#6 JIM TONKIN Top 100 Santa Rosa Island Mule Deer Bucks
This was Jim's second big buck he shot on Santa Rosa Island. He was a crack shot with his scoped handgun. Andrew guided him on this hunt, but on his other trip I guided him and as we were stalking him, I asked him how close did we need to get for him to shoot the buck with his sidearm. He nonchalantly said, "We can stop here, I'm good". I was a little shocked since we were a good 300 yards out. True to his word, he sat down and calmly put a single kill shot into that 195 buck. He and Pamela Atwood are the finest handgun hunters I've had the pleasure of guiding.
Back to this awesome buck. When you look at this buck, it shares alot of attributes of the buck that was showcased yesterday, Bobby Sergi's buck that came in at #7. It has such a huge, proportional frame. It also has a cool droptime and a couple nontypical hooks. This is another buck that isn't 30" wide, but who would really care? Also notice his unique and large eyeguards. I think it had an extra scoring point on his left eyeguard. I also remember this hunt since every buck hunter on this hunt shot a buck that scored over 200 inches. That was a very first on the Island back when this happened in 2003. Yes, this was the biggest buck of the hunt, but Jim Hill (202.625"), Steve Fullmer (203.625") and Greg Fowler (215.5", #36) also shot real trophies.
If I remember right, guide Andrew was asking departing guide Don Anderson as he was leaving if he knew of any big bucks that were still roaming the Island. Don gave up the location that he had last seen this buck to Andrew. Don had seen this buck weeks earlier but didn't have a buck hunter at the time. As fate would happen, Andrew and Jim found this buck the first evening of this hunt. This cooperation and sharing between guides was one of the great things that make our operation so successful over the years. We always worked as a team. We didn't have huge egos, and had an attitude to work hard for each and every client. It made for a wonderful work environment, and the clients truly appreciated it.
Congratulations, Jim, you shot a trophy of a lifetime with MUM on Santa Rosa Island!