Odds against a record buck
SPRINGFIELD STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
The odds of any deer hunter, anywhere in North America, shooting the next world record typical white tailed buck are 361 million to one. Those odds are based on the total number of deer hunters since 1970, divided by the number of scored deer harvested during that time. You and I have a much better chance of winning the Power Ball, being attacked by a shark, or seeing the Cubs win the World Series. Compared to those odds, being struck by lightning is practically a sure thing.
The last thing any of us need when the alarm clock goes off on day one is a dose of reality. Still, no typical buck that scores less than 170 inches will make the permanent Boone & Crockett record book. Most of us will never see a buck that big, and that’s still almost 45 inches shy of the world record typical buck.
Based on the other 200 inch plus bucks that are in the Boone & Crockett record buck, the new Mr. Big will have many of these characteristics. He will be between five and seven years old. The rut, when his hormones are in overdrive, is likely to be the only time anyone will ever see him. The first hunter who sees him on the hoof may be the hunter who shoots him. He is nocturnal, a recluse and he lives in deep cover. His rack will have an inside spread of at least 22 inches with tines as long as your forearm. The rack will be clean, symmetrical and nearly perfect. It will probably have fewer than eight inches of scoring deductions.
If you are good at scoring bucks on the hoof, when you’re at 170 and still counting as this guy saunters toward your stand, take your eyes off the horns and start concentrating on your shooting. A world record case of buck fever could be right around the corner.
An accelerated heart rate when you see a trophy walking in is one of the fun parts of hunting. When you stop getting excited, shuck the shells out of your gun and go home. What all of us want to avoid is a dose of the fever that spoils a shot, or worse yet spooks a wall hanger into making a U turn.
An article on beating buck fever in American Whitetail magazine warns against being caught by surprise.
“When you first get into your stand (visualize)… picture every possible (shooting) scenario. (Then) don’t be thinking about how he is going to look hanging on your wall. Focus on the task at hand.”
In other words, don’t begin the victory dance until the fat lady sings. Take a deep breath and act out what you have already seen in your mind. New world record or not, it will be a much better story if you beat the fever and there’s a nice buck on the ground when you get to the punch line.