BuckTracker: Tribute to a Trophy

I’ve decided to devote extra blog spots to Iowa deer hunting, simply because there are too many great stories coming from the Hawkeye State to ignore. The latest fell in my lap when I was at the ’08 Iowa Deer Classic and ran into wildlife artist Larry Zach. I’d interviewed Larry several times over the phone, but this was our first personal meeting. He is wonderful guy; talented painter, devout bowhunter, and dedicated conservationist.

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Anyway, Larry was displaying his latest project at his Deer Classic booth; a painting of the Brian Andrews buck. Trophy nuts will recall the Andrews whitetail, a monstrous nontypical shot by the then-16-year-old Brian in the fall of 2003. The 26-point buck had a B&C score of 253-1/8” and became the new state record bow-killed nontypical. Heady stuff for anyone, but nearly unbelievable for a teenager!

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Unfortunately, barely six months after experiencing whitetailing as good as it gets, Brian experienced crushing disappointment. On June 19, 2004, thieves entered the Andrews home and stole his trophy mount. The taxidermy has never been recovered. Fortunately, antler artist Tom Sexton was able to construct a nearly-perfect replica of the rack, and this year, Zach completed a painting of the deer in a natural setting. I’ve always been a huge fan of Larry’s art, but I felt this was one of his best whitetail pieces. He combines wonderful color, strong composition, and a world-class deer. It’s a fitting tribute to an amazing deer and a sad story. For more information on Larry Zach’s wildlife art, visit his website.