Frye: Records bucks truly amazing
Would you know a record-book buck if you saw it? The answer is yes.
Chances are, most of us have never seen such an animal. Not one that’s alive and walking through the woods, anyway.
But trust me on this one. Just like you would recognize a unicorn for what it is if it walked past your stand, you would recognize a Boone and Crockett buck, too.
They’re that unusual.
I always think back to a few years ago, when I interviewed Jerry Simkonis, an archer who killed a massive non-typical whitetail in Allegheny County. Its rack was massive, with long, heavy tines and points all over. It was as big as any buck I’d ever seen outside of a Cabela’s or a sport show.
With its official score of 209 1⁄8, the deer became the state record non-typical taken with a bow. It’s the fourth-largest non-typical ever taken here, in fact, even counting those harvested with a firearm.
It’s a no-doubt-about-it monster.
Still, out of curiosity, I looked it up in the Boone and Crockett record book, to see how it fared on an all-time basis. I figured it had to be up there pretty high.
It ranks in 1,468th place.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not terrible. In fact, it’s pretty darn good. That puts it in the top 28 percent of the 5,218 biggest non-typicals recorded on the North American continent. You can bet I’d take it any time, any season.
But that there were 1,467 deer with even bigger racks? That’s hard to fathom.
What’s equally incredible is that there are undoubtedly a handful of deer nearly as big — and maybe, just maybe, one even bigger — roaming around Pennsylvania’s woods right now.
That’s what history suggests anyway. According to Boone and Crockett records, hunters killed nine record-bucks in Pennsylvania in 2010, four in 2011, six in 2012 and five in 2013.
A couple of lucky hunters are probably going to run into their kin this fall, if they haven’t already.
They’re likely to come from just about anywhere, too.
Forty-four Pennsylvania counties have put at least one whitetail — typical or non-typical — in Boone and Crockett’s record book, with Allegheny, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland among the leaders.
That’s not to say your chances are good even there. Animals like these are called the deer of a lifetime for a reason, after all.
Pennsylvania doesn’t churn them out nearly as often as do some places in the Midwest, either. It’s been climbing the Boone and Crockett rankings a bit lately, but still sits about middle of the pack among states and Canadian provinces for trophy whitetails.
But it’s nice to dream, right?
So keep your eyes open. The next record-book buck is out there for someone. It might be you. Or — fingers crossed — me.