5 More Trophy Non-Typicals From Kentucky
October 04, 2010
Here are five more head-turning trophy bucks from last season that are sure to get your attention, starting with Bob Edrington's huge Grayson County monster. (December 2005)
Owen County produced this impressive non-typical, scoring 194 1/8, for Frankfort hunter Steve Goins.
Photo by Bill Cooper
Periodic rain during the night changed to an early-morning drizzle. Bobby Edrington of Caneyville quietly slipped through the dark, wet woods. Shortly before daybreak, the hunter settled down against the base of a big tree near the edge of an old overgrown field.
The mid-November rut had deer on the move and Edrington believed the recent weather change would enhance hunting conditions even further. The old field was a popular bedding area and as the heavily overcast sky began to lighten, he anxiously watched for deer activity in the surrounding woods.
Other than water droplets falling from overhead tree branches, the morning remained very still. About an hour after daylight, the hunter spotted a buck moving along a hillside, approximately 150 yards away.
"From the size of the deer's rack, I knew it was the same buck I had gotten a glimpse of on one other occasion," Edrington noted. "However, the timber and underbrush were just too thick for me to get a clear shot. The deer continued on down the hillside into a deep ravine, eventually disappearing in a thicket of young sassafras and walnut trees."
The hunter was also dealing with another problem, one that, potentially, had serious implications. Earlier that morning, while entering the woods, his rifle's sling had snapped, causing the gun to hit the ground quite hard. Realizing the scope's alignment could have been altered, he hoped any potential shot opportunity would be at a relatively close range.
"When the deer went out of sight, I assumed I had missed my chance that morning," Edrington said. "But about 10 minutes later, the buck came charging out of the thicket and stopped in a small opening, looking straight toward me. All I could see was the deer's head and neck. I really didn't want to attempt a shot at such a small target 150 yards away."
Thinking the buck might continue moving in his direction, the hunter carefully took out a call and grunted a few times. For several minutes, the huge deer remained standing in the same spot, apparently trying to locate the source of the sounds.
"I kept hoping the buck would come my way," Edrington continued. "Instead the deer abruptly swung completely around and began walking in the opposite direction."
Seeing the buck was about to go out of sight, Edrington made the decision to shoot. The deer was quartering slightly, going away, when he squeezed the trigger.
"My idea was to aim across the buck's back, hoping the shot would hit the base of the neck," Edrington explained. "When I fired, I could see hair fly and the buck kicked backward, but I really had no idea where the bullet struck."
After making his way through the woods to where he had last seen the deer, the hunter immediately found blood; however, as he continued along the trail, the droplets gradually diminished. The wet ground and light drizzle made the search even tougher.
"I had been trailing about three hours and was circling back and forth through a particularly thick area, when I heard the deer get up a short distance away," Edrington related. "I found a small amount of blood where it had been lying, but unfortunately, the trail quickly disappeared again"
After encountering a high bluff, the hunter decided to make a wide circle, hoping he would intercept the deer at some point. Luckily, while approaching the bluff from the opposite direction, he spotted the buck lying dead about 30 yards farther up the hillside.
"The deer had traveled approximately three-quarters of a mile," Edrington noted. "My shot had hit the buck's hip and never exited, which explained the poor blood trail. After calling my son-in-law, Donnie Frye, for assistance, it took us the rest of the day to get the deer out of the woods."
One look at the buck's rack and the term "big" somehow seems grossly inadequate. There are 23 scorable points, only eight of which comprise the basic typical frame. The remaining 15 abnormal points include seven drop tines, all of which occur near the ends of both main beams.
The massive 4x4 frame is amazingly symmetrical with only 2 3/8 inches of deductions. Measurements include main beams that exceed 25 inches, 6-inch brows (G-1s), paired G-2s that tape 12 6/8 inches each, and 10-inch G-3s. The outside spread is 27 5/8 inches, while the inside spread is 19 6/8 inches. Antler mass is exceptional throughout the rack.
The basic typical 8-point frame nets an impressive 164 4/8. After adding in the 15 abnormal points, totaling 50 6/8 inches, the rack's final non-typical Boone and Crockett (B&C) score is 215 2/8. This qualifies the buck for B&C's Awards and All-Time record books, and ranks it as the state's No. 2 (hunter-taken) non-typical of the 2004 season. Within Grayson County it stands as the biggest whitetail ever recorded.
Later, during the winter, while running some beagles on his farm, Edrington noticed one of his young dogs stumble over an object in the leaves. When the dog went back to investigate, he walked over and discovered a shed antler from the giant whitetail.
Considering the shed had been lying there for approximately a year, the antler was in amazingly good condition with only minor rodent damage. The shed, which was the previous rack's right side, matches the buck's right antler extremely well in regard to growth pattern and size. Both have 13 points, the only difference being the shed had five typical points instead of four.
The shed's typical frame scores 73 5/8, and there are 27 5/8 inches of abnormal points (including four drop tines) for a final total of 101 2/8. Comparatively, the typical frame of the rack's right antler scores 74 5/8, and there are 33 6/8 inches of abnormal points (including four drop tines), for a final total of 108 3/8. Basically, the buck used the same blueprint to grow a slightly larger antler. How well the opposite side matches up is, of course, unknown. Edrington hasn't given up on finding the other shed.
Interestingly, the land where the big whitetail was taken is historically known as the old Boone Farm. Edrington represents the fifth generation of his family to live on the land and their descendents are reportedly linked to Daniel Boone. It certainly makes the well-known phrase, "happy hunting ground," bel
Ranking just below Edrington's big Grayson County buck is another exceptionally massive non-typical, scoring 207 5/8, taken last season in Barren County by Dale Fancher. (Note: Please see the October 2005 issue of Kentucky Game & Fish for the story and photos of this great buck.)
THE STEVE GOINS BUCK
Owen County produced a great buck last year for Frankfort hunter Stephen Goins. Within a mile of the Kentucky River, Goins was hunting a mixture of wooded creek bottoms and ridges, interspersed with steep pasture-covered hillsides.
"Deer use the drains and ridges as travel corridors and the area is particularly good to hunt during the rut when bucks are on the move," Goins noted. "I had located my ladder stand on a cedar ridge, directly above a large hollow and creek bottom."
During a late afternoon hunt in mid-November, the hunter spotted a doe about 75 yards away moving up one of the drains. Tree limbs and brushy thickets partially obscured his view; however, after standing, he could see a second deer farther down the bottom, following the doe's trail.
"Once the deer got closer, I could see it was a buck with a pretty good rack," Goins said. "But by the time I shouldered my rifle, the deer had crossed over to the opposite side of the drain and was no longer in the open."
Eventually, both deer reached the head of the drain where Goins had a clear shot opportunity. At the report of the rifle, the buck initially began running straight toward the stand, and then cut sharply back down into the drain where it ran head-on into a tree.
"As I began walking down to where the deer was lying, the antlers seemed to get bigger and bigger," Goins said. "Not only was I surprised at the rack's size, I had no idea there were so many points present."
The rack exhibits a unique growth pattern in that the tines slant sharply inward from both beams. There are 18 scorable points, 10 that make up its basic typical frame. The beams are exceptionally long, measuring 28 5/8 and 27 5/8 inches, and the inside spread is 18 3/8 inches. These statistics combined with above-average tine length and great antler mass gives the typical frame a net score of 164 3/8. An additional 29 6/8 inches of abnormal points pushes the final non-typical B&C score to 194 1/8.
While this is a great final score, there is a very good possibility it will ultimately be increased to 197 1/8. The reason is the buck broke a 3-inch drop tine off the right beam when it collided with the tree shortly after being shot. A recent policy adopted by the Boone and Crockett Club states: "If the broken parts of an accidentally damaged trophy can be repositioned in their original configuration to enable an accurate measurement, the damaged trophy material may be included in the measurements." In this case, the broken drop tine fits this criterion perfectly and the process has been initiated to officially adjust the rack's final score.
The original score had already qualified the deer for B&C's Awards record book. Should the score be adjusted upward, the buck will also qualify for the Club's All-Time record book.
THE RANDALL BENTLEY BUCK
Hart, Ohio and Henderson counties also produced outstanding non-typical bucks last season. A truly awesome 17-pointer was taken near Mammoth Cave National Park in Hart County by Randall Bentley of Bonnieville.
At first light, on the morning of Nov. 21, Bentley knew a very big whitetail was somewhere nearby. A big cedar tree, within sight of his stand and previously untouched, had been recently rubbed to nearly chest height. Although there was little activity early that morning, the hunter had no inclination to leave the stand. Finally, the buck he was waiting and hoping to see, walked out of the woods, 175 yards away.
From an appearance standpoint, the rack is awesome, with great height and mass. Outstanding features include main beams of over 28 inches, 7 4/8-inch brow tines, and four additional tines that tape between 13 3/8 and 9 6/8 inches.
The 9-point typical frame grosses 175 4/8 and nets 165 7/8. Add on 25 5/8 inches of abnormal points (8), and the rack's final non-typical B&C score is 191 4/8. This qualifies the big deer for the Awards record book.
THE MARK SIMMONS BUCK
In Ohio County, Mark Simmons of Hartford began the season on property his family has been hunting for over 25 years. Positioned in a stand near the middle of an old field, he had an excellent view of the surrounding woods.
Late on Sunday afternoon, the hunter spotted a buck working a scrape in the far corner of the field, about 150 yards away. Two smaller bucks had been sighted in the same area a little earlier, but this was obviously a much larger deer.
"I was actually preparing to leave and was standing up in the stand when I spotted the buck," Simmons related. "Initially, I thought it was one of the bucks I had seen earlier, but when I looked through my scope, I could see the rack extending well out past the deer's ears."
Realizing that any second the buck could step into the woods and be gone, Simmons quickly maneuvered into a shooting position and fired. At the shot, the buck bolted into the woods, but within seconds, he heard the deer crash to the ground.
The buck's rack has an awesome combination of width and tine length. The 26-inch main beams form an antler spread of 24 2/8 inches outside and 22 4/8 inches inside. There are 14 scorable points, four of which measure between 13 1/8 and 9 6/8 inches.
The basic 9-point typical frame nets 154 6/8. After adding in the five abnormal points, totaling 35 3/8 inches, the final non-typical B&C score is 190 1/8, qualifying the buck for the Awards record book.
THE KELLY WOODS BUCK
In Henderson County, Kelly Woods of Robards took a heavy-antlered 14-pointer. The rack exhibits great tine length, including 7 4/8 inch brow tines (G-1s), plus four additional tines that tape between 11 7/8 and 10 1/8 inches.
The 11-point typical frame grosses a great total of 179 4/8, and nets 169 3/8. The rack also includes 14 3/8 inches of abnormal points, which brings the final non-typical B&C score to 183 6/8.