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Posted on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

Mill Creek buck pole in Dexter beginning to fill on first day of firearm season

By Lisa Allmendinger


By early evening Tuesday, six deer were hung at the Mill Creek Sport Center buck pole outside downtown Dexter. Here are some of them.

Lisa Allmendinger |

Related: Send in your photos for the Virtual Buck Pole

Despite the mild weather Tuesday afternoon, there were six deer hanging from the Mill Creek Sport Center buck pole just outside downtown Dexter as the first day of deer firearm season drew to a close.

“It’s supposed to get cold tonight and tomorrow, and we expect a lot more,” said Maureen Heikkinen, general manager of Mill Creek, who said many times hunters wait until the sun has set to arrive.

Hunters tend not to hang their deer if the temperatures get too warm because they don’t want the meat to spoil. And several at the buck pole were stuffed with bags of ice to keep the meat cool.

She said there have been 40 to 50 hanging from the pole at one time, but the hunters are only required to keep them there for 24 hours to get a raffle ticket for the drawing held at the sport center.


Maureen Heikkinen, general manager of Mill Creek Sport Center, stands between two bucks at the buck pole.

Lisa Allmendinger |

“It’s about promoting ethical hunting as a whole, not about the biggest buck. People feed their families with them,” she said.

First to arrive on the pole was a button buck shot by 10-year-old Joey Ferullo of Ypsilanti. It was his first deer.

“We tried to hang it by the antlers, but since it was a button buck … (a young male with small lumps where the antlers normally are),” she said. “You can see, we did the best they could. “

Max Mason, 13, of Chelsea, also shot his first deer, and it went up later in the evening adding to the total.

Glen Bolling of Ann Arbor, the sport center’s gunsmith, said he was busy mounting scopes, cleaning and making repairs for the last six weeks. “I saw a lot more older guns this year,” he said.

Mill Creek has been in business just outside downtown Dexter since 1948, and Heikkinen said 2,000 to 3,000 people stop by to see the bucks during the three days that the pole is up.

Today, the opening day of firearm season was the first day.

“So many people come and go,” she said, adding that there is not only a fence around the property but also a guard on duty all night so the deer aren't disturbed.

People stop and take photos throughout the day and night and sometimes they just honk their horns, she said.

“It’s been said that during hunting season, it’s the third largest Army that’s out in the woods,” she said.

The largest buck Heikkinen and Bolling could remember had 22 points on its antlers.

“Eight-, 10-, 12-pointers are pretty normal,” Heikkinen said of the bucks that are brought for display and hung on the pole.

The deer firearm season runs through Nov. 30.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Dexter stories, visit our Dexter page.



Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

It is rather flabbergasting that you find people complaining about photos of deer hanging on a Dexter buck pole. These people are disenfranchised from the natural earth environment that we all spring from. I suppose they think our human ancestors went around snacking on flower petals and trying to avoid having to .........heaven forbid, kill something to eat. No wonder kids grow up with distorted ideas about life and the struggle for survival. Grow up jokers, and face the fact that we are a race of meat eaters and always will be. Do some folks really want the deer herd population to rise unchecked so that there are more and more car/deer collisions and increased destruction of the environment by starving hordes of unhunted deer? Get with it!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 9:43 p.m.

No, no, Dexterdriver, they ARE connected with the Earth - through yoga, Whole Foods, and their Prius.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

This is so know...


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

I'm a card carrying animal lover but I have no problem with the buck pole story. Living in a rural area, I have seen my fill of dead deer by the side of the road. The worst was when I was going down the road last spring and saw what I thought was a dead squirrel in the road. Coming back later from the other direction, I saw the same animal but also its long legs -- it was a newborn fawn. I don't want to see that again. No offense to squirrels. Where I live the place is overrun with deer, too many for their own good. Happy hunting!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:28 p.m.

' He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." Immanuel Kant

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

"Anyone who things thinks are totally black or white can't carry much credence in my mind" Does that go for black-and-white opinions about baiting as well?

Down Home Dixie

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

I like the Kant quote and the quote from good ol' Ted. There is a huge difference between animal abuse and hunting, just as there are poachers and hunters. I would never put a hunter in the same category as someone who fights animals. Besides I'd rather hunt my burger then buy it from a grocery store, far less bacteria and I get some exercise :)


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

...and what Ted Nugent says carries no weight with me. Anyone who things thinks are totally black or white can't carry much credence in my mind --- liberal or conservative.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

Let try to get MY point across. The censors are sooo sensitive. What Immanuel Kent says carries no weight with me.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

WHAT was wrong with a quote from Ted Nugent ???? "Whenever I donate a hunting trip for the Children's Leukemia Foundation, Ronald McDonald Cancer House, all these children's charities, I offer the anti-hunters an opportunity: if you donate more to the children's charity than the hunters donate we won't go hunting." Ted Nugent quote

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:10 a.m.

I agree, and that's why we should not allow these animals to die of sickness, starvation and collisions with cars. By the way, your current home is on land that was previously animal habitat. You have displaced animals from their homes. Why do you treat animals with such cruelty?

Huron 74

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

People who eat meat and are bothered by this picture are two faced. Go to a slaughterhouse where they make your ham, bacon, chicken, steaks or hamburgers. There are 1000's of animals hung up like this every day. Besides, the picture wasn't on the main page, you must have clicked the link, so what are you whining about?


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

It was for a brief time. They took it down.

Down Home Dixie

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Reading through the various comments they have made me laugh. Seeing the ignorance about hunting is quite funny to me, especially when people are so strongly upset but yet have not even taken the time to realize they are upset for false reasons. Any hunter I know doesn't just kill an animal to kill it and they most certainly don't cheer to those who abuse hunting, because it ruins hunting. Those people are called "poachers" not hunters and should not be confused. Hunting helps to control the deer population, feed families and gives people a way to bond, so I'm not seeing the part in this that's bad. For those that say it is the killing of a sweet, innocent little animal that had no chance, I am 110% certain that the deer not only had much more of a chance of living, but also had a much happier life then any animal that is on your dinner plate. Death by hunter is also much more humane then death by car or starvation. For those who say the the buck pole is gruesome and could harm children, because of what can be seen, then the way in which we process animals for the general population, that is unseen, along with what is in our meat that is unseen, would certainly blow your mind. I'd suggest watching Food, Inc. for an inside look at the way the food in our stores is made, it is a fantastic documentary (available on Netflix) and uses fact over shock factor. Another good one is the show produced by\mission of Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution. On a side note related to that, the meat from a deer is much healthier, being low in fat, not washed in amonia or pumped full of growth hormones, as meat from the store is, but I'm getting off track. Overall, the best lesson anyone could learn from this is to just make sure you are educated on every side of what you are arguing before trying to make a point yourself. Oh and the fact that hunting and the dear pole is not evil :) Congrats Hunters! Enjoy those backstraps for me!!!

Down Home Dixie

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

"soul stay in." :)

Down Home Dixie

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

justcurious- apperently you are the one lacking reading people's comments because the entire "EAT IT" comment is as follows: "Good god, please, that is not something I want to see. If you are going to hunt an animal the least you could do is EAT IT instead of just killing it for killing sake. I can get a 8 point buck too, with my car. It's not that hard." (Which is the 3rd comment in the All Comments section) They are obviously talking about the deer hanging on the buck pole not left in a field. The person not knowing what the point of this is, simply needs to be educated on what the buck pole is and the fact that hunters eat their kill, poachers don't. (As I stated in my first comment.) If you don't use what you kill, even if you have legal tags to kill it, in my eyes you are a poacher not a hunter. I'm sure the DNR has data on all of that, if someone is worried that those who pay for the tags and hunt legally are leaving their kills behind to waste. I'm personally pro-seeing my food from field to dinner plate, so there is no mystery on what is all up in there & if that means seeing a deer, cow or whatever hanging on a pole so be it! I'd rather see a deer on a pole then rotting on the side of the road. Again that's the least that a person needs to turn their nose up at these days. Heck I enjoy seeing the posts from my friends on facebook who put up their kills! They are taking pride in what they got to bag. I enjoy laughing at people who don't want to become "unignorant" and freak out about something they are choosing not to even learn about, or support something only half way, enjoying the benefits something will bring, but wanting to ignore the process. I'm cool with being blessed. There is enough hate in this world that we could all use a little blessing now and again, even if you don't beleive in any higher power you can take it as a person wishing you good fortune. Or just thank them because you sneezed & they helped your s


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Justcurious you are a riot! Umm if you support hunting, GUTTING is a PART of HUNTING. Otherwise the meat rots and you've only shot the animal for sport, cuz you are not gonna be eating it. So yes I find it hysterically funny that you say you are not anti hunting but the gutting of the animal so it can be consumed is offensive to you. Geeze Louise!


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

RuralMom - YOU find it "hysterically funny". There is no connection between supporting hunting and liking to see dead gutted deer hanging on the front page of You can not speak for all hunters in that regard. I wouldn't like to see a dead anything on the front page, but that is my opinion. Katie, re: the "EAT IT" comment, maybe that person assumes that some deer won't be eaten and will just be left in the field. Maybe that happens. I don't have any data, do you? lee miserables - the "bless you" comment is just silly and over the top. These are all my opinions and you are welcome to yours too.

Down Home Dixie

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

Pretty sure I did bother to read all the comments but think what you will. For example, part of my posting was a response to this comment "If you are going to hunt an animal the least you could do is EAT IT instead of just killing it for killing sake." So sorry that I felt the need to put a few statements in that were pro-hunting. I'm also pretty sure nothing in my post says anything about me thinking anyone is anti-hunting. I'm just asking people to educate themselves more on things they have issues with so they can understand them, such things as the purpose of the buck pole and why hunters do such things. I was also stating that I think we need to educate ourselves in what we eat and the buck pole "gruesomeness" should be the least of people's worries. People tend to freak out about what they don't understand, as apperently you did with my comment. I have no problem with free speech, it is everyone's right to state their opinion, I was just asking for people to take the time to research things so that their opinions have factual basis to back them up and not just hot air backed up by emotions.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

Justcurious some of us find it hysterically funny that people are SAYING they endorse Hunting, yet OBJECTING to SEEING its outcome. Basically its says I am Pro Hunting as long as I don't have to SEE the RESULTS. While the rest of us know what we are endorsing and the reality of it is not offensive.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

It's all been said before if you had bothered to read other people's comments. I will repeat..NO ONE ON HERE SAID THEY WERE AGAINST HUNTING. You are fencing with a ghost...they aren't here. The original objections were to the dead deer hanging on the buck pole on the front page. People have a right to object to that. Free speech.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

Wait wait wait... for those who say they won't show this picture to their children, how do you explain the far more graphic dead dear alongside the freeway? Oh, I know, your kids' faces are glued to the DVD screens on the back of the headrests.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

What's there to explain. It's a sad death. period.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

If someone chooses to be a vegetarian who eats only from a home garden and is opposed to hunting, I have no problem with that. However, some of us choose to acknowledge where meat comes from and to accept that responsibility head-on, rather than relying solely on others to present it to us in a cellophane-wrapped package, as if it's just another consumer product, rather than the deceased being that it is. The human animal is an omnivore -except for the very small percentage who choose not to be, which is fine - and therefore consumes the meat of other species as a part of its diet. I take absolutely no joy in the killing part of hunting. I do enjoy the pursuit of putting my wilderness abilities up against the very acute senses of deer. And no, its not easy. Hitting it with your car is an accident, not a hunt. While some find the buck pole disturbing, its purpose is not to show off trophies. It allows the meat to age, just as a butcher would with beef. Public buck poles allow hunters to congregate and avoid hanging them in the back yard where close neighbors may be offended, for whatever reason. A wild deer is the ultimate free-range meat. I have nothing but respect for the animal's senses, and I take no pleasure in killing it, but I enjoy eating it and knowing exactly where my food comes from and that it contains no artificial hormones, and that it lived its life free until died, rather than standing up to its hocks in its own feces as do some feedlot steers, which some you may only know as "ground chuck."


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

Good post.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

When I see that picture, I see 6 fewer car accidents taking place, and 6 families that get to eat delicious venison. If anyone feels the photo is too traumatizing for their children, you should immediately block all the nature shows on PBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, or any other network that shows animals being killed and eaten by other animals. Come to think of it, if your children are young enough to be traumatized by viewing these photos, why are you even letting them surf the internet?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

The speeding distracted driver has nothing to do with the deer/car accidents? Those darned deer, why don't they cross where their supposed to - at the "deer crossing" sign!! I don't care much for venison. It stuck to the roof of my mouth when it got cold as a child. Yuck! Give me game birds anyday.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

I support hunting, the right to bear arms, eating meat and these photos. I am female. Please shoot more deer.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Please point me in the direction of one post here that said they were against hunting. Also point me to one serious post that said that it " somehow "traumatize(s)" female children. I'm thinking people are going over the top in the opposite direction here. I object to the modern methods of hunting when deer are abundant. To me these folks aren't actually hunting, they are baiting deer with food, sitting in blinds and ambushing the deer and then showing off their trophy as if they had been hunting. Let's be honest here. Deer have two main predators down here - people with guns or bows and the car. That's a given. I'm not sure about the deer starvation statistics in southeastern Michigan. I would imagine that it varies year by year. Let's not get all romantic about the mighty hunter bringing venison to the table.

Down Home Dixie

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

Best lock my car up at night, did not know it had such preditory nature! Kind of reminds me of that Family Guy episode with the firetruck and the gazelle :)


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

justcurious How many years have you hunted? Until then PLEASE don't lecture those of us that know about hunting. Do you have any idea how many deer coyotes take? And what do you consider hunting. Sitting under a tree at the edge of a cornfield? Spot and stalk is my preferred method. BUT it takes more than 10 acres to accomplish that and most hunter do not have access to much more than that.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

Rabid, I'm afraid you are the one who's wrong about baiting. The DNR reinstated it in June saying it could be re-started on Oct. 1st. <a href=",1607,7-153--257664--,00.html" rel='nofollow'>,1607,7-153--257664--,00.html</a> I actually did hunt with my father in my younger years. He gave me a 22/410. Nice little gun. My brother has it now. I am out in the woods as often as I can year round. Love nature. You'll find us every Sunday walking in the woods with our dogs. I have some pictures on Flickr if you'd like to see 'em. Won an &quot;award&quot; on with one just Monday. It's very enjoyable to be out there in the woods when it's not hunting season too. As far as Joe_Citizen's post - I think he was pulling your leg.

Rabid Wolverine

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

Here's the serious post that you were asking about. ------------- Joe_Citizen at 10:37 PM on November 15, 2011 This comment is hidden because you have chosen to ignore Joe_Citizen . Show DetailsHide Details Yeah, my kids, especially the females can't handle this kind of thing at all. Why would you post such a picture/s in such a widely based column as this. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Please take down the dead animals, before my girls see them. If my girls get stress disorder from this thing I will find a way to sue your post. No Joke. ----------

Rabid Wolverine

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

justcurious, You certainly paint a vivid picture..Perhaps you were unaware that it was just late last week that the state approved baiting deer this year. Until then it was illegal to do so. This puts your theories into doubt. Even if the hunter has started baiting the very first day it was finally legalized there is no way it would have created a routine in the deer to constantly come to that spot each day to feed. I am one to guess that you likely have not been in the woods yourself or hunted ever to understand how much effort truely goes into shooting a deer. You make it sound so very simple that it shows the lack of knowledge on your part.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

Rork, good for you. Quite a few baiters judging by the fact that every service station sells it. And yes, the coyotes get some young ones.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:27 p.m.

bunnyabbot - we feed them tons of corn and soybeans. Why do you think there are so many. When did you see an emaciated deer around here that wasn't sick?

Rork Kuick

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:24 p.m.

Blinds are an abomination, as are hiding behind trees, brush or logs. Almost as bad is wearing subdued colors or *gasp* camouflage. Being quiet is for yellow-bellies - ya gotta walk around, preferably whistling. Rifled barrels are only for cowards, as everyone knows, as are these new-fangled cartridge thingies that let you shoot a second round in less than 30 seconds - that's cheating. Heck, those stinking cowards hardly ever get their faces blown off anymore. In my youth hunters were known by their absent eyebrows. Climbing trees is clearly cowardly - are you scared of those deer or something? Fred Bear never used the trees. In fact, unless you made the bow using neolithic local tools and the string from rattlesnake master fibers, with handmade wood shafts and flint points you are just yellow through and through. Besides sarcasm I offer: Winter kill is essentially unknown here. The coyotes probably kill some deer too, perhaps mostly young, and I am OK with that. I'm not sure how many hunters bait - but maybe less than you think (for me there's no point since I never use the same spot twice).


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

it's also horrible to see a deer emanciated from starvation due to lack of food/overpopulation. It's a slow painful (sad looking) death.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

In regards to man being the only &quot;animal&quot; in nature that hunts for &quot;fun&quot;, I believe, that has been proven false. Wolves are pack hunters and will hunt for &quot;fun.&quot; They do not only prey on the weak and old, they will hunt and leave whole animals to rot. There are multiple reports of wolves killing herd animals like elk, where they only remove their guts or the &quot;baby&quot; elk of a pregnant mother and they do not eat their kill. You can follow debates over wolf hunting in places like Alaska. While wolf hunting is a totally different debate, it shows animals do not only kill out of defense or entirely for sustenance.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

Pet cats hunt for fun. They kill and then sit there and say to themselves, &quot;OK, now what do I do with it? I don't need it for food. Maybe I'll just go drop it on the back step.&quot; And their owners commit trespass by allowing their cats to run around other people's yards.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

I understand people can be against killing animals for killing sake -- but deer are killed and eaten throughout Michigan. They are not wasted. Additionally, if deer hunting wasn't so popular in Michigan, we would face more deer overpopulation than there already is. This would just lead to more automobile -&gt; deer accidents which no one wants. You can disagree with deer hunting -- but it is a necessary 'evil'.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

At least they are not going to starve over the winter , get hit by a car &amp; crawl off to die, or get wounded by a bullet &amp; the hunter can't find the deer, so it bleeds to death. Wake up &amp; grow up folks. It's part of nature.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

I would rather read about and have my children read about hunting than most of what passes for news these days: Penn State's debacle, the trials and tribulations of various personalities, or a 72 day marriage. Hunting is a normal, useful, healthy activity; that it can be considered distasteful or abhorrent by so many while the truly ugly aspects of life are paraded in the media for the prurient interest of the masses is deplorable.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

I support hunting deer for food. I am really disappointed in for posting this graphic photo of gutted deer just to satisfy those people that take great delight in seeing wildlife that has been killed, gutted and then hung for no other purpose than to brag about it. If you have to allow hunters an opportunity to brag - why not show the less offensive photos of the hunter with just the raised head or something. I eat meat. I know cows and pigs die for my burger and bacon...are you going to go to a slaughterhouse and take photos for publication of the dead cows and pigs being gutted? Surely there are some prize winning 4-H cows or pigs you can find for this...maybe the child that raised it would like to pose with it (I know the fair is in the summer, but as evidenced by this photo - just stuff the stomach cavity with ice). Why don't you just put these graphic photos on a special site so that people that don't enjoy looking at them aren't offended and people that enjoy them can go look?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Or if it offends you dont clink on the link. You think you can handle that?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

To all of you that stress out over seeing the Buck Pole; how do you handle driving around and seeing all of the dead deer along the side of the road?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

I'm sure it makes them sad. What do you think?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Good job hunters! What most don't know is that deer are an invasive species in Michigan. My father told me &quot;when he was a boy Michigan did not have this large a population of deer.&quot; Deer populations grew only as a result of deforestation, farming and the creation of the DNR. I must admit I've never been a troupe hunter, only hunting for meat. To me hanging a deer head on the wall is disrespectful to my brothers and sisters of the forest. It's kind of like a grown man or women collecting dolls. For those of you non-hunters out there, please be respectful of privet property, and don't shoot the road signs. It only takes a few idiots to give hunting a bad name. What I would like to see is a "groundhog pole." Good hunting!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

When your father was a boy, and up into the 70's there were fewer deer. But they did not bait deer or use blinds to ambush the deer either. Since there are so many deer, why do these so called hunters use these cowardly methods? How many hunters do any target practice before going out into the fields? How many deer are wounded and left to die? Just some thought on the new way of &quot;hunting&quot; deer.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

For those that find the photos of the buck pole disturbing, go take a look at a slaughterhouse, or a giant commercial farm housing thousands of chickens, pigs, or cattle. You buy your pink slime hamburger at the store, not knowing that it's been contaminated with E.coli, various chemicals, and hormones. Your chicken nuggets look so cute in those boxes. My point is that 90% of the people have a complete disconnect between what's on their plate and the animal that died for their food. We can debate the pros and cons of hunting methods, but I have no problem with someone killing their own food. The buck pole is more noble than the people munching away on their burgers and Mcnuggets whining about seeing a dead animal.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

&quot;take a look at a slaughterhouse, or a giant commercial farm housing thousands of chickens, pigs, or cattle. You buy your pink slime hamburger at the store, not knowing that it's been contaminated with E.coli, various chemicals, and hormones. Your chicken nuggets look so cute in those boxes.&quot; What makes you think that the people on here don't know these things? Many people can't afford to eat meat, eggs and dairy from animal friendly operations. And, many, if not most on here, can afford to feed their families without &quot;hunting&quot;. The point is, did not post pictures of a slaughterhouse, or chicken farm. They posted photos of deer with their guts cut out.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Personally I am just grateful for it being a celebration of the Hunter's good harvest, instead of it being a human killed and their blood spilled on the street. Please people you children see more graphically violent commercials on TV! You don't like it don't look, but don't tread on others right to feed their families!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

I see the buck pole as a celebration of life, a sign that we will be able to feed our familys over the winter. And to the sacrifice the deer made so we can live on. But I guess its all good if we dont know were our meat come from.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

Modern deer hunting. <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;v=hUqOL08XI_c</a> .


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : noon

&quot;I am very disappointed to find such a controversial picture right at the top of the front page of I purposely avoid driving past the Buck Pole with my children in the car&quot; LOL Do you also avoid the meat counter at the super market when your kids are with you? You do realize all that meat is also dead animals?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

it is probably much safer to eat a fresh kill/ processed deer meat (most places work with small amounts at a time) however the meat at a grocers is processed in larger quantities, more likely to have cross contamination and poor quality control, that and it is more likely to be improperly handled/stored/kept at some point along the chain to the meat counter. Why do you think so many people perfer smaller butcher shops to large chains.

Lt. Burgundy

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

@Torey, many of these same meat processes are practiced by deer/wildgame hunters. They bring me a variety of meats to cook and enjoy. What you should consider is how much time and money these people spend in order to provide meat for the dinner. Some that I know even have more than they need so they donate to food banks and shelters. Try touring a chicken processor or cattle slaughter house then head back to your local grocery store. Maybe your 4 y.o. is more ready than you think, after all, Turkey day is fast approaching and a freshly slaughtered (never frozen) bird tastes a whole lot better.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

&quot;However, the meat at the grocery store doesn't have a face and it doesn't look like it's meant to pet and snuggled. &quot; Well it did have a face until someone cut it off! And when was the last time you petted or snuggled a deer? I bet you havn't, cause they are wild animals that would most likely you put you in a hospital if you tried.

Torey Madura

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Nope. We buy meat at the Supermarket, and we eat venison that our friends bring us. However, the meat at the grocery store doesn't have a face and it doesn't look like it's meant to pet and snuggled. I have no trouble with the idea that we eat meat, and that in order to obtain that meat someone has to kill an animal. It's just not a conversation that I think I need to have with my 4-year-old just yet.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:02 a.m.

Posts implying that photos of harvested deer somehow &quot;traumatize&quot; female children are kinda over the top. My daughter learned at age five that venison dishes are one of her favorites and always encouraged me to go out and bring back a buck. She also thanked me for never asking her to go hunting: she understands as I do that hunting is for some folks but not for others. I myself learned how to hunt and to butcher wild game - by the age of eight. It's more about raising urbanized (insulated) children than it is about &quot;brutality&quot; or &quot;traumatizing.&quot; All one has to do is to get acquainted with (increasingly rare) kids who are growing up on a farm or just in more natural areas. So to assume that this or any such coverage of hunting is somehow an &quot;automatic crime&quot; to be fought with law suits isn't, lets just say, &quot;reasonable.&quot; Scientific proof exists: humans have been hunting and killing and eating meat for as long as our species has existed. This activity is not going to go away because of some contrived ideological &quot;moral objection.&quot; Lisa Allmendinger: More deer pole photos, please. Many of us appreciate your efforts in this regard. :-)


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Those are your girls, and your warped values system. I never said anything about eating meat, but a posted picture of Bambi's hanging with their chest wide open is not what I believe is good family content.

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:34 a.m.

I'm all for hunting, as long as you eat what you shoot. And, venison is darn tasty. PETA, as far as I'm concerned, is a radical organization. I'm all for minimizing animal cruelty, but when an organization like PETA subjugates women to make its point (&quot;I'd rather go naked than wear fur&quot;), it loses all impact with me. Speaking from a dental perspective....people ARE meant to eat meat. That's why we have incisors and canines. Go vegan or vegetarian if you want. By all means, do it if you're that passionate about it. But....DO NOT stop people who want to eat meat from doing so. Argue all you want, but I'll never ever believe that humans aren't made to be at least partly carnivorous. If and when we evolve away from our incisor/canine teeth then.....sure. I'll go vegetarian. Until then, I refuse to believe that meat is not part of a balanced, healthy diet. And.....venison. YUM. It's a GOOD thing.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

bacon wrapped backstraps, pan seared in a lava hot cast iron skillet with butter and onions, cooked to a nice medium and you will see God!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

add bacon to venison, it goes from GOOD to orgasmic


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:53 a.m.

I understand that deer hunting is a big tradition in Michigan, and why the paper feels compelled to cover it. What I can't understand for the life of me (no pun intended), is how anyone can derive any pleasure whatsoever from taking the life of another being.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

actually, one can say that eating anything ends a life, yet food produces energy and waste. Both of which create life in a way either directly or by sustaining an organism. So really, nothing killed for food really dies in finite it just changes form/path


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

&quot;Eating ANYTHING ends a life.&quot; Really? Anything? Hunt all you want and certainly eat what you kill (all of it by the way) but let us not distort the natural world with hyperbole. In the plant world eating fruit does not kill the tree or prevent the seeds from becoming new trees. Eating perennials, like asparagus and many of our herbs, does not kill the plant. And harvesting the plant mass from annuals, like broccoli, is also not the cause of its death, its an annual. In the animal world there are even animals with regenerative properties. Harvesting stone crab claws, for example, does not kill the crab; they grow back. The body of the crab is almost never eaten.

Lt. Burgundy

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

I am not a hunter. I do however have dozens of friends and acquantances that hunt and when you here them talk about &quot;the hunt&quot; it's the time and prep involved that they thrive on. The planning of a hunt location, the checking of tree stands and migration patterns, the choices of food taken by the deer. These are all factors that play out every year, no matter what the actual harvest is. The thrill of the kill is only a brief moment within months of hunting and planning. They also provide a lot of money to this entire state. This tradition is not just old but very neccessary in our state.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

I agree.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:44 a.m.

As Urban Sombrero points out: what you say suggests that you've acquired an amorphous, undifferentiated picture of what &quot;a being&quot; really is. How this is possible, I can't imagine. But just FYI: living beings are differentiated according to kind. In the case of deer: these are prey animals essential to ecological balance. Killing &amp; eating them is: good, necessary and positive in all regards. Human hunters are credited with the survival of human beings. Predators and prey: get it?

Urban Sombrero

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:44 a.m.

Eating ANYTHING ends a life. Plant, animal, whatever. Something dies when you eat it.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

I remember when there was a big bruhaha in the Ann Arbor news about the buck pole. I thought it was a hoot then and I think it is a hoot now. Get over it. I'm a little disappointed in for not being more original, but I do appreciate the stirring of the pot. BTW, what makes any of you think that this meat won't be eaten? I would be shocked if any of these animals were not butchered.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

usually they chop the head off and tie it up by its hind quarters for meat, you want it to bleed out without brain juices getting into the meat. (&quot;waisting disease&quot;) ah, it's messy but very worth the backstraps :) I'm hungry now!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

Thanks for the photo and article, Lisa. I've just forwarded that magnificent photo to several friends on three other continents.I suspect it will confirm all they need to know about our American values.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

Yeah, my kids, especially the females can't handle this kind of thing at all. Why would you post such a picture/s in such a widely based column as this. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Please take down the dead animals, before my girls see them. If my girls get stress disorder from this thing I will find a way to sue your post. No Joke.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

I did not say the boys were not effected, but MY girls are very young and will have a hard time understanding the dead Bambi's on the post. So, read carefully and you will see &quot;especially the girls of my family. People read what they want, but only get what they want for they can throw daggers.

Down Home Dixie

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

Oh yes, though of another situation some would call &quot;gruesome&quot; where many a MAN has fainted at the sight, much blood is involved, many people record or take pictures of it as's called childbirth.... That's handled by women, no weak sauce there my friend.

sun runner

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

Do you also cover their sensitive eyes every time you pass a deer that has been killed by a car and is now lying on the side of the road with a murder of crows pecking at its carcass? If your children are going to get post-traumatic stress disorder from seeing a picture of a dead deer...well...maybe you just shouldn't have the Internet in your house at all.

Down Home Dixie

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

&quot;especially the females can't handle this kind of thing at all.&quot; Why is that? I am a female and find this remark to be a bit on the sexist side. There are female hunters, the person who wrote this article was female and the manager of the store picture here is female. So why do you feel your female children would not have the ability to handle such a thing? I was not raised in a hunting family, yet I not only took up hunting but worked in a deer processing\butcher shop where we also processed farm animals. Is it the death? The blood? That it was bambi at one point? What makes a boy &quot;handle&quot; it better then a girl? It seems a bit discouraging as well, for if you tell your girls that they can not handle such a sight, do you also tell them they couldn't handle working as a nurse, a doctor, an EMT, a police officer or even a vet.? I've also never heard of a picture induced stress disorder either, and I find it hard to beleive that from tv or movies this would be the most graphic &quot;picture of death&quot; your girls have the possibility to be exposed to. Women aren't weak flowers.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Its ashamed that your kids are so sheltered and shielded. My 9 year old daughter could and would field dress a deer (just like the ones hanging on the buck pole in the pics). My 5 year old daughter can and does fillet bluegill, perch and walleye. Its not mine,'s or anyone else (except one person) that has posted here that your kids can't handle this thing at all. LOL


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

you as a parent should monitor your children online anyway, if you deem the images to tramatic for them than block them from the website or read the news together. Of course discussing it with them would be better, as in, &quot;where do you think food comes from anyway?&quot; perhaps they should be reading a book anyways.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

What about bad accidents in the news or all the SEX on TV. Get real

Lt. Burgundy

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

well, you are entitled to your thoughts, but why take it over the top? Maybe your profile picture is just as disturbing, but I will not ask you to change it or be sued.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

Yummo, someone pass the Franks hotsauce

Paula Gardner

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

Thanks to readers who appreciate the coverage - and also who raised questions about the photos. We'd planned to run this for some time this afternoon before swapping out the featured top story for another, and I just made that change because I received a photo I was waiting for. We do recognize that everyone doesn't appreciate photos of the buck pole. But given the prominence of the firearms season in Michigan, we're also seeking reader-submitted photos of their deer so that hunters from our area can show them off: <a href=""></a> If you'd like to see more deer photos, please watch for the post with the results in the next week or so.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

don't give in to the whiners on this.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

I am not a hunter, but I do eat meat. I have no problem with the article or the photos. It is important for people to remember that hunting and eating meat is part of life; that those who hunt properly are continuing a long and valuable tradition; that this is normal. Those who do not eat meat can just as easily avoid the article and photos -- nothing is being forced on them or anyone else.

Berda Green

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:21 a.m.

love deer meat


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

low in cholesterol:)


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

Great reporting!

wolfman jack

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

Nice line of deer. Congrats to all. Good hunts. Also - thanks to Nice bit. Quilt shows and drum circles are fine for some. This is for the rest of us. If they were not meant to be fleeced, they would not have been made as sheep.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

Maybe AA.COM could have showed a picture of a Buck actively getting gutted. That would have had even more WOW power.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 12:58 a.m.

mermaid I would venture to guess that you have watched your share of blood and guts movies.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

You are pretty callous, what is &quot;WOW&quot; about blood &amp; guts?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

Get a life people. Hunting is a way of providing for oneself and their family and also an opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy nature. At least these animals had the opportunity to live their life as nature intended, not penned up in some farmers ranch... Think about that next time you take a bite of your hamburger or steak, or chicken... BTW, there's nothing wrong with these pictures. Circle of life.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

justcurious When you find enough acreage to &quot;hunt&quot; as you describe it most hunters will be happy to oblige you. Not easy to spot and stalk on 10 acres.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Who says they won't be eaten? Butchers are more than a little busy at the moment. They're just waiting in line. and I'd say they're waiting very patiently.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

@ Charlie Brown's Ghost - most part of &quot;nature&quot; doesn't go out and kill something and leave it hanging from a pole. They EAT IT. Or they kill it to protect their young. There is nothing in nature that just kills something for fun...oh, wait. You're right. I forgot about humans. Silly me. Enjoy your dead deer trophy. Be sure to cut off its head and mount it on your wall so at least it didn't go to waste!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

I'm amazed at how many people miss the point that humans are a part of nature. This is completely natural. We are part of the food chain.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

Sure, how many deer are actually hunted anymore, versus getting shot over a bait pile or ambushed from a blind? Might as well shoot a cow over a pile of grain.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

I agree with your point about the animals being able to live their lives as nature intended. I've come to terms with hunting for food, it's seeing animals displayed as trophies that I have a problem with. And by the way, you can get outdoors and enjoy nature without killing/dominating it.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

Thank you for covering the deer season opener. Buck poles are a MI tradition and I am glad to see it covered here. Not sure how these pictures are any more graphic then a butcher's shops or meat department full of meat!

Torey Madura

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

While I have no issue with hunting and using the meat to feed a family, I am very disappointed to find such a controversial picture right at the top of the front page of I purposely avoid driving past the Buck Pole with my children in the car, but there is the image of hanging dead animals popping up when I pull up the local news. Thankfully my children weren't sitting beside me this time, but that could have been a very difficult conversation with my 4-year-old. Very disappointing.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

I agree. Kids need to know where their burger comes from. Used to be all kids knew that, and the answer wasn't the supermarket. We don't hide it from our kids. Some of them object, but not enough to become vegans, which is an option we have given them for moral objectors. Apparently bacon is just not worth that price.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

It could have sparked an interesting and instructive conversation with your 4-year old about where our food comes from, about life cycles and different choices that people make. It's not too late.

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:19 a.m.

These are very disturbing images - reminisce of the people that murder innocent animals, photograph them and publish them.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

This is tradition as old as the country. Some of these &quot;innocent animals&quot; have been responsible for the death of drivers, damage to automobiles, and destruction of landscaping. The hunting season brings their numbers down to a somewhat reasonable number in the area.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

Despite coming from a hunting family, I think Ms. Allmendinger's photo could have been shot with more sensitivity for the demographics of the website. It's kind of &quot;in your face&quot; in my opinion and unnecessarily so. Even a different angle could have been used. I don't think the Ann Arbor News failed to use discretion when featuring the buck pole like this article does.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

Id rather not see this picture front and center of


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

then don't look


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.

Then why did you click on the link to this story? You need to take some responsibility for your actions


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

Dont look then.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

Good god, please, that is not something I want to see. If you are going to hunt an animal the least you could do is EAT IT instead of just killing it for killing sake. I can get a 8 point buck too, with my car. It's not that hard.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

What are you talking about, who said they are not going to eat these deer?

Smart Logic

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 10:41 a.m.

You uh, do realize that these will be processed and eaten.... right?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

I'm guessing yesterday's hunting article didn't stir the pot enough. Had to turn it up a notch.

Hot Sam

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

Not to mention a photograph to put the Peta types in a tiz:-)

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:12 a.m.

Mmmmmmm....... Those deer look very tasty.