Well, it’s official. The monstrous buck shot by Wisconsin bowhunter Jim Baker on Sept. 18 has been recognized as the largest nontypical buck ever taken on Badger State soil by an archer. As noted by Hurteau last week, the Baker Buck was panel-scored on Nov. 17 by six official scorers at the Richfield, Wis., Cabela’s store. That panel awarded the buck an official gross score of 260-5/8 inches B&C, and an official net score of 249-5/8 inches. The net score surpasses the reigning archery state record nontypical, a 243-6/8-inch giant shot by Wayne Schumacher in 2009.
The Baker Buck is an impressive animal indeed. Sporting 28 scoreable points, a 19-7/8-inch inside spread, and 66-6/8 inches of abnormal points, the new state bowhunting record is the second largest nontypical ever shot in Wisconsin by any hunter. Baker’s buck took over the runner-up spot by edging out the Arnold Stalsberg buck, which was shot in during the 1998 firearms season and scored 247-3/8 inches. The current B&C Wisconsin state record nontypical has reigned for 40 seasons. That buck, which scored 253 inches B&C, was shot by Elmer Gotz in Buffalo County during the 1973 gun season.
I’ve read Dave’s post that announced the upcoming panel score and included photos of the Baker Buck. I also read the comments that followed, some of which questioned the validity of the deer. I’m not buying into the negativity. Sure, we’ve all been burned by stories of giant bucks that later turned out to be poached or otherwise tainted. But what can I say is this: I’m a Pollyana who thinks a guy (and his giant buck) deserve celebration until facts prove there’s something wrong with the story. At this point, all we know is that Jim Baker shot a heckuva deer that is now the second biggest nontyp in Wisconsin history. Obviously, we’ll keep tracking this story and, if something is not legit, I’ll be back to report it…And eat my serving of crow.