3 Top Bucks of 2012

Today’s blog comes from Mike Hanback of Big Deer TV.  Mike has been writing about whitetails since the 1990′s and is considered by many as an expert on the subject.  For more information about Mike, you can follow him on Twitter, find him on Facebook or visit his website at www.mikehanback.com

Through my blog and other social media, I keep my fingers clamped on the pulse of the whitetail world, especially on the giant bucks that hunters shoot across the country. To me, these 3 monsters killed last fall are the most noteworthy for various reasons.

Wisconsin: New State Record Typical Bow Buck 

Wisconsin Bow Monster!

Last November Dusty Gerrits tweeted a picture of the giant he had just shot, and I tweeted him back, asking for details.

Dusty shot the buck, which the locals had named Big Surprise, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, near Waupun, WI. “At first light, to my great surprise because nobody had seen him all season, Big Surprise showed up out of nowhere to bump the small 8 point working a scrape in front of me,” he said. “He kept pushing the little 8 around, but he wouldn’t give me a shot. I drew back once, but had to let off. Luckily, he came around again, and I was able to shoot. He took off, and I heard a crash. “

The monster only went 50 yards. The 12-point rack green-scored 197 2/8 typical. “Should be a Fond du Lac County record for typical bow, and has an outside chance for state,” Dusty said back then.

Well, after the recently concluded 60-day drying period, official measurers from Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young have certified the Gerrits Buck with a net score of 189 3/8–the new state record typical whitetail!

Good trivia: Fond du Lac County is now home to both the #1 typical and non-typical archery bucks in Wisconsin. A 30-pointer (243 6/8) taken by Wayne Schumacher in 2009 holds the non-typical record.

Virginia: 32-Inch Wide Crossbow Giant

Virginia buck.

Last November pictures of a super-wide buck began flying around the Internet. The rack was so wide—just shy of a staggering 3 feet wide!—that many hunters thought it was a Photoshop job. Nah, we don’t fake stuff here in Virginia. Fellow Virginia hunter, Jim Wilson, sent me his story.

The condensed version: Jim lives on a 27-acre farm and hunts a 5-acre ridge of white oaks out back. From cam images he was getting at night, Jim knew the giant was rubbing and scraping in the oaks. He hunted 2 weeks and saw the buck twice, both times in early morning, out of crossbow range. On the afternoon of Oct. 30, he applied Tinks #69 to his boots and walked to his ladder stand. At 5:00 he looked up and here came the monster trotting on the same path he had walked in on! Up close and coming, the rack, wide as a moose’s, looked surreal, “something I had never seen and couldn’t believe,” said Jim.

Jim grunted, the buck stopped and the arrow zipped through the air. It was a good shot and this buck, too, went only 50 yards. Jim walked up and stared at the 32-inch-wide typical rack. The coolest buck shot anywhere in the U.S. last fall—and one of the widest-racked whitetails ever killed anywhere!

Indiana: #2 Non-Typical Buck Shot in History!

300+ inches of antler!

For months I’d heard rumors of a 300-inch buck killed in Indiana. In early February I got emails with pictures and this message: “word is nets 309 and change…could be the largest buck ever killed by a hunter.”

Was it a wild buck…could it really go 300? I thought so and I hoped so and I blogged so. And Boone and Crockett just confirmed it on Facebook with this statement:

“The scoring procedure has been reviewed and after tine classification was verified this deer scores an amazing 305 7/8. Three tines originally scored as normal were deemed abnormal. On this particular head it took away 2/8 in deductions but when the H4 circumference measurements were taken with the correct classification the circumferences dropped a few inches resulting in a lower net score than the original posted 308 5/8. The final tally on this deer is 222 4/8 gross typical frame 93 7/8 in abnormals, and the reason that this buck’s final score ranks it as the largest non-typical whitetail taken in the last decade and the second largest in hunter taken in history is that it only has 10 4/8 of deductions left to right.”

The hunter, Tim Beck, has yet to tell the full story, but a few details have leaked. Shot in Huntington Co. with a shotgun on November 17, 2012…37 points…30” beams…13” brow tines…incredible stuff and what you might expect from the second-highest-scoring whitetail ever shot by a hunter.


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