March 25, 2014
You don’t have to be familiar with myocardial perfusion imaging or radionuclide ventriculography or even positron emission tomography in order to bag the deer of a lifetime.
But Scott Vogt, 42, is. And he did.
And it was one for the state record books.
Vogt, a nuclear medicine technologist from Jackson, Mich., who operates a nuclear cardiology lab for a cardiologist, killed a 14-point behemoth with a 23 ½-inch spread last November that was the second-largest typical ever taken by bow in Michigan.
“I’ve taken several big bucks out of there that hadn’t been quite this big,” said Vogt, who killed a 15-pointer that scored 156 two years earlier to the day, Nov.13, from the same 22-foot tall stand.
On a private, wooded parcel of land he has utilized for several years in south central Michigan, Vogt had hunted hard for most of the week he had taken off work to pursue the big buck that he and others in the area had their eye on.
Click image to view photos of Scott Vogt's buck
“I’ve got three years’ worth of pictures of him between me and the neighbors, so I knew he was out there,” Vogt said. “The neighbor’s property has corn fields on it, then there’s a short piece of their woods. The parcel I hunt is all wooded, acorn flats. They’ll stage in there before they go out to the fields.
“So I don’t get a lot of trail cam footage until scrapes start popping up. Once the scrapes started showing up, I put a trail cam out there. A few days later, I had some pictures of him and 11 days later I shot him.”
He had also seen the deer of the opening day of the 2012 gun season while hunting with is daughter. Then on Dec. 28, 2012, the buck walked within 35 yards of Vogt while he was taking down his stand, so it was confirmed that the buck had survived the 2012 season.
“He was a good deer all along,” Vogt said. “But last year the neighbors had found both sides of his sheds a mile apart. He was like 18 inches wide last year and this year it was 23 ½. So he just blew up, width-wise. (The sheds) scored like 160 last year.”
Vogt’s first trail cam image of the buck in 2013 was on Nov. 1. Then on Nov. 10, Vogt watched him chase a doe along a ridge on adjoining property, just out of reach.
“He never got over on my property. He got close but not where I could get a shot,” Vogt said. “He was probably 60 yards from me and I hunt about 40 yards from the line. I watched him for like a half hour and then he went over the ridge into the corn field.”
On Nov. 13, Vogt hunted as he had all week, from sun up to sun down, and as the sunlight was beginning to wane, he had not seen a deer all day. He was texting some friends about the day’s lack of success when he caught some movement about 45-50 yards away.
“It was the strangest thing,” Vogt said. “You watch those deer that time of the year and they either got their nose up or their nose down. They’re smelling the wind or they’re tracking something.
“I grew up on a farm and the best way I can describe it is he was just like a cow walking through the pasture. He just kind of had this lazy gait to him. I think he had been locked down with that doe I had seen him with three days earlier and I think he had just left her and was going to find another doe. Just meandering through the woods, 25 yards from me.
“I bleated at him, got him to stop. Double-lunged him, just a little bit back in the lungs. He didn’t give the mule-kick, but I knew he was hit pretty good. He ducked his tail, ran about 80 yards and died just over a little ridge.”
Even after seeing the deer off and on for three years, Vogt was not prepared for what he found over the ridge.
“Until last year, I guessed him to be about 135-140. This year I thought he was going to gross 160,” he said.
“When I walked up to him, there was no ground shrinkage. I mean, he was just massive. The deer weighed 252 pounds, field dressed. He had to be 300 on hoof when I walked up to him.
“Everybody who has seen the deer say the same thing: The pictures do not do it justice. The biggest thing he has going for him is he has almost 40 inches of mass. His beams were over 27 inches long.”
The buck had 14 scoreable points and a 15th marginal one. Its Boone & Crockett gross score was 187 1/8 with a net of 175 2/8. The state record was taken in 2012 by Robert Sopsich of Milford, Mich., a 12-pointer that grossed 183 and netted 180 1/8.
“I outgrossed him, but he outnetted me,” Vogt said.
But the hunt for the next big one has already begun, and he’s out there.
“My neighbors actually found some sheds this year that are even bigger than his sheds from last year,” Vogt said. “But nobody has a picture of that buck and we all have multiple trail cams out. I’m thinking as soon as I killed my buck, he moved into the area.”