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Barry Girten’s 13-pointer

November 30, 2006

Illinois hunting and fishing

Trophy Tidbits

Scorable Points: 13

Kill Date: Nov. 30, 2006

County: White

Season: Shotgun

The story of one of Illinois’ biggest typical bucks was not a typical story at all.

For starters, Barry Girten was hunting in windy, rainy weather that would have sent many into the comfort of home. And he was hunting from the ground on that wet Nov. 30 day of 2006 during the second shotgun season.

What’s more, Girten was very fortunate to even find his White County buck, which measured an amazing 198 6/8 inches typical.

But first the story of his hunt. After standing in the rain and wind, Girten started pondering heading home. Then he noticed movement about 100 yards away. When the deer came within 70 yards, Girten realized it was a buck. So just before the deer walked off into a thick patch of cane (Girten and son Josh hunt in a wet area that grows up in thick cane), Girten shot.

After the shot, the buck disappeared. Two hours of looking yielded nothing for Girten, who headed home full of disappointment. But the next day he went back out to look again. Two more hours yielded nothing. Finally on Saturday, Girten saw something in a small backwater lake that did not look right. What he was 40 yards away were two long tines sticking up out of the water.

After being underwater, the meat was ruined so Girten cut the head off the buck and put it into his garage. The next day, son Josh helped his father cut the antlers and skullcap off the buck. They had no idea how well the deer would score.

Finally, a few weeks later, taxidermist Doug Westfall got a look at the buck and unofficially gross-scored the deer at more than 200 inches. Typical. After first convincing Girten to get a shoulder mount done, he convinced North American Whitetail magazin to do a story.

Click here to read Ron Willmore’s story on Girten’s buck in North American Whitetail.

The buck’s typical frame grossed 215 5/8 inches and netted 198 6/8.

That puts the Girten buck third all-time behind Mel Johnson’s 204 4/8-inch Peoria County bowkill from 1965 and Brian Damery’s 200 2/8-inch Macon County gun kill from 1993.

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