Our Top Blackpowder Bucks From 2007

Our Top Blackpowder Bucks From 2007

What were the top muzzleloader bucks taken in New England last season? Here's the rundown. (December 2008)

Butch Herman's 160-class muzzleloader non-typical was only one of several huge bucks killed in Connecticut last year.
Photo courtesy of Butch Herman.

Blackpowder hunting continues to gain in popularity in the Northeast. As manufacturers improve the effectiveness, range and ease-of-use of these so-called "primitive" firearms, hunters are buying muzzleloaders in record numbers.

Deer-rich states are responding by lengthening their muzzleloader seasons and increasing bag limits. In fact, hunters in some states are foregoing their trusty shotguns during the firearms season and are grabbing their smokepoles instead!

As you might expect, harvest numbers have increased throughout the region. And each season, blackpowder hunters are harvesting a growing number of record bucks.

During the 2007 season, according to the Northeast Big Buck Club, the region's scoring and record-keeping organization, muzzleloader hunters harvested several bucks that made the NBBC record book.

No new state-record bucks fell to muzzleloader hunters in the Northeast, but many very impressive bucks were taken, particularly in Maine and Connecticut.

All six New England states continue to produce some very impressive muzzleloader bucks. In each of the last five seasons, in fact, New England's blackpowder hunters have recorded no fewer than 35 record-book bucks. Looking at the expanded records for the last five years, it's interesting to note that all the New England states have put bucks into the top 15 each year. (Continued)

That goes to show that blackpowder hunting is productive from north to south throughout the region.

In summer 2008, at the time this article was written, there were probably some great bucks from the 2007 season that had yet to be officially scored. (For the purposes of this article, all rankings reflect Northeast Big Buck Club records, with supplemental information provided by other local scoring organizations.)

What follows is not the final tally of the best muzzleloader bucks from the 2007 seasons. But it's certainly representative of many of the best bucks that were taken.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island dominated the rankings in 2006. But in 2007, Maine and Connecticut returned the favor.

Over the years, Rhode Island has been the one state in all of New England that consistently produces a large number of muzzleloader trophy bucks (defined as ones that meet the Northeast Big Buck Club's minimum entry gross score of 100 Boone and Crocket for typicals, and 115 for non-typicals).

One big reason is that Little Rhody's muzzleloader season typically runs during the peak rut period in early to mid-November. That's an advantage over most of the other New England states, where muzzleloader seasons tend to fall later in the year.

In recent seasons, the biggest muzzleloader bucks have fallen in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine.

In fact, eight of the top 10 gross-scoring bucks of all time in the NBBC's muzzleloader category have come from those three states!

Last year, those three dominated the records again, producing nine of the top 10 muzzleloader bucks.

The largest buck of 2007 was Ed Daly's monster 12-pointer taken in Tolland County, Conn. His massive non-typical was taken during the mid-December muzzleloader season and grossed 184 5/8 B&C points.

Daly's buck currently ranks as the all-time No. 2 for muzzleloader bucks from that state, behind Henry Konow Jr.'s massive 206 3/8 New London County monster taken in 2000.

The Daly buck was also the largest gross-scoring buck taken in New England during the 2007 season.

Connecticut also produced 2007's No. 4 muzzleloader buck -- a wild- looking non-typical killed by Reinhart Hermann in Hartford County.

This 14-pointer scored 163 1/8 gross B&C points, with a massive inside spread of over 26 inches!

The No. 2 and No. 3 bucks from 2007 came from Maine. Foster Meserve Jr. shot the year's biggest typical, a 170 4/8-inch 10-pointer, in Sagadahoc County.

With an inside spread of more than 24 inches, it was the largest typical muzzleloader buck killed anywhere in New England last year.

The largest buck of 2007 was Ed Daly's monster 12-pointer taken in Tolland County, Conn. His massive non-typical grossed 184 5/8 B&C points.

Phil Forsman took the third-biggest buck of the year, a 167 4/8-inch 19-point non-typical from Somerset County -- a buck that dressed out at a whopping 222 pounds!

According to NBBC rankings, those top four bucks head a fairly impressive list of deer taken in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and another one from Connecticut. The top 10 include four bucks from Massachusetts, giving that state another good showing for 2007, even though none was as impressive as the list-topper from 2006. Bill Tatro's massive 190-class non-typical set a new state record in that category for that year.

Vermont and New Hampshire didn't produce a top 10 buck in 2007, although New Hampshire did so in 2006 with Jayne Allard's 160-class typical 10-pointer.

Vermont hasn't produced any top 10 muzzleloader bucks since 2000 when Mike Ingerson shot a 145-inch 10-pointer in Essex County.

However, both states produce muzzleloader entries that make the NBBC book each year. And Vermont and New Hampshire often produce some of the region's biggest-bodied muzzleloader bucks, including some dressing upwards of 240 pounds.

In the Northeast, the last several muzzleloader seasons have been outstanding. Each year seems to bring a new crop of great bucks in this category as more hunters take advantage of the extended muzzleloader deer season, as well as the continuous improvements in muzzleloading equipment and technology.

During recent seasons, New England hunters have set many new state muzzleloader records. Given the growth in numbers of muzz

leloader hunters across the region plus the success they've been experiencing in recent years, it's safe to assume that the Northeast's 2008 seasons are likely to produce one or more new state records.

In any case, we certainly expect to see blackpowder hunters taking some of the most impressive bucks in each state during the coming season.

To learn more about the big bucks taken in 2007 throughout New England, you can visit the Northeast Big Buck Club at www.bigbuckclub.com.

Or mail them at 390 Marshall Street, Paxton, MA 01612. Or phone them at (508) 752-8762, or e-mail them at jbhunts@aol.com.

The NBBC's fifth record book, Northeast Trophy Whitetails V, is available for you to buy by mail after January of 2007. Reserve your copy by writing to the NBBC at 390 Marshall Street, Paxton, MA 01612.

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