Our 38th annual event is officially in the books and prizes have been awarded

Our 38th Annual Big Buck Contest is now in the books and we are pleased to announce this year's winners.

All told, more than two dozen local hunters entered this year's contest, which featured antlered deer harvested within the confines of Wayne and Pike Counties.

The contest began Monday, Nov. 26 and ran through Monday, Dec. 10.

Background

While this year's overall harvest total's won't be available until after the new year, here's a quick glance at some recent numbers.

Hunters harvested an estimated 367,159 deer in 2017-18, which easily topped the overall deer harvest of 333,254 in 2016-17. The harvest decreased in only three units.

The 2017-18 buck harvest totaled 163,750, representing a 10 percent increase over the 2016-17 buck harvest of 149,460.

It is the second largest harvest of bucks since antler restrictions were put in place in 2002. The largest harvest (165,416) occurred in the first year of antler restrictions.

The 2017-18 buck harvest also compares well with big buck harvests in PA since the Game Commission began using calculated harvests in 1986.

From that perspective, the 2017-18 buck harvest ranks as the 10th best.

In what is becoming an annual occurrence, bow hunters accounted for about a third of Pennsylvania’s 2017-18 overall deer harvest, taking 118,110 deer (62,830 bucks and 55,280 antlerless deer) with either bows or crossbows.

The archery harvest also increased 10 percent over 2016-17’s total harvest of 109,250.

The Winners

And so, without further ado, let's meet this year's Big Buck Contest winners.

The 2018 event was divided into two divisions, Youth and Adult, with a different set of prizes for the winner of each.

Owen Hawley is the Youth Division champion.

A 13-year-old resident of Honesdale, Owen bagged a beautiful 10-pointer while hunting in Equinunk, Wayne County. He used a 308 Remington to make the kill from a distance of about 100 yards.

Owen's buck boasts a rack with 23” beams and a spread of nearly 21”. His final score came in at 75.

Prompton's Don Hiller is our Adult Division Winner.

Don harvested a huge 11-pointer while beating the brush in Texas Township, Wayne County. He used a 7mm08 to make the shot from a distance of about 30 yards.

His trophy buck sports beams that measure more than 22” and a span of just over 23”. His final score is 78.

The Prizes

First place overall winner takes $1,064 in prizes this year...

•CW380 ACP pistol from Tommy Gun, $419 Value

•Full Shoulder Mount from Rod’s Taxidermy, $495 Value

•Go Anywhere Grill by Weber from Gumble Brothers, $50 Value

•$25 Gift Certificate(s) to Delaware Valley Farm & Garden

•$25 Gift Certificate(s) to Blooming Grove Tavern

•$25 gift certificate to Two River Junction

•20 percent off Venison Processing from Waymart Deli

Top Youth Prize Package this year is $475 in prizes...

•Free Shoulder Mount from Hill Top Taxidermy ($450 Value) for largest buck taken by any hunter 16 years of age or younger.

•20 percent off Venison Processing from Waymart Deli.