posted on May 05, 2013 12:06
By Mike Handley
For as long as people have had the ability to post and view photographs over Al Gore's Internet, deer hunters have tried hoodwinking their buddies.
Such pranks have almost become the world's largest caption contest, in which it's not uncommon to see the same photo of a giant buck that, according to various e-mail subject lines, was killed in no fewer than 17 states. It's progressed to the point that many people summarily dismiss claims unless the photo includes a license plate or carries a time-date stamp.
Jim Wilson of Chase City, Va., learned this lesson the hard way, when he almost became the laughingstock at his workplace for daring to show coworkers a photo taken by his new trail camera. If anyone actually believed that the impossibly wide-racked whitetail was photographed on his 27 acres, they kept mum.
By the end of October 2012, however, all their tongues were wagging.
On the evening of Oct. 30, after Hurricane Sandy had interrupted Jim's quest for a couple of weeks, Jim watched this buck come in on the trail he'd walked to his ladder stand. He'd doused his boots with Tink's #69 after parking his vehicle.
"At 5:00, I looked up and saw big boy trotting down the same path I'd walked, his nose to the ground. He was at 50 yards and closing fast," he said.
Knowing the buck would soon be in thick cover, Jim took the shot with his crossbow when it was at 28 yards.
Rest assured, this 31 4/8-inch-wide specimen will be shot in Alabama, Missouri and maybe Oklahoma in a couple of years. When that happens, at least Jim's coworkers will know the truth.
At 31 4/8 inches, this Mecklenburg County 11-pointer is among the widest entries in Buckmasters' record book. But tine length, not spread, is responsible for its ranking as Virginia's No. 1 Typical by crossbow.
There's lots more to the story, but you'll have to read it in RACK magazine this fall.