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Winner, Winner Venison Dinner

This is one of my favorite columns to write each and every year. We have the results of our 16th Annual Webb Weekly Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest.

I am very proud of our Monster Buck Contest and the job all involved do in making this happen. Which is not me. I stay out of it and only encourage hunters to enter.

I look forward to talking to folks about their harvest and hunting stories.

A tip of my Webb Weekly hunting hat with the American Flag on the side to Webb Weekly’s Ron Mingle and Dana Poust at Poust Taxidermy. These two folks do the heavy lifting to make the contest happen. Ron, from the organizing and overseeing side of things to the finish. Dana for being the official scorer and caretaker once the bucks are checked in to the final scoring round.

I also want to give a shout-out to Sam the taxidermy lady and right-hand partner with Dana. She helps and — most importantly — keeps the taxidermy work going as Dana gets tied up with the contest. I always enjoy visiting with her when I stop up to the shop; this year, she was working on the beginning stages of two beavers. She shared this process with me, along with a lot of knowledge about beavers I had no idea about. They are very interesting creatures. They are much different when you see them up close rather than on TV.

When I drop by, it always amazes me the knowledge Dana and now Sam have about wildlife. They are like forensic scientists of wildlife creatures and habitats. They always do great work when it comes to their wildlife artistry, but through this process, they can also tell you about the age, diet, and habitat the animal lived in — as well as past injuries and overall health of their subject.

A tip of that bright orange hunting hat with the American Flag on the side to Jon and Don at Sauers Trading. Along with Poust Taxidermy, they are an official checkpoint for the initial scoring of the trophy bucks. And remember that we believe the trophy is in the hands of the holder. So, any legally harvested, locally taken buck qualifies.

The father/son duo at Sauers Trading also take care of all the legalities and provides a Savage Axis Rifle package with all the trimmings to the winner of the random rifle drawing. Sauers is another place just down the street from my office where I enjoy talking about hunting, firearms, and community.

Before I get to the results of this year’s Monster Buck Contest, here’s another tip of my hunting hat to the great folks at Stoltzfus Butchering. They are the runner-up through fourth place sponsor of a $100 gift card for their great venison processing. They are your full-service butcher who can turn your deer harvest into that venison dinner I talked about in my title. My sons and I are big fans of everything they make.

I will hold you in suspense about the winners of the contest with a quick reminder.

Remember, the Uncle Ron’s naming of the Monster Buck Contest is in memory of my Uncle Ron Maietta, who battled multiple sclerosis for years to enjoy his passion of the outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing, and just being part of God’s green Earth. And for long-time Webb Weekly family member Ron Mingle. Although Ron retired a few years back, he has continued to oversee the contest. His wife, Steph, has MS. The Mingle family has been passionate about helping her, bringing awareness, and raising money to battle the dreaded disease. This is why for every hunter who makes the time to enter his or her trophy into the contest, we donate to fight MS.

Now to the results of our 16th Annual Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest.

First up, 116 hunters took the time to share their harvest with us. For each hunter entered, Webb Weekly will be making a $10 donation on their behalf. The $10 per hunter contribution seems fitting based on this year’s winners, as 2 of the top 4 were 10 points.

This year’s winner, pictured below, is Stephen Speicher. What an absolutely amazing monster. Every tine of the ten is long, and the brow tines are some of the longest I’ve seen on a local buck.

This year’s runner-up was Henry Fisher with an absolute tank of a white tail featuring 11 points and a rack you could kick a field goal through.

Third place was Ralph Daley. His buck featured a 22” spread; I can tell by the smile on his face he was happy with the harvest.

And rounding out the top 4, Robert Glossner. That is the other remarkable ten-point with long, heavy tines and excellent mass.

This year’s contest was one of our closest ever, with only 3 SCI inches separating the winners. We also had a record number of bucks, scoring over 150, with seven.

Darin Bubb not only harvested a beautiful 12-point buck but is the winner of the random rifle drawing courtesy of Sauers Trading. Wow, what a hunting season he had. A double winner in my book.

I look forward to sharing our 17th Annual Contest with you later this year. I’m always open to you sharing a good hunting story or telling me about a trophy buck that got away.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb