By Art Holden - Daily Record Wooster, Ohio
October 22, 2012 4:00AM
The state of Ohio has a reputation of growing some of the biggest trophy whitetail racks in the United States, and Ed Waite of Dayton has the numbers to prove it.
Waite is one of the first scorers to sign on with Buckmasters Trophy Records nearly 18 years ago when the organization first got started, and now that he's retired, the 69-year-old isn't slowing down. You drop a big buck, he wants to lay a tape on it.
"I'm not bragging, I've got the records to prove it. I've scored over 100 deer that go over 200 (inches)," said Waite. "Not many people ever get to put their hands on a 300-inch deer, but I've scored four of them. I've scored the Beatty Buck, Troy Wilson's buck, Jerry Bryant's buck, and Lionel Crissman's Barnacle Buck that was found dead back in like 1989. It has 128 scoreable points - ones that are longer than they are wide at the base."
Waite started with Buckmasters 17 1/2 years ago, and today is the regional director for a five-state area as well as a contributor to Buckmasters Magazine. He says the difference between the way Buckmasters score a deer than the way Pope and Young or Boone and Crockett do is one of the reason's the BTR got started.
"Our system came to be because of the punitive nature of Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young," said Waite. "They score to a perfect rack. Our system does not deduct anything, but our official score also doesn't include the inside spread. That's just air ... (The inside spread) is inconsequential, but a good reference point."
Buckmasters does include the inside spread in their composite score, which is the same as a Boone and Crockett gross score.
A couple other differences between the scoring groups is that Buckmasters doesn't require a 60-day drying period, and Buckmasters will also score racks in velvet.
"I can score your rack 45 minutes after you take the deer and it will be an official Buckmasters score," said Waite.
As far as what makes a big rack score-wise, Waite notes that all the inches add up the same, whether they're the mass of the base, or the length of the tines.
Waite is one of over 1,000 registered Buckmasters scorers, but few are as passionate about it as he is. He goes to great lengths to track down big bucks, does several shows a year, and unlike a lot of scorers, is always on call.
"I just love doing it," said Waite. "I love the game. I've never shot a big buck in my life, my biggest is 127 inches, but I love scoring deer.
"I know how hard it is to kill a big buck," he added. "Most people never kill two, but if they do, I want to talk to them. They're either amazing hunters or have amazing habitat to hunt."
And though Waite has put over 800 deer in the Buckmasters record books, there's one thing he can't do.
"People send me trail cam pictures all the time and want to know if the deer will make the record books," said Waite. "I just can't do that. I can't look at a deer and tell you what it scores. I've got to put a tape to it."
You can contact Waite at firstname.lastname@example.org