May 18, 2022
A world-record-sized mule deer killed by a Utah bowhunter a decade ago is finally an official world record.
Bowhunting authority Pope and Young announced the certification Wednesday, determining that Bowdy Gardner’s 2012 buck “is now the largest bow-harvested Typical Velvet Mule Deer in North America."
The buck’s incredible score of 218 2/8 inches was upheld by a special panel of measurers who convened this past weekend to consider the buck's merits. When Gardner’s buck was originally entered in the Pope and Young records program, the organization did not recognize velvet-antlered bucks for world-record consideration. Pope and Young reversed that rule last year.
"This is a tremendous mule deer that has been awaiting this moment since it was taken in Kane County, Utah in 2012. When Pope and Young changed their stance in 2021 and allowed velvet-antlered animals to be eligible for world-record status within their own respective categories, we were finally able to authenticate this buck," Pope and Young Record Chairman Roy Grace said in a news release. "It also demonstrates how sportsmen’s dollars, coupled with oversight from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, can properly manage these incredible animals and provide opportunity for sportsmen to pursue them."
The 218 2/8 score was confirmed by Grace, Larry Streiff, David Nielsen, Stan Zirbel, Pope and Young’s Director of Records, Tim Rozewski.
More from Pope and Young:
"This World Record Typical Velvet Mule Deer was originally entered into the 28th recording period which represented entries accepted into Pope and Young’s Records Program from January 1st, 2011, to December 31st, 2012. As previously stated, Pope and Young changed their policy in 2021, allowing velvet antlered species to be eligible for World’s Record status within their own velvet categories. As such, nearly ten (10) years later, this incredible buck is now crowned as the new velvet World’s Record. At the close of every biennial recording period, numerical awards and honorable mentions are awarded to the most outstanding bow-harvested animals in each species category that have been entered during this two-year recording period. New World’s Records are verified and proclaimed, and awards are presented to these outstanding animals during Pope and Young’s Biennial Convention and Awards Banquet."