UPDATED ON: May 1st, 2015
On November 18th, 2006, while hunting the gun opener in Wisconsin, an avid whitetail hunter from Mt. Horeb shot an incredible buck with a rack that would gross more than 220 inches. The significance of this remarkable animal is that it may be the greatest typical the world has never seen.
The story begins when two friends, as part of a deer drive, both shoot and ultimately kill a great buck. However, credit is given to Johnny King, whose bullet placements from his open-sighted Winchester .30-30 are deemed the vital hits. During the first rack examination by the two hunters, the animal’s left main beam is completely snapped off, a result of one of King’s misplaced bullets.
John Ramsey, an official Boone & Crockett measurer, was the first man in a long line of scorers to tape the animal. Before the required 60-day drying period had passed, Ramsey measured the rack as a clean 12-point typical grossing in the 220’s and netting more than 215 inches. He later told King that it may not be just Wisconsin’s new record but possibly the world’s. However, it would all depend on the club’s interpretation of the broken beam. (B&C has recently changed their rule which makes it possible for bucks with broken beams to be entered.)
In April of 2007, King contacted the B&C Club and requested the rack be panel scored. The result of that conversation was that King made a 1,200 mile journey to Pennsylvania and the Pope & Young 25th Biennium National Convention and Awards Banquet for a ruling on the broken beam. There, measurer and B&C club executive secretary, Jack Reneau, would score the rack as a non-typical, determining that the right G-3 was an “abnormal point” that extended not from the main beam, but from the inside base of the G-2. This interpretation by Reneau would drop the buck from a possible net score in the 215’s to a new net score in the 180’s. The buck never saw a panel scoring.
The Photo above is of the most controversial G-3 perhaps in the history of whitetail scoring. It belongs to the King buck.
Another view of the G-3 that’s changing history – or NOT changing history.
From here, the story of this buck’s rack becomes even more confusing. An article published this month by Deer and Deer Hunting Magazine has shed much light on the Johnny King buck, creating for the first time ever, a complete version of this tragic tale in whitetail scoring. (It’s a great read and worth checking out.)
Because of this article, The Boone and Crockett Club recently issued this statement on their website:
“There has been a lot of discussion over the Internet the past few days regarding the final score of the Johnny King Buck from Wisconsin, and how this score was determined. Once the necessary details are gathered, the Boone and Crockett Club’s Record’s Department will present all the facts on this trophy, covering everything from common based points, unmatched abnormal points, and broken antlers to official measuring, panel scoring and score shopping.”
The King buck – officially the Buckmaster world record typical.
For the past 4 years and counting King’s rack has been seen, held, and taped by many more hands – each time coming up with different results. A result of this, sadly, King and the current rack owner have both been accused of score shopping, further drowning the buck into obscurity. The true question of the fate of this remarkable animal rests not on the miscommunication that exists within the story (clearly King never got a clear answer from anybody) – rather it lies on the G-3, which has been interpreted as both a typical and a non-typical point. The two B&C measurers from above are perfect examples of this.
The Hunting Network staff wishes to hear your opinions on King’s Wisconsin brute. The root of this controversy lies upon that (now famous) G-3. Was Ramsey’s (and countless others’) interpretation of the G-3 being called a typical point the right one? Or is Reneau’s non-typical interpretation of the G-3 the correct call? What’s your take – typical buck or not?