posted on June 25, 2012 07:01
By Mike Handley
How can a deer be touted as a world-record 8-pointer when it has nine points?
Well, it can't, at least by Buckmasters' yardstick.
With the Boone and Crockett Club, such a rack -- a 4x4 with a small, but measurable kicker off the right G2 -- is scored as a hypothetical 8-pointer. The ninth point is declared abnormal and becomes a deduction. Yet even with the penalty, the Illinois buck shot last December by Jason Sanders is considered by B&C as the top-scoring 8-pointer in their records.
The gorgeous buck is NOT the world-record 4x4 within the BTR. Just as sweet, however, it's king of the hill among 9-pointers.
I very seriously doubt that Jason minds the distinction. He put his tag on the buck on Dec. 1, opening day of Illinois' second shotgun season.
After watching the sunrise from his 15-foot-high ladder stand in Logan County, Jason tried grunting at 7:30. The buck that responded had a very familiar face.
The 38-year-old farmer-hunter got the first of four trail camera photos of the buck in October. It was a nighttime shot that didn't reveal the rack's true size. The rest were taken in November. He'd strapped his Wildgame Innovations camera to a tree on the family's 500-acre farm at the end of September, and this buck was, by far, the largest of many photographed.
Jason set up a ladder stand near the crossing in front of the camera. Because he doesn't bowhunt, he has only seven (shotgun) days a year to hunt.
"Fall is a busy time of year for me," he said. "But I always make time for the shotgun season."
Jason saw the tall-tined bruiser on day one, but it was 150 yards away -- too iffy a shot for an unscoped 12 gauge, he decided. When dawn broke on the next opener, he'd moved his ladder closer to where he saw the buck the first round.
Jason was surprised when this rascal came over a hill into range. Too shocked to get nervous, he merely took the 35-yard shot, watched the deer speed into some prairie grass and heard it fall. It went only 50 yards before it ran out of gas.
The field-dressed buck weighed 195. It wasn't aged by a biologist, but Jason believes it was either 5 1/2 or 6 1/2 years old.
The 22 3/8-inch-wide rack grosses 194 1/8. Officially, a BTR score of 171 6/8 not only makes it No. 4 among shotgunned Perfects in Illinois (two 5x5s and an 11-pointer best it), but also a world record among bucks wearing only nine points.
Jason's buck and others among the world's top-10 5x4s will be showcased in the August issue of Rack magazine.