Big Buck 411 Blog

Long Time Coming

Long Time Coming

By Mike Handley

Told by everyone the nearly 194-inch buck he arrowed last season was a record book specimen, Edward Walters contacted the Pope and Young Club seeking to have his deer measured. He was surprised and saddened to learn they don’t accept bucks taken with a crossbow.

The Boone and Crockett Club does, he learned, but they told him the non-typical deer probably wouldn’t score high enough to go in their all-time record book.

Edward was disillusioned until the store owner who sold him his crossbow suggested he have the antlers measured by Buckmasters (we have a separate category and lower minimum for crossbow kills). He went to his computer, found a BTR scorer, and arranged to have it done.

As everyone near Shumway, Illinois, expected, the Effingham County deer sailed into our record book with a BTR score of 193 3/8 inches.

After more than four decades of deer hunting, the 65-year-old finally shot a buck worthy of a taxidermy bill. And now he’ll have a record book certificate to hang beside it.

According to John Phillips, who’s writing the story for Rack magazine, Edward took his trophy while hunting land owned by his wife’s coworker. He spends as much time as possible in the property’s 40 or so wooded acres. He even schedules his vacation for November, to coincide with the rut’s peak.

He went to the property about 1:00 on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Figuring two days was long enough for the woods to have settled, he climbed the same treestand in which he’d sat a couple of days earlier. That stakeout had ended when a barking dog spooked the 8-pointer he was watching.

The cool, 40-degree afternoon passed slowly.

After sending a text message to his son, Josh, complaining about the lack of activity, he glanced up from his phone and spotted a buck with a large rack approaching. Edward stealthily slid his phone into his daypack and removed his crossbow from its hanger.

Aware that if the buck stayed on course, it would walk through a small shooting lane 20 yards in front of him, he was ready when it did just that.

— Read Recent Blog! Better than Splotches: When Bryan LeVan left work at 3:30 on Nov. 5, 2018, his destination was the 180-acre tract he’s deer hunted for two decades.

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