Crissta Ames

Contributing write

The eighth annual Maple Valley Community Buck Pole took place on Nov. 15, 2018, which created a fun, competitive event for the opening day of this year’s hunting season. There were warm drinks served by Spartan Motors, raffle drawings, and more than $2,000 worth of prizes from a list of sponsors, including a .450 Bushmaster deer rifle, which was taken home by first place winner, Tom Cummings who had an 11-point buck. Duane Eldred, owner of Duey’s Corner in Vermontville and organizer of the buck pole, says this year’s event had the biggest turnout to date. 

“The crowd was the biggest crowd we ever had,” said Eldred. “We ended up with over 30 deer checked in. Once the pole gets filled, it only fits maybe 10. Then we just let them lay around in the back of the pickups.” 

The organization that helped Eldred put the buck pole together for seven years decided to step away this year just a few weeks before the season started. 

“I’ve never been involved with something where people were so eager to help, to make sure it was going to happen.” 

Not only did people step up to help this year through monetary and physical means, but there were people who said to contact them next year for help. 

“There was no way we were not going to have it,” Eldred said. “In Eaton County, ours is the most well attended year-after-year. We appreciate the local community that they felt the need to keep this going. It was just overwhelming.”

The event will happen again in 2019 on opening day. Eldred said he hopes that the buck pole will grow even more in the next few years and would like to thank all of the contributors and sponsors for their help in making the event happen.