Skip to main content

Moose-Like Michigan Whitetail Taken on Public Land

Tim Bannen watched this unique, public-land buck for three years before finally getting an opportunity.

Moose-Like Michigan Whitetail Taken on Public Land

Giant public-land whitetails are few and far between in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Heavy hunting pressure and dense Popple forests make finding one difficult. Tim Bannen managed to locate a buck, then spent three years homing in on the exact spot to tag it while bowhunting. Over that time, the deer grew into a very unique trophy.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/northamericanwhitetail/content/photos//Michigan-Palmated-BNB-TrailCam-1200x800.jpg
Aside from the buck’s incredible mass, the rack sports two flyers on its left side.

The buck first appeared in trail camera pics in December of 2019, showing no hint of what he would become. Later images helped Tim fine tune his core area, but he still needed more time to be the deer of a lifetime.

By 2021, the buck was worthy of more attention. “He was beginning to develop an interesting look, but still hadn’t reached full potential,” Tim says. “I hunted him but tagged another buck that was too good to pass.” Then gun season opened, and Tim was out of the woods.

A morning drive by revealed 11 vehicles within 500 yards of the area where the deer had been. “All I could do was pray he managed to elude a barrage of bullets and survive another year,” Tim remembers. Fortunately, he showed up on the trail camera again after the season closed!

How he eluded so many hunters is a real puzzle. But the big surprise came when he grew his new, and very different, set of antlers during the summer of 2022. The buck had blown up, putting on crazy mass and adding two major flyers on his left G2. “It was totally unexpected, but I was more determined than ever then,” Tim says. “And he was still in the same area.”

//content.osgnetworks.tv/northamericanwhitetail/content/photos//Michigan-Palmated-BNB-Group-1200x800.jpg
Tim invited his friends from Ohio to hunt with him. His one friend saw the buck, and Tim arrowed it the next morning.

Tim has friends from Ohio he swaps hunts with every fall. He has taken some great bucks hunting with them there. So, he invited them over to hunt the Michigan opener. The plan was to cover as much of the area as possible, and maybe one of them would get lucky.

On opening morning, the monster buck was spotted by his friend, Eric Dew. He watched it feeding for over 20 minutes, but the slammer managed to stay out of bow range. That sighting fired up the camp, and Tim decided to get on his stand extra early the next morning.

An hour into his sit, a single doe drifted in and began feeding. Then, she changed her focus. Something else was coming.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/northamericanwhitetail/content/photos//Michigan-Palmated-BNB-Field-1200x800.jpg
Although Tim’s shot didn’t hit exactly where he wanted it to, he pursued the deer all day until he recovered it.

Tim glanced around and caught a quick flash of antler, then the rack of his target came into view. Things were happening fast. The bruiser was already broadside at 17 yards. “I took one look at that rack and stopped staring,” Tim says. “I was worried that if I kept looking, I would make a bad shot.”




His nerves still got to him, and the arrow hit just a little off the mark. The buck bounded two times and disappeared into a thicket. “And then, I made a rookie mistake,” he explains. “I knew better, but I went looking and pushed the buck.” That error led to a long day, a mile-long chase and a cell phone lost in the process. But Tim is not complaining since he made the recovery.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/northamericanwhitetail/content/photos//Michigan-Palmated-BNB-Side-1200x800.jpg
Tim Bannen took this impressive Michigan buck on public land. The palmated rack green scores 182 4/8.

The buck green scores 182 4/8. The rack is boosted by incredible mass measurements.

“I am overjoyed that it all worked out, and that my friends were there to share the hunt with me,” Tim says. “It is definitely a hunt I will never forget!”

Recommended


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Ripcord Arrow Rests Rejuvenates Lineup with Three New Models

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Don't Sleep on Conventional Trail Cameras

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Browning Trail Cameras Announces Cellular Innovation for 2024

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

ATA 2024 Core SR First Look from Bowtech

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Browning OVIX Camo: Ultimate Concealment for Any Time, Any Place

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Air Venturi Avenge-X Classic PCP Air Rifle Reviewed

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Primos Edge Carbon Fiber Tripod Shooting Sticks

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Bowhunting Aoudad in Texas with Browning OVIX Camo

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Bowtech CP30: A Better Bow Made For The Whitetailer

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Browning's Exclusive OVIX Camo Gives You Complete Concealment

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Start to Finish Success for Ultimate Season Bucks

There are few things that get North American Whitetail's Blake Garlock more fired up than chasing early season bucks wit...
Gear

Early Fall Tactics for Big Ultimate Season Bucks

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now