Giant Indiana buck isn’t second place in everything.
The year Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking Major League Baseball’s five-decade color barrier, a doctor from Natchez, Miss., shot a Louisiana buck that would not be seriously challenged for 66 years.
The gnarly whitetail taken in 1947 by the late Dr. Joseph Shields didn’t get its rightful designation as a world record until 1999, when it was measured on the kitchen table of its third owner (now the late Logan Sewell).
I was in Indiana back in May, measuring an enormous rack on another kitchen table. It wound up with a composite score of 315 2/8 inches — identical to the Shields Buck’s. But since the Louisiana deer had a slightly narrower inside spread — meaning more of its tally was derived from actual antler — the challenger’s official score fell 3 2/8 inches short of unseating it.
The man who shot what is now the runner-up to the Shields Buck, Tim Beck of Bluffton, Ind., turned to his wife and shrugged, “Always a bridesmaid!”
Tim wasn’t really complaining. Okay, maybe just a little.
In addition to the news of his buck’s second-fiddle status within the BTR, he was referring to his earlier designation by Boone and Crockett as the second-largest buck ever harvested by a hunter (behind the Lovstuen Buck from Iowa).
The BTR has many of the same bucks as B&C (and most all the top-tier ones). We also list some that aren’t in the latter’s records.
By our yardstick, in addition to being a state record, Tim’s buck is the runner-up to the world shotgun record. Overall (considering every weapon), it comes in at No. 8 among bucks taken by hunters; twelfth place, if pickups are included.
The stark difference in overall ranking is because the BTR has three giants that have never been entered with B&C. Plus, others that are mutually recognized have significantly higher BTR scores than B&C scores (because of the latter’s deductions and/or significantly different interpretations of their racks).
The Beck Buck is a 38-pointer by my calculations – a mainframe 6x8 with 24 irregular points. After three sessions, B&C ruled it a 37-pointer with a different, 5x6 typical frame, netting 305 7/8 after nearly 11 inches of deductions.
It’s all just a numbers game to Tim, who seems as much amused as anything. He’d have shot this glorious buck if it had ranked 200th, as would I.
But it’s a long way from 200th.
The Beck Buck does seize the No. 1 spot in the world for a hunter-harvested whitetail during the 2012 season. He nudged out Tim Forret’s Iowa buck by half an inch.
In other words, Tim, don’t become too accustomed to that fuchsia gown. You can now wear white.
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This article was published in the September 2013 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Subscribe today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.