ALAMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Eric Westra has been hunting his whole life, but he has been busy this year and has only been out three times this season.
And that was all he needed.
Westra bagged a 25-point buck.
“I call it a deer of lifetime,” Westra said. “I told my kids I can retire from deer hunting.”
Several hunters have been looking for that deer for a while, Westra said. The buck appeared on a few of their game cameras, and Westra saw a picture of it two weeks ago, so when he went hunting on Nov. 14, he kept an eye out for it.
“When it came out, I pretty much just saw this and thought that was bigger than what I have on the wall,” said Westra holding the antlers in his hand. “When I looked at the scope on my crossbow [and] saw all this, I almost fell out of the tree. I’m shaking like there’s no tomorrow. “
He was on a tree stand 20 feet up when the buck appeared, he said. After he shot it with his crossbow, he took of picture of it, and posted it on Facebook. The post went viral.
“A friend of mine that does the taxidermy has friends that contacted him from Ohio that have seen pictures of it,” said Westra during an interview at Perceptive Industries, where he works. “So it’s everywhere.”
The meat has now been processed, he said, and his family has been enjoying venison for dinner. Now his biggest challenge is figuring out where to mount the head on his wall at home.
“You don’t shoot anything unless it’s bigger than what you have on the wall,” said Westra of his family’s hunting rule. “So when this one came along, this was bigger than what was on my wall. The bad part about this is I don’t know how I’m going to top this.”