The Record Book Department would like to congratulate two hunters from Tennessee for harvesting two potential Top Ten Southeastern white-tailed deer during the 2016 fall hunting season in Sumner County, Tennessee!
On Saturday November 5, 2016, Harold Thompson took his daughter’s advice and hunted his son-in-law’s property for the first time where he harvested the biggest buck of his life. The buck is potentially the new SCI world record typical Southeastern white-tailed deer hunted with a muzzleloader, and potentially the new SCI number three overall typical Southeastern white-tailed deer. Thompson’s buck was measured by SCI Master Measurers Randall Bush and Bill Swan with the assistance of Bill’s grandson, Parker Swan (SCI/Cabelas 2017 Young Hunter of the Year). They scored the buck at 184 inches.
Just two days later and only about twenty miles away, Harold’s duck hunting buddy, Stephen Tucker, harvested the potential new SCI world record non-typical Southeastern white-tailed deer. Tucker’s buck had a total of 47 points and was also harvested with a muzzleloader. Tucker first saw the spectacular buck while working a farm property that they rent.
On opening day of the season, only 45 minutes after daylight, Tucker had the buck come within thirty yards of his blind only to have his muzzleloader misfire, scaring the deer away. The next day the buck came out into the field and presented him with a 162-yard shot. Tucker’s ethics told him to pass on the shot opportunity to avoid wounding the deer or scaring it off of the property.
Finally, on Monday November 7, 2016, Tucker climbed back into his blind and within the first 40 minutes of daylight, realized that the buck had snuck in right behind him and was working a scrape. Tucker was able to make a 40-yard shot and had to trail the buck only 80 yards before finding it. Tucker’s buck measured 321 inches by SCI Master Measurer Bill Swan.
This year the SCI Record Book scoring system celebrated 40 years of providing hunters an opportunity to document our hunting heritage across the world. The two deer taken in Tennessee last year are great examples of how average hunters can go into the field with hopes of pursuing mature animals. Harvesting these two mature deer should make all hunters proud of the opportunities we now have because of the accomplishments of all the conservationists and hunters who came before us.
We, in the Record Book Department, believe that the documentation of these animals is a conservation success story and a story that all hunters should tell and be proud of. Across the world, conservation of wildlife that incorporates hunting has been the key to healthy, sustainable populations where animals are able to mature and grow to their full potential while being hunted year after year. Additionally, the dollars spent by hunters pay to protect animals from poaching, conserves habitat and provides an economic boost to the communities in the surrounding areas.
We should all be proud to be hunters and know that the system our early conservationists created is working better than they could have ever imagined. The fact that we honor mature animals by documenting what they grew can be compared to the statistics that every group keeps for accomplishments that they are proud of. Once again, congratulations Harold and Stephen and thank you for recognizing your trophies with Safari Club International.--Gabe Paz
This article originally appeared in the April issue of Safari Times