Published December 02, 2010, 12:00 AM

Going for the big bucks

17th annual Army’s West Big Buck Contest winners announced
There’s the thrill of the hunt, and there’s the thrill of showing off what you shot.

There’s the thrill of the hunt, and there’s the thrill of showing off what you shot.

At the 17th annual Big Buck Contest on Tuesday night at Army’s West in Dickinson, 11 deer hunters had a chance to display their large mule and white-tailed deer trophies.

The two winners came away with free head mounts, cash, gift certificates, apparel and other prizes.

For mule deer, Tyson Schwab of Golden Valley took a monster buck that scored 212 5/8 on the Boone and Crockett Club scale, with the second-place score coming in at 199 5/8.

The Boone and Crockett scale uses a variety of factors, from number of antler points and distance between the main beams of the antler among other measurements.

“I started shaking before I shot him,” Schwab said.

He took his buck Nov. 10 near Golden Valley, but wasn’t planning on hunting that day.

“I was headed home early to get a snack before I headed out for the evening,” Schwab said. “And then I spotted him.”

This isn’t the first buck contest Schwab has won this season. He took first in one held in Bismarck.

“It’s very nice,” Schwab said of winning two contests.

The winner in the white-tailed category, Dyllon Diede of Richardton, said it was the largest buck he’s ever taken.

Diede’s winning buck scored 190 0/8 on the Boone and Crockett scoring scale. The second-place score for white- tails was 183 4/8.

It was the biggest deer Diede has taken in his years of hunting.

“No, not any larger,” Diede said the buck.

Diede shot the buck Nov. 13 south of Richardton.

One of the judges, Dane Eider of Bismarck, has served as an official judge for Pope and Young for bow hunting since 1977 and was certified by Boone and Crockett in 1996.

It’s not a matter of just showing up at buck contests to become an official measurer though. Eider said he had to take a four-day course and pass a test to become certified by Boone and Crockett.

When Eider started measuring bucks, it was out of a sporting goods store he owned in Grand Forks.

“We used to run our own big buck contests and there wasn’t a local measurer,” Eider said. “I did informal measuring for the contest and then put an application into Pope and Young.”

Army’s West co-owner and General Manager Eric Boettcher said the owners of the bar held a big buck contest at another bar they owned in Bismarck and brought it to Dickinson.

“With hunting being of great importance around here, people supported it well,” Boettcher said.

The contest has undergone a few tweaks, mainly from the input of contestants, Boettcher said.

“It keeps getting bigger and bigger every year,” Boettcher said.

For Eider, his interest in judging comes down to two things.

“My interest is to see all of the nice animals,” Eider said. “And the people I talk to, who bring the animals in, are fascinating.”