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12th Annual Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest

12th Annual Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest

Well, it’s hard to believe that our 12th Annual Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest is in the books. The Steve Miller Band was definitely on point with the lyrics, “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” This from their all-time monster hit “Fly Like an Eagle.” Appropriately, the song was released in our Nation’s bicentennial year of 1976. At this time, the Bald Eagle was on our Nation’s highly endangered species list. You had a better chance back then of seeing Big Foot in Penns Woods than a soaring eagle. Wow, has that changed. It is great to see the amazing return of this high-flying symbol of our great Nation. Did you know that a bald eagle can fly at heights exceeding 10,000 feet?

Keep your eyes to the skies as this majestic bird is often spotted up-and-down the West Branch Valley, as can their extremely large nests. One eagle’s nest discovered in Florida was almost 10’ wide by 20’ in-depth. A Guinness Book World Record for the largest place our fine feathered friends call home. Our forefathers definitely had it right overruling Mr. Benjamin Franklin’s request of having the wild turkey as our national symbol.

As often, I’ve gotten off the beaten path here. I will have an upcoming column about this amazing, majestic creature and how its legacy mirrors our great Nation.

Now, back to Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest and this year’s winners. The event was renamed a couple of years back in honor of my late Uncle Ron Maietta and Webb Weekly’s own Ron Mingle. When my Uncle Ron passed away, I wanted to do something to honor his memory. He loved being in the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He battled MS for many years, which cut down on his hunting and fishing trips, but he still got out into the great outdoors.

Ron Mingle has overseen The Monster Buck Contest since the beginning. His passion for pursuing the Pennsylvania whitetail, lifetime worth of knowledge, and just all around being a great guy made him the perfect choice to manage the contest. He also deals with Multiple Sclerosis on a daily basis as his wife Steph battles the disease. Both men define what a great Uncle should be. The Uncle Ron moniker for the contest just fits like a glove. And now you know the rest of the story.

My staff and I use the contest as a way to raise MS awareness and make a donation each year on behalf of every hunter that enters their trophy buck.

This year we had 97 bucks entered. Thank you, hunters, for sharing your harvest with us and allowing us to see what’s roaming around in Penns Woods. Our winner this year is Mr. Howard Smith. His tank of a buck was a 9 point with a 23 and a 1/2-inch spread! Scoring 158 by Sierra Club International standards. Howard receives a free shoulder mount courtesy of my good friends at Poust Taxidermy. Dana has been with us since the beginning of the contest, and I thank him for his efforts. He is also the official scorer and does an incredible job preserving that memory of a lifetime.

Second place goes to Jerry Fisher, who got his big bruiser during the early archery season. Jerry’s buck scored 15 points, had a width of 15 1/8th inches for an SCI score of 155 5/8.

Third place was taken by Mr. Brandon Ulrich. His trophy was harvested during the rifle season. His tale of the tape, 9 points by 17 1/8-inch-wide for a final score of 150 3/8.

The fourth and final spot goes to Mr. Matt Buck. His name fits the Pennsylvania woods perfectly. Matt checked in with a 13-point sporting an 18 1/2-inch spread, scoring 149 6/8. Just a gorgeous buck.

(See page 40 for pictures and results.)

Congratulations gentlemen. 2nd through 4th place receive a $100 gift certificate for venison processing courtesy of Thompson’s Meat Packing in Jersey Shore. They do an amazing job turning that venison into great Thompson’s products that can be enjoyed all year long.

The winner of the random drawing that every contest entrant is eligible for a Remington 783 rifle with all the trimmings is Brittany Wheeland. My great friends and father-son duo John and Donnie from Sauers Trading provide the firearm and take care of the business end for the winner. Congrats Brittany.

Most importantly, on behalf of the 97 folks that took the time to enter their trophy into this year’s contest, Webb Weekly will be making a $1,455 donation towards the fight against MS, fifteen bucks per buck. A tip of my Webb Weekly blaze orange cap with the American Flag on the side to all that participate and help make this contest such a special event each and every year.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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