posted on April 04, 2011 08:04
By Mike Handley
It might've been shot way back in 1942, but the giant whitetail known for decades in Alabama as the Belmont "48-pointer" has never graced the pages of our magazines or record book.
That's about to change, beginning with this blog.
Thanks to Lyle Gilbert, who now owns the mount that has been passed from generation to generation within the Spidle clan, and to BTR master scorer Steve Lucas, the outstanding swamp buck taken by the late Jim Spidle has taken its rightful place in "Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records."
An official score of 225 3/8 inches places it in Alabama's No. 2 spot for Irregulars felled by shotgun; it's the third-largest taken by any means; and, unless I'm mistaken, it's certainly the oldest on record for this state.
Though it was regarded as a 48-pointer for more than four decades, it wasn't. When Jim Spidle shot the deer with the gnarly rack, a point was counted as such if you could hang a ring on it. Nobody measured the deer's antlers while he was alive. Alabama had no record book, Buckmasters' founder hadn't been born, and the Boone and Crockett Club hadn't even dreamt up its current measuring system.
When "Alabama Whitetail Records" publisher Dennis Campbell, then a B&C measurer, put the first tape to the antlers in the mid-1980s, they netted 230 7/8 inches as a 37-pointer. The 11 other ring-holders were less than the requisite inch long.
The Spidle Buck ranked third in the maiden edition of Alabama's record book, which then used the B&C method (later forsaken for a system based on gross scores). Had records been kept the year Spidle harvested his whitetail, it would've been a state record.
There's a neat story behind this deer. Look for it Rack magazine this fall.