MISSOULA, Mont. (Feb. 28, 2013)—An Indiana sportsman has recorded the second- largest whitetail deer ever taken by a hunter, according to Boone and Crockett, which compiles such records for conservation, management and historical purposes.
The buck’s antlers are the largest non-typical antlers recorded in more than a decade and only the fifth ever to break the 300-inch mark, with a final score of 305-7/8. The hunter, Tim Beck, bagged the buck on Nov. 17, 2012, in Huntington County, Ind. Following the required drying period and due diligence by the Club’s records department, Boone and Crockett officially entered the buck into its records, which date back to 1830. The buck now stands as the fourth largest non-typical whitetail on record. The current World’s Record for non-typical whitetails (333-7/8 inches from Missouri) as well as the No. 2 buck (328-2/8 inches from Ohio) were not hunter-taken trophies. Both were found dead and entered into the records as “pickups.” The third-largest buck in the category was taken by a hunter in Iowa and scores 307-5/8. Indiana deer were extirpated by the 1930s. Restoration efforts, led and funded by hunters, began by relocating deer from source herds in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Protective law enforcement, habitat enhancement and other measures followed.
Thanks to early and ongoing conservation and management practices, deer populations grew until the 1980s, when overall population carrying capacity numbers were reached, then stabilized largely through expanded doe harvest. Today, Indiana now not only has one of the country’s best-managed deer herds, it is also an up-and-coming state for trophy production. The Beck buck is also the new Indiana state record non-typical, surpassing a buck taken in 1980 that scores 251-4/8. Prior to 1970, Boone and Crockett-class trophies were virtually unheard-of in Indiana. By 1990, eight trophies per year were being entered into the Club’s records. By 2000, trophy entries had grown to 23 per year. By 2010, the number had swelled to 41 per year.