Lynn Burkhead — Is Grayson non-typical buck new P&Y Texas state record?


A couple of weeks ago, Grayson County’s 2012-13 deer season seemed ready to end on a quiet note.

And then, just like that, in one of the state’s best counties for low-fenced white-tailed trophies, all heck broke loose.

How so? When photos of two giant whitetails reportedly killed by bowhunters in the county began to pop up in local text messages and e-mail In-boxes.

The first is a big typical framed buck with several non-typical points that include a couple of huge drop-tines.

While the buck is said to have been taken in the western part of the county, that’s all that I know about the deer at this time.

The second buck is a giant freak of a non-typical with many, many scorable points. After examining the photos I’ve seen of the deer so far, I count well more than a couple of dozen such points, perhaps 30 or more.

That big non-typical, said to have been taken sometime during the Christmas to New Year’s Day holiday period, has already been green scored.

I’m told that the measurer is Jennifer Barrow, an official scorer for both the Boone & Crockett Club and the Texas Big Game Awards program.

When contacted, Barrow politely declined to issue any comment about the buck.

Meanwhile, officials in San Antonio with the Texas Big Game Awards program - which accepts a deer’s green score for program entry - also indicate that they have yet to see a score sheet from the deer.

And it will be at least a couple of months before B&C and P&Y even have an official score to consider.

But I’m told by a confidential source that the numbers that came out of that scoring session are huge with a non-typical gross score in the neighborhood of 261-inches and a net score in the neighborhood of 249-inches.

While those numbers aren’t official, they are without question world-class.

All I can say is wow and congrats to the hunter.

By the way, I’ve been told the hunter’s name, but all attempts to get in touch with him have been unsuccessful as of press time.

But should the reported net score above pan out after the deer’s official 60-day drying period is complete, then the massive Grayson County whitetail could be poised to ascend to the top of the Texas big buck heap.

As in the deer could potentially become the new Pope & Young Club state record non-typical buck in Texas.

Again, keep in mind that the buck’s score hasn’t been officially determined yet.

Second, don’t forget that the hunter will have to decide to enter the buck into P&Y and have it officially scored after the 60-day drying period is complete.

And third, keep in mind that there is another apparent challenger to the Texas P&Y state record non-typical throne.

That buck is a San Jacinto County low-fence bruiser downed by Conroe bowhunter A.J. Downs on the opening day of the 2012 Texas early archery season.

Sporting a reported 28-scorable points and arrowed at just 15-yards on the 13,000-acre lease that Downs hunts with several others, the buck is said to also be in line for the state record mark.

That’s because East Texas outdoors writer Matt Williams reported in the Athens Review newspaper a couple of weeks ago that the Downs buck has been officially measured after the 60-day drying period.

Williams indicated that B&C measurer Randy Reeves and P&Y measurer Bob Sweisthal taped out the deer as he watched.

What does the Downs buck score?

“Downs has sworn me to secrecy pending official certification by B&C, but I can say this,” wrote Williams in the paper. “P&Y has already issued an official certificate of approval, and the final tally on the score sheet may shock you.”

That would seem to indicate that the Downs buck is bigger - perhaps decidedly so - than the current Texas state record Pope & Young non-typical buck. That benchmark is currently held by Thomas Friedkin’s 2010 Dimmit County low-fence monster that has a net score of 229 6/8 inches. Grayson County locals will remember that it was the Friedkin buck that ended a decade-long state record reign for Jeff Duncan, the Sanger archer who arrowed the famous Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge “Big Boy” back in November 2001. That buck has a net score of 225 7/8 inches.

So does the circle come full and complete once again and return a Grayson County whitetail back to the Pope & Young Club’s non-typical throne for the Lone Star State?

Maybe. But we’ll simply have to wait and see.