Right Base: 4 4/8 Inches / Left Base: 4 4/8 Inches
By: Michael Burgdorf with The Boone and Crockett Club
Early in the season, Brent and I decided to go to Mauer Bros. in Elba for a bowl of soup to warm up after a morning hunt. On the way there, we noticed a car pulled off to the side of the road, driver door not shut, and a hunter walking in the tall grass with just his gun and no coat on.
We ate our soup and took off to hunt again about an hour later. We got back to the area where we had seen the open-car-door hunter. He was still there but had put on his coat. We were convinced he had seen something.
Fast forward. It was the last day of the season. As I got to the area where we had seen the hunter on two previous occasions, no one was there, so I decided to take my chair and find a place to sit until the end of the day. Just as I was about to head off, Brent and his friend Katie came along and asked what I was doing. I said that I was going to go sit in this area until the end of the day. Brent said that he would walk the area, leaving Katie and me on watch.
We had hunted this area a few years before and knew where to sit to observe the two escape routes. I took my chair and got situated in a downed tree about 70 yards off the road. Katie went to her assigned place. Brent went back up the road a few blocks and started to walk the area. It took about 10 minutes to see a doe coming my way. In a few short seconds, I noticed movement behind her. I saw a large rack with many points. The doe approached, but stopped about 55 yards away. She had picked up my scent and was in the process of going back toward Brent. The buck had stopped under one of those extremely large cottonwood trees and was watching her.
I decided I needed to take a quartering-to shot at 70 yards. I pulled up my Remington 1100 deer gun, put the cross hairs of my Leupold 3-9x50 scope just inside his outside shoulder and pulled the trigger. The Hornady hit its mark and the buck collapsed on the spot. I got up and took a few steps and saw him thrashing around under the cottonwood tree. Suddenly, it got up and started to run. I fired a second shot but missed. It stopped after going 40 yards, and as I was about to shoot again, it fell over for good.
I walked up to the deer and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I whistled to Brent, but he didn’t hear me. Then I whistled for him again. This time he responded by saying, “What are you doing here, you don’t ever leave your posted spot.” I said that I had shot a 14-pointer. I pointed about five feet from where he stood and said, “Right there.” He looked and then jumped in jubilation about 3 feet off the ground. Then he yelled for Katie to come over to us.
“That’s a Booner,” Brent said. When Katie got there, she couldn’t believe the size of the buck, either. She also said people were driving up and down the road and watched the buck get harvested.
We field dressed the deer and went to hunt the rest of the afternoon. Completing the hunt, we went back to Mauer’s where we had soup earlier in the day. Word had spread quickly as everyone at Mauer’s came out to look. There was a quick, unofficial measurement of 198 inches. It weighed a little over 187 pounds.
Eventually, we had an appointment with Dave Boland, an official measurer for the Boone and Crockett Club. Deer of this caliber don’t come around very often. He measured it and said that when the 60-day drying period was up, I would be pleasantly surprised.
In late January, we got the official measurement: 193 1/8 inches. All points and measurements are almost the same from the left side to the right side. The buck’s two stickers account for a deduction of 6 1/8 inches off the score. An incredible whitetail.
Editor’s Note: The Boone & Crockett Club has long been a conservation organization that stands and strives for the preservation and well-being of all big game animals, but especially the white-tailed deer. As one of America's most popular game species, it carries a storied history and a promising future.