Hunting 365: Path to deer hunting's typical throne


Whether or not Bob Decker's huge Wisconsin buck ascends to deer hunting's typical throne as either the Boone & Crockett Club and/or the Pope & Young Club archery world record remains to be seen.

Especially since there is much Internet speculation about whether or not symmetry differences and the potential for abnormal point declarations by official measurers could eventually end up wrecking this deer's score as a typical.

If they don't and the buck is in fact declared a typical whitetail in the lofty neighborhood of world record status, what awaits the Decker buck over the next few months?

First, the buck must go through a mandatory drying period, according to Keith Balfourd of the Boone & Crockett Club.

"The buck must go through the 60-day drying period before it can be officially scored," Balfourd said. "After that, Bob would need to take it to an official measurer.

"Once he takes it in and gets it officially scored and fills out the entry paperwork, then that entry paperwork will get processed by the (B&C) records department.

"If the file is complete, then the trophy will be accepted. If not, the records department will send out a request for any missing materials."

At that point, assuming the score is in the world record category or the buck is a Top 10 candidate for the current B&C awards period, then the real fun would begin for the Decker buck.

"From there, if it is still looking like what some think that this buck will score, it would probably be invited to the 27th awards banquet in June 2010," Balfourd said.

Why so long? Because the 27th awards period doesn't actually close until Dec. 31, 2009 according to Balfourd.

Because of the length of time until that next awards banquet occurs, Balfourd said that another option could be exercised by the B&C Club.

"If there is a world record, then a special judge's panel can be convened at the Club's discretion," he said. "That happened as recently as 2000 for a record bighorn (whose entry was received) right after the close of an awards period."

Balfourd also mentioned that because Decker killed this buck with a bow, that makes the deer eligible for the Pope & Young Club's world record mark if it scores high enough.

For the record, the current Boone & Crockett Club world record typical buck was taken by Biggar, Saskatchewan farmer/hunter Milo Hansen on Nov. 23, 1993.

The huge typical buck was given a final net score of 213 5/8 inches and declared the B&C world record typical whitetail after undergoing the process described above.

The world record typical bow kill in the Pope & Young Club's record book was taken on Oct. 29, 1965 by Peoria, Ill., archer Mel Johnson. That huge Illinois buck has a net typical score of 204 4/8 inches.

Will the Decker buck surpass either mark? Balfourd isn't sure.

"I don't know if it is or isn't (a potential world record)," he said. "It's kind of hard to tell from the photos. And it hard to know what it will score from the video due to the distance, the fact that the buck was still in velvet, etc."

"The tape will tell us (though)."