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B&C World's Record - Typical Mule Deer

World's Record Mule Deer - Typical

The World's Record typical mule deer is one of only a few bucks with main beams measuring at or near 30 inches on each side.

Doug Burris, Jr., began hunting Colorado's Dolores County area in 1969. On his first three hunts, he took three nice mule deer bucks (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) that any hunter would be proud to hang over their mantle. Little did Burris realize, however, that on his fourth trip he would shake the very foundation of the hunting community with a trophy surpassing the world’s record. 


On opening day of the 1972 season, Burris and his three companions, Jack Smith, Robbie Roe and Bruce Winters, piled into their Jeep before dawn and headed out. Working their way up one of the many mountain roads on the San Juan National Forest, Burris dropped the hunters off at regular intervals. Roe was the first, followed by Winters and then Smith. Burris continued on up the mountain. The day was rainy, but all agreed to hunt until dark.

All the bucks the Texans saw that day were small and no one fired a shot. On the second day, Roe and Winters both took nice five-pointers, while Smith and Burris remained empty-handed. On the third day, Burris decided to go after a buck a friend had seen in Proven Canyon the day before. About mid-morning, Burris spotted two nice bucks feeding in a clearing about 500 yards away. While he watched these bucks, a third came into view.

Burris knew immediately that the latter buck had to be exceptional as he could see antlers even without the aid of binoculars. He decided to make the stalk. For the better part of an hour, Burris slowly and quietly worked his way through the oak brush. About the time he felt he had cut the distance in half, he nearly stepped on a doe bedded down in the underbrush. She exploded out of the brush, and the three bucks Burris was stalking scattered in different directions. Burris had time for one quick shot with his .264 Winchester Magnum, and the largest buck crumpled in mid stride.

Upon closer examination, Burris realized he had an unbelievable trophy. In 1974, at the 15th North American Big Game Awards Program held in Atlanta, Georgia, Burris’ world’s record was confirmed. With a final score of 225-6/8 points, Burris’ buck took the first-place award for the typical mule deer category, in addition to the coveted Sagamore Hill Award for the finest trophy taken during that entry period.

At a later date, when the Boone and Crockett Club dropped the so-called “double-penalty” for excessive spread, the buck's final score increased by 6/8 of an inch to 226-4/8 points. 


Reprinted with permission from Colorado’s Biggest Bucks and Bulls.

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