Published November 13, 2008, 12:00 AM

Is this Wisconsin buck a new world record?

What do you think of when you think of Wisconsin? America’s Dairyland? Cheese? Beer? Lakes and rivers full of fish? Great grouse hunting at Park Falls?

By: Jim Bennett, Staff Correspondent, River Falls Journal

What do you think of when you think of Wisconsin? America’s Dairyland? Cheese? Beer? Lakes and rivers full of fish? Great grouse hunting at Park Falls?

Or maybe whitetail deer? Especially this time of year because the rut is on. But maybe the most interesting aspect of Wisconsin deer lore since the Jordan Buck is the new potential world

record buck taken Nov. 3 in Buffalo County.

In case you are not a deer historian, the Jordan buck was the world record whitetail buck for many years, with a total score of 206 1/8 inches. The buck was taken in 1914 near Danbury by Jim Jordan and was the world record for many years. Then in 1993, Milo Hanson took a monster buck in Saskatchewan and it became the new world record with a score of 213 5/8 inches.

So what else do you think of when you think of Wisconsin? Some might say the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is still Title Town. Just look at its history and world championships. Some traditions just hang on and continue to demand respect, like Packer football. And like the Packers, Wisconsin whitetail are legendary across the nation and around the world.

Buffalo County has more bucks in the record books than any other county in the nation. With that little bit of information, you might not be surprised to know that a monster buck was shot by an archer Nov. 3 that might challenge the Hanson buck for the world record, and will almost certainly become the largest buck ever taken by an archer. The current archery world record buck was taken in Peoria County, Ill., in 1965 by Mel Johnson and scored 204 4/8.

Word about a potential world record buck in Wisconsin got out nationally when a couple of young men were driving around Buffalo County with a camera looking for a ghost or a rumored big buck. As luck would have it, they caught the monster on film and the deer was viewed by whitetail hunters from all across the nation on the Field and Stream Web site. Many thought the big buck, now called the Field and Stream Buck might bring the record back to Badgerland.

I’ve hunted in Buffalo County. The hills and valleys and protected hunting woodlands make it an awesome place to hunt. But there is just something in the soil that keeps producing record deer. Just looking at the potential new record buck will bring goose bumps to any deer hunter. As luck would have it, an Eau Claire man took the big buck. Bob Decker and his bow hunting partner Paul Olson headed out to the woods of Buffalo County for what they thought would be a typical day of deer hunting. While heading out to their tree stands last Saturday, Decker and Olson couldn’t help but joke about the mythical monster buck.

Little did they know, the buck that many speculated to be a record breaker was closer than they thought. And Bob almost missed the opportunity that every big buck hunter dreams of.

“I was actually going to go to a different stand. And ultimately decided on this one because I was really tired, and it was a lot easier access to this particular stand,” he told reporters.

After an uneventful morning, Bob says he saw the monster roam within range. He took his shot, got his hunting partner Paul and started tracking the deer.

Decker didn’t think he had shot the Field and Stream buck, but when they approached the downed buck and Olson told him he had, he said Decker nearly tackled him.

And that’s when the media frenzy began, and further speculation that this buck could become the new world record.

Then outcome won’t be known for awhile. The antlers need to dry for 60 days before they can be measured, and the antler’s points need to be determined to be typical. But record or not, the buck is certainly a phenomenal specimen.

It kind of reminds me of the Packers’ run at the Super Bowl last year. Hopefully this year, the Decker buck will bring the world record back to Wisconsin!


WILDLIFE QUIZ — What are the names of the world record whitetail deer measuring organizations?

Answers: Boone and Crockett for gun deer and Pope and Young for archery deer.