B&C Statement on THE "king buck"
Read final results and statement here
King Buck Panel Scoring
September 6, 2012 – Missoula, MT – With the requested additional information and materials having been provided to the Boone and Crockett Club’s Records Department the decision was made on August 20th to convene a judge’s panel to score Johnny King’s whitetail deer taken in Wisconsin in 2006.
Two teams of two B&C official measurers will independently measure the deer and then collaborate on their findings to determine the deer’s final score before the end of September.
The Club’s Records Chairman, Eldon Buckner will select four experienced judges, with no more than two judges being members of the Club’s Records Committee. All panel members selected will be senior official measurers with no prior personal experience with this particular trophy.
The Boone and Crockett Club’s Board of Directors has not instructed the judge’s panel to score the King Buck as a typical or a non-typical. It is the responsibility of the panel to independently determine the correct way to score a particular trophy using the Club’s scoring system.
The panel’s findings will be the deer’s final score.
The Boone and Crockett Club will not comment prior to the panel and will issue a formal statement once the panel has convened and made its determination in accordance with the Club’s standard practices.
Big-game hunters everywhere and especially those in Wisconsin are understandably interested in the King Buck—a magnificent trophy from America’s No. 1 whitetail trophy state.
Though an outstanding specimen indicative of sound conservation and management programs, the King Buck is not a World’s Record according to the Boone and Crockett Club’s scoring system. In a recent letter to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Club officials explained why and offered some important background.
Here’s a summary:
- The highest and best use of Boone and Crockett Club’s records is providing conservation professionals with a gauge for measuring success. Science-based and time-proven, trophy records can indicate habitat quality, herd dynamics, and much more.
- The King Buck was reviewed and scored using the same procedures used to score whitetails since 1950. It’s this consistency over time that makes Boone and Crockett Club’s records a valuable tool for game managers.
- A panel of four official measurers personally examined the King Buck in Pennsylvania. On page 41 of the Boone and Crockett Club’s scoring manual, a rule states, “There are instances where a single point comes off the top inside edge of the main beam and is considered an abnormal point.” The panel unanimously determined that a point on the King Buck’s right side fit this description. Resulting deductions lowered the antlers’ final score well below the threshold of a World’s Record.
- The trophy was accepted into Boone and Crockett Club’s records as a 180-class typical trophy. The hunter, Mr. Johnny King, later withdrew the buck from the records. King then reportedly sold the rack, presumably as an investment, to Mr. Jay Fish who began a campaign to dispute the score.
- Fish shopped for a Boone and Crockett Club volunteer official measurer willing to perform an unauthorized re-scoring of the rack. In doing so, Mr. Ron Boucher crossed a longstanding Club policy and Code of Conduct. Moreover, he re-scored the rack incorrectly.
- Official measurers on the Boone and Crockett Club’s staff in Montana and the chairman of the Club’s Records Committee reviewed photos of the antlers and the score sheet, and unanimously determined that Boucher was mistaken. The original entry score was accurate.
- At Fish’s urging, another review took place by a panel of official measurers in Idaho. The panel unanimously agreed that the tine in question was, by rule, an abnormal point.
- Club officials informed Boucher that the King Buck’s original score had been confirmed. Boucher, Fish, and others who continued to argue the ruling were invited to send new photos that might offer new evidence, but no photos were received.
Eventually, Boone and Crockett Club was forced to dismiss two individuals for violating the Club’s policies and Code of Conduct. It was not the first time that strong action has been taken to protect the integrity of the Boone and Crockett Club’s records program—and the trophy data used by so many professionals in science-based management of whitetails.
Boone and Crockett Club is always eager to celebrate new World’s Records. Historic bests for Rocky Mountain goat and non-typical American elk have been enthusiastically publicized in recent years. But it’s not only the rarity of such trophies that makes them special. It’s also the unbiased rigor and veracity by which records are certified that makes them genuine. Conservationists and hunters deserve no less.