This will come as no surprise to deer hunters who browse social media, but the state of Indiana yielded a new world-record whitetail last fall.
Greensburg's Dustin Huff, 27, put a crossbow bolt through the impressive 13-pointer in Decatur County on Nov. 4. He'd been in his treestand on a family friend's property for three and a half hours, and the buck was the only deer he saw that afternoon.
Before it was officially taped, Dustin thought the rack might score in the 180s, which would've beaten the 185 acres' previous best, a 153-inch buck taken by his father, Brian. Dustin's own previous milestone was a 134-incher.
Multiple B&C green scores proved he was short-changing the deer by 20 or 30 inches. And when it was measured for Buckmasters, the tally was 212 3/8, topping the existing world-record Perfect in our crossbow category by nearly 7 inches.
Dustin is taking it all in stride.
"We've never been what you would call real trophy hunters who target certain bucks and live and breathe large antlers," he told Duncan Dobie, who's writing the story for Rack magazine. "We're just regular hunters who love to get into the woods and enjoy the season. We always hope to shoot nice deer, but we've never been trophy fanatics."
After shooting a doe on Halloween, a Sunday, Dustin was loaded for buck. He had the rest of the week to hunt.
"By Wednesday evening, I decided to do something different. On Thursday morning, I took an old Summit climber I've had since high school and set it up out in an oak ridge way back in the woods, where I had often hunted as a teenager."
The morning was uneventful, and he saw only one deer – the buck he shot – that afternoon. The animal materialized in a nearby ravine about 6:30.
"I had never seen a deer that big in the woods, so the adrenaline really kicked in," he grinned.
When the deer was just beyond 40 yards, Dustin stopped the deer by whistling. The vibrating hunter didn't have a shot, at first, but when the buck resumed walking, he whistled again.
That time, the arrow's path was clear.
The mainframe 6x6 has only one abnormal point, small enough to keep the Huff Buck in the perfect category. The deer it knocked into the No. 2 position (among crossbow-felled whitetails) was taken in 2016 by Iowa's Austin Pontier. The category's No. 3 entry is Brad Jerman's 2004 Ohio specimen, a former Golden Laurel Citation winner.
Dustin's deer is a leading contender for the next Golden Laurel Citation, awarded annually for the most significant entry into Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records. If that happens, we'll confirm the measurements during this summer's Expo.
Meanwhile, check out this guy's many song videos on Youtube. I doubt you'll stop at one.
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