#1 JOE KONSWINSKI Top 100 Santa Rosa Island Mule Deer Bucks
# 1 is finally here. We started this countdown on November 24, 2014 Joe Konswinski of Michigan shot the biggest buck on Santa Rosa Island in our 33 year tenure out there. This buck of Joe's is a 210 buck as a typical 4x4, but when you add in all extra points, he had over 45" of nontypical points. What a buck! Joe gets the distinction of shooting the biggest buck. At the same time a misguided Dodger fan, Will Woolley has bragging rights as being the guide on the #1 buck. Though, if the story is factual, the other client on the hunt, Kearney Martins gets an assist. Apparently, Kearney is the one that actually spots the buck. This was Kearney's first trip to the Island- safe to say that he bcame an integral piece of the hunting program fabric. He shot the biggest bucks of 2008 and 2009 and spots the biggest buck of our whole program!
After the 2006 season ended and our AVERAGE BUCK scored a whopping 206 SCI, we all kinda figured that this buck of Joe's was likely going to be the biggest buck ever. With that thought in mind, Joe allowed us to make a mold of this buck for making duplicates. Waybe has a copy, Will has a copy, Chad has a copy, Kearney has a copy, and I have a copy. Mine is hanging in my office as a hard-horned buck.
This buck epitomises the management success that MUM forged with these Santa Rosa Island deer. When we first came onto the Island in 1979, the deer hunting was an afterthought. Back then it was all about the Roosevelt elk. Any buck a client wanted to shoot was an additional $500. Who could blame that attitude? Elk hunting was still pretty novel on the West Coast back then, and mule deer hunting was very widespread. These deer were small back then. We went years and years that not a single buck would make the SCI book with a minimum of 155 points. Average bucks were in the 130's. Many of them were wide, but they had no mass, no height, and no tine length. I remember vividly of the hunt that I guided famous hunter Mike Simpson on a hunt in the mid 1990's. He shot a 34" 4x4 buck that only scored in the 150's! That same buck after we got the deer really going would probably went into the high 190's. We proved that management does work, but it can take some time and dedication.
We were very fortunate that the Vail and Vicker families allowed us the opportunity to take on the hunting program for them on Santa Rosa Island. It was a fantastic ride. Special thanks to Al Vail, Russ Vail, and Margaret Woolley for sharing their Island with us. So many incredible memories from those 33 years of traipsing around those hills. I first went out there as a 15 year old teenager. I chose to follow my father Wayne's footsteps because of this Island. Who could blame me? For all those clients who trusted us and came hunting with us on SRI, thank you also. All of us that got that rare opportunity to walk these hallowed grounds have had our lives enriched.
Congratulations, Joe you harvested the #1 buck with MUM on Santa Rosa Island. Every day I go to my office, I look at my copy of this buck, and thank my lucky stars for that awesome ride we had out there.