Sanders buck is largest 9-point
Springfield — A full year after it was officially scored, the deer shot by Jason Sanders is still mistakenly referred to as “The World Record 8-point buck.”
In reality, the central Illinois monster was a 9-pointer.
More accurately, it is the largest typical 9-point buck ever accepted by the Boone and Crockett Club.
Killed in Logan County in December of 2011, Sanders’ deer scored 1831⁄8.. The buck’s main beams measure 30 and 32 inches, which put it in the top five all-time B&C records for longest beam length. The inside spread was 223⁄8 inches. The G-2s measured 14 and 16 inches, while the G-3s reached 12 inches. As a typical eight-point frame, it grossed 1923⁄8 inches, netting 1847⁄8 inches after side-to-side deductions.
But the buck had a ninth-point, a 16⁄8-inch sticker off his right G-2 that pulled the score down to 1831⁄8 inches.
At 1831⁄8 it would have been the largest “clean” 4x4 ever entered in B&C records. The abnormality on the one antler led it to be a “4x5.”
The man who scored the deer last February remains impressed by it. He said he has heard it referred to as the “World Record 8-Pointer.”
National magazines and websites continue to feature the deer in stories and photographs. The 8-point tag remains.
“There’s some misinformation floating around, and it’s still being called the record 8,” Tim Walmsley, of Fowler, said. “I have to say, even after a year, it was a pretty impressive deer. But as far as B&C records go, it is a 9. The largest typical 9, though.”
Walmsley, a veteran B&C scorer who has written books on deer and spearheaded the annual “Deer Classic,” called Sanders’ buck “special.”
“I see a lot of big deer, but that one was one you can’t forget,” he said.
‘This one might be special’
Sanders, a farmer who hunts in Logan County, which sits right in the center of the state, was in his stand early on the morning of Dec. 1, 2011. He said he was grunting when the trophy buck responded.
Sanders recognized the deer from trail camera photos captured in October on his family’s farm. However, the photos had been taken at night and didn’t quite reveal the full extent of the antlers.
“A month later I started getting some daylight photos,” Sanders told reporters after the kill. “The first one I saw I remember thinking, ‘This one might be special.’ He just looked really tall and wide.”
On the day of the kill, after the deer came over a hill and neared his stand, Sanders hit it with a 35-yard shot, then watched it run into some prairie grass. The deer made it only 50 yards before falling into the grass.
Field-dressed, the buck weighed 195 pounds.
The deer was soon scored, which led to media and Internet buzz. Considered an 8-pointer at first, comparisons were quickly made.
Some national magazines compared it to a South Dakota record deer shot in 1965. Then to a Michigan record-breaker killed in 2001. Both those deer netted 1803⁄8.
“Boone and Crockett accepted it as a 9-point buck, and that didn’t change its status,” Walmsley said. “It would have been the record 8-point, but it is now the largest 9-point typical ever accepted.”
Meanwhile, the run of large trophy bucks in Illinois may be slowing down. Or 2012 may have been an off-year.
For certain, there was not an 8- or 9-point buck as large as Sanders’ killed this past season, Walmsley reported.