#53 JOHN DONOVAN Top 100 Santa Rosa Island Mule Deer Bucks
John came out with his good friend and hunting buddy Greg Sosa. This was John and Greg's third and last trip on SRI. His guide Tim had just arrived on the Island, and all of us other guides warned Tim how tough the hunting had gotten in the last couple weeks. Tim took our comments in stride, and promptly went out that first afternoon of the hunt and found this buck for John. Yes, Tim was quite proud of his guiding prowess that day-- and it was well deserved!
This buck is the last 210+ buck that was harvested during our 33 year tenure on Santa Rosa Island. We had to vacate the Island in mid-October, and this buck was shot Sept. 28th. That is not to say that there weren't some great bucks still on the Island. MUM staff stayed on the Island for several days after our hunts ended. The Eradication Team was brought in by the National Park Service and began shooting deer and elk from a helicopter. The Park was convinced by Vail and Vickers to bring in the carcasses for donation to food shelters on the mainland for several days. We stayed on to process these animals. It was a gut-wretching experience, but we provided tons of meat from those last few days to needy persons. Anyway, the helicopter brought in many large bucks that were too wily for us to find in more sporting ways. If I'm not mistaken, at least five bucks they brought in topped out over 200 point, and there were many, many 180+ bucks, not to mention the several 6 point + Roosevelt elk bulls.