in 2012.
“The gun I was using, my dog bought for me for Christmas,” Scarberry said. “They came through for me.”
This wasn’t the first big buck Scarberry has shot, but it was his biggest.
“I shot a 17-point about 20 years ago, but it only scored about 140,” he said. “It had a broken main beam and a paddle coming off it with a lot of small points around it.”
Scarberry said his most recent buck is at a taxidermy shop for a shoulder mount.