Huge Allegheny County buck is not near record

Pittsburgh — It wasn’t to be.

The giant Allegheny County buck that Jeff Lenzi shot with his crossbow this past October was a big one, for sure. But it’s not a new state record.

Bob D’Angelo, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s big game records program, scored Lenzi’s deer in Harrisburg on Dec. 16. The event was webcast via the commission’s website and drew nearly 400 viewers, far more than tune in for things like commission board meetings.

D’Angelo scored the deer as a mainframe 10-point with two abnormal points.

The final tally? A score of 166. That ties it for 13th place all-time among typical-racked archery kills in Pennsylvania.

That was lower than a lot of people expected.

Three Boone and Crockett Club and one Safari Club scorers measured the buck early on and determined that it scored 1947⁄8, said Lenzi, who lives in Washington County. That was a “green” score, taken before the antlers had had the chance to dry for 60 days.

Still, that led more than a few people to suspect that, even with some shrinkage, the deer was poised to go straight to the top of the state record book. D’Angelo was one of them. Looking at photos of the buck prior to handling it, he said he suspected it might score in the high 180s.

That would have set a new archery record, if not a new record overall.

The existing state record bow kill belongs to another Allegheny County buck, that one taken in 2004, that scored 1782⁄8. The largest typical taken ever taken in Pennsylvania, period, was taken in 1943. Killed with a rifle, it scored 188.

Lenzi’s buck couldn’t beat either.

“It is what it is,” D’Angelo said. “Still, 13th place in the state is something to be proud of. So it’s still a great rack.”

Lenzi, who watched the scoring in silence, said he was still pleased with his buck, the largest by far he’s ever taken.

“I’m happy with the deer regardless,” Lenzi said.

Record or not, the antlers were notable for their mass, D’Angelo added. The brow tines were 54⁄8 inches around on each side, and even the points farthest from the base score 44⁄8 and 45⁄8 around.

The rack had some long tines, too. It’s left main beam measured 243⁄8 inches long, the right 247⁄8. Its brow tines were 72⁄8 and 85⁄8 inches. It’s G2, G3 and G4 points ranged in length from 63⁄8 inches to 103⁄8 inches.

Those slight differences in point length from side to side hurt the rack’s final score. According to the Boone and Crockett scoring system, the difference in length between opposing points are tallied, then subtracted from the final score as “deductions,” D’Angelo said.

In the case of Lenzi’s buck, for example, it scored 1751⁄8 gross, but taking away the deductions brought it down to the final 166.

Lenzi’s name and score will appear in the 2015 version of the state record book, D’Angelo said. He also encouraged Lenzi to apply for inclusion in the Boone and Crockett Club.

That group has set 170 as the minimum score for inclusion in its all-time records. Lenzi’s deer doesn’t measure up to that.

But it does qualify for the club’s awards book, which lists deer scoring a minimum of 160 every three years, D’Angelo said.

It is not eligible for inclusion in the Pope and Young Club record book, which tracks archery kills, because that group does not consider a crossbow an archery tool, he added.

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