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Offline Pack93z  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:25:03 PM(UTC)

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A buddy of mine went to see pictures of this buck and actually got to see the animal.. he said pictures don't do it justice.

Anyway... what a dandy.. he took a couple of pictures.. so if he sends them I will post.

The Video this summer

An Eau Claire bowhunter harvested a white-tailed buck Saturday in Buffalo County that is garnering national attention as a potential world record. [img_r][/img_r]

In what is unfolding as something of a storybook script, Bob Decker of Eau Claire - a paper mill worker described by friends as just an average guy who likes to hunt - ventured to the woods near Mondovi for his first hunt of the 2008 archery season.

Hunting on land he leases with friends, Decker had taken antlerless deer and small bucks in recent seasons but no trophies. So you can imagine his pleasant surprise when the first deer to come along on his first morning of hunting was a large buck.

Immediately deciding it was a "shooter," Decker watched the deer walk beneath his tree stand and took a well-placed shot from within 10 yards.

"I knew I shot a nice deer," Decker told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. "I figured I'd shot a good-sized 10-pointer."

Upon recovering the buck, he learned he had misjudged not only the number of points but the size of the rack.

The 16-point buck is a "phenomenal animal," said Jack Dodge, an Eau Claire taxidermist who viewed the buck over the weekend.

"It's too early to say if it's a record, but it's a deer of a lifetime," said Dodge, 58, and owner of Dodge's Taxidermy for 30 years. "And if it's not a record, it's certainly the most popular buck of the year."

Video shot in late summer of a very large buck in a Buffalo County field was posted on several Web sites in recent weeks, including that of Field and Stream. The buck grew to be known as the "Field and Stream" buck.

Conversation in the rumor-rich deer hunting community speculated that the buck is of world-record size. Dodge said he was certain the buck Decker killed is the same as the one in the video.

"That buck from the video is no longer walking around the woods of Buffalo County," Dodge said.

For trophy purposes, deer antlers are measured in inches. A total score is calculated with measurements including spread, beam length and tine length. Antlers are classified as typical or non-typical, depending on the shape and formation.

While declining to reveal the score of Decker's buck, Dodge said it would likely be "around 200 inches." The rack has several tines longer than 13 inches, he said.

According to the Pope and Young Club, the Chatfield, Minn.-based conservation organization that serves as official record keeper of trophy game animals taken with archery equipment, the world-record white-tail deer scored 204 4/8 . The deer was shot by Mel Johnson in Peoria County, Ill., in 1965.

The world-record archery non-typical scored 294; it was shot by Michael Beatty in Greene County, Ohio, in 2000.

Antlers must undergo a 60-day drying period before they can be officially scored.

Dodge estimated that Decker's buck was 3 years old - young for a deer with such massive antlers - based on an examination of the animal's teeth.

"What makes one animal grow so huge and another barely get antlers is one of the things that makes this so fascinating," Dodge said.

Buffalo County has become well-known among deer hunters for its relatively high density of very large bucks. It draws hunters, many of whom pay large fees for guides or access to certain land, from across the nation and beyond.

That's why Dodge said it was so notable that a normal, local hunter harvested the biggest deer in recent memory.

"It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, let me tell you," Dodge said.

Dodge said he was uncertain whether Decker's buck would be ruled as typical or non-typical due to two "stickers," or unusually-shaped points.

He is clear about what Decker should do next.

"I told him to put the deer under lock and key," Dodge said. "It will be attracting a lot of interest."

As for Decker, he appears to be maintaining his modesty.

"I'm not a better hunter after shooting this buck than I was before," he said. "I'm just a very lucky person."

The scoring will play out in the next 60 days.

Record or not, another thing is likely to happen in coming days: The buck will become known as the Decker buck.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

Offline Pack93z  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:30:04 PM(UTC)

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Measuring up? Experts weigh in on trophy buck

By Julian Emerson and Joe Knight
Leader-Telegram staff

Debate about whether the much sought-after Field and Stream buck named for the outdoor magazine is a world-record deer started in earnest 2 1/2 months ago, and speculation about the topic has exploded since Bob Decker bagged the animal Saturday morning.

A Leader-Telegram story Monday detailed how Decker, of Eau Claire, shot the buck while bow hunting in Buffalo County between Modena and Urne. The deer attracted a feverish following among hunters near and far, who dreamed of shooting the animal hunting experts say could be a world-record typical buck.

Hunters and hunting experts who watched a video posted on the Field and Stream Web site in August showing the massive deer meandering through a Buffalo County woods marveled at its antler size. Several experts estimated its antler total could range between 220 and 240 inches, well above the world record typical buck, which measured nearly 214 inches.

Given the buck's startling potential antler measurement, hunters who have seen the buck since Decker shot it also have pondered whether the animal - a 16-pointer weighing 200 pounds when field dressed - is the new world champion.

"It's a phenomenal animal," said Jack Dodge, the 58-year-old owner of Dodge's Taxidermy in Elk Lake. "You only see a deer like that once in a lifetime."

Bloggers on the Field and Stream Web site have posted comments since Decker dashed the hopes of other hunters by taking the buck. Many said they believe the deer's antlers are typical, potentially making it the world record, while others contend the antlers are nontypical, possibly negating the buck's world-trophy status.

Antler classification depends on shape and formation. To be judged as typical, antler tines must come off of each antler's main beam. The tines also must originate on the top half of the beam.

In contrast, nontypical antlers can come in all shapes and sizes, and one side doesn't necessarily resemble the other. Nontypical antlers are much more common than typical ones.

Judges of antlers follow basic rules when deciding between typical and nontypical, but those decisions can be somewhat subjective, Dodge said.

"This could be measured as a typical. I just don't know for sure," said Dodge, who estimates Decker's buck was 3 1/2 years old.

Dodge declined to reveal a score for Decker's buck other than to say it would total somewhere above 200 inches.

Lu and Ken Zimmerman of Spooner, both certified antler scorers, examined photos of Decker's deer Dodge e-mailed them Sunday night.

Viewed from the front, the rack looks typical, but a photo taken from above shows two tines that appear nontypical, Lu Zimmerman said in a phone interview Monday.

Under the rather complicated measuring system scorers use to measure antlers, those tines could work against scoring it as a "typical" rack, she said.

"It's Boone, but it's not the new world record," she said. "If you look at the Milo Hanson buck (the current world record taken in 1993 that scored 213 5/8 inches), you'll see the difference."

Zimmerman said the rack will have to go through a 60-day "drying" period before being officially scored. Antlers this size, which will probably qualify for all of the record books, will be measured by a team of experts.

Dodge said the tines in question may make it a nontypical, but the jury is still out until it is officially scored.

"This is going to have to be looked at by a panel of judges. This won't be decided by one person," he said.

"It's either going to be something that's never been shot before or it's going to be a super-big nontypical," Dodge said. "I don't think Bob will be disappointed either way."

"It's a great animal, and if it's not the biggest, it's certainly the most popular whitetail around, with all the press that Field and Stream gave it," Dodge said.

Zimmerman said the deer likely will qualify for the Wisconsin record book; the Chatfield, Minn.-based Pope and Young Club's record book, which records archery trophies; and the Boone and Crockett Club's record book, which has the highest criteria. Most Boone and Crockett deer are taken with a gun, but archery deer also qualify.

The world record Pope and Young typical white-tailed deer scored 204 1/2 inches. That deer was shot by Mel Johnson in Peoria County, Ill., in 1964.

In 2004 Michael Beatty of Ohio shot the world record archery nontypical deer, which scored 294.

Until the scoring is complete, Dodge gave Decker some advice about the prize antlers: "Keep them in a safe," Dodge said, "and enjoy the attention this is going to bring."
'Pretty overwhelming'

Dodge was right about Decker's prize buck attracting attention. Both his home phone and cell phone have been ringing nearly constantly since Saturday night, often simultaneously.

Decker was besieged by calls during the weekend from friends and family as word of his hunting exploit spread. On Monday the media joined in, creating a nonstop stream of questions about the buck.

On Sunday afternoon, as Decker discussed the buck with a group of hunters, his cell phone spit out musical tones every couple of minutes. Decker's phones continued to ring into the early hours of Monday morning, and after Decker slept for only a few hours the calls about the buck started again.

"It's been pretty overwhelming," Decker said.

Ed Culhane's Monday was similarly busy. The state Department of Natural Resources public information officer said he was inundated with phone calls from media outlets interested in interviewing Decker.

"There certainly is a lot of interest in this deer and this story," Culhane said.
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

Offline dfosterf  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:32:46 PM(UTC)

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Holy crap. 3 1/2 years old? That is an amazing specimen. $$$ cha-ching$$$. Wisconsin tourism revenue... Remember to tell those Bares fans headin' north you have to get out of your car BEFORE you take your shot...
damn skippy I'm an owner. I currently own a full .00001924537805515393 % of the Green Bay Packers.

Offline Cheesey  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 4, 2008 3:33:21 PM(UTC)

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My opinion is that it will be measured as a "non typical". If it is measured as a "typical" the strange points that jut out will actually lower the score, thus putting it well below 200 inches.
For a "typical" to score high it should be as symetrical as possible on both sides.
JMO of course.
Either way, i would be THRILLED to take a buck that big!
Keep us updated on this monster, ok?
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