Monthly Archives: May 2011

Looking for a Few Good Men and Women

I recently attended an archery education course sponsored by the National Bowhunter Education Foundation. My motivation for doing so was rooted it it being mandatory for acceptance into the Bowhunter Certification and Referral Service.

It’s great that the Service makes it mandatory, however a majority of the content was definitely second nature for many in the room. After more than 20 years of bowhunting, I’m happy to report I knew most of the curriculum. Most in the room did too. But highlights of attending the free course included a small number of individuals looking to join the bowhunter ranks. I’m a huge proponent of bowhunting so appreciated those hunters taking the leap.

Some of the bowhunter course attendees following a faux blood trail

Another highlight included one of the “teachers” lining up a NC Wildlife Resource Officer to chat with the group. And kudos to area sergeant CN Ingram for spending more than 90 minutes with the participants of the course, answering questions and providing insight into a number of hot topics within the state of NC wildlife.

According to Ingram, one of the biggest current challenges the state encounters is finding volunteers willing to help serve as instructors for the state-sponsored hunter safety and education programs.

That’s a shame.

While the bowhunter course I took was more of a repeat, I do remember many years ago being a young want-to-be hunter taking the overarching hunter safety course. I remember spending much of the course imagining the chance to shoot a 12 ga. shotgun during the range portion of the course. I also remember learning some of the fundamental tools that piqued my curiousity about hunting. It sent me searching to learn more – both via feverish reading of outdoor magazines and through first-hand experimentation in nature’s classroom.

Simply put, that course was a great guidepost for my inquiring mind. And it’s a must for young people looking to learn about the sport. Like most states, in North Carolina the course is needed before a young hunter can legally hunt on their own. To me, the challenge of finding instructors likely increases the ability for youngsters to find places to take the course and could prevent or stunt their desire to become hunters.

For a sport in great peril for recruiting the next generation of hunters, that is not good.

I’ll put my time where my words are here and look into volunteering to become an instructor. So too are a few of my friends. It’s something we all should consider.

Cat Tales:
– I referenced above, the North Carolina Bowhunters Association’s BCRS program. It’s a great service that relies on archery hunters to help control and conserve deer populations in populated areas. More specifically, according to the group itself, “the primary goal of the BCRS program is to provide a “FREE” service to the public by offering certified bowhunters to assist with deer management programs.”

– I took a little video during the bowhunter course of Jamie, one of the instructors, showing the class how to tie a prusik knot. For anyone who doesn’t know how to tie one, it’s very easy and can help save lives. The knot is among the leading options for hunters as a knot for use with a safety harness in climbing in and out of treestands. Here is a video showing how to do the knot.

– Headed into the event, The Biscuit and I saw a big female red fox cross a driveway in front of us. After looking deeper into her whereabouts, we found a pair of fox pups hanging out in a nearby drainage pipe.

A red fox pup surveys his surroundings from a drainage pipe

World Record Buck? We May Never Know

I may not pay very close attention to Royal weddings. But when it comes to big deer killed by hunters, few things usually slip by me.

I’m not sure how it took so long for me to learn about the absolutely magnificent deer killed by Wisconsin hunter Johnny King in 2006. While the deer itself is noteworthy, the story behind it rivals something you would read in a mystery novel.

The King buck. Image borrowed from

In fact, it’s one of those stories that leaves you scratching your noggin and wondering, “huh?”

The story is featured in a recently released exclusive from Deer & Deer Hunting and outlines the journey King has been through. It would probably be less noteworthy if the deer wouldn’t surely contend for the world record, currently held by Canada’s Milo Hanson.

Amidst shooting the deer, King also put a shot from his .30-30 into one of the buck’s main beams. It subsequently broke the main beam – a clean break that allowed for the deer to be scored as a full-framed deer. Without making a long story even longer, King tried to have the deer scored by a panel in 2007 (after driving 1,200 miles) to have Boone & Crockett executive secretary Jack Reneau decide the deer’s G3s actually were abnormal points because he felt they grew off the G2s. It was one man’s opinion.

King was left to have it scored that way (not by the panel because the abnormal points no longer met the criteria to need the panel score), having another official scorer run the official tape on the buck to a net non-typical score in the 180s.

The deer is at least 30 inches bigger than that. And B&C allows only one – the first submitted – score to be official (to keep hunters from “shopping” for a better score).

Since that time, almost every person who has scored a deer agrees that the buck did not get a fair shake and should be officially scored as a typical. Enter Reneau, who I’ve never met but can only assume refuses to relent to his original opinion and has made keeping this deer out of the books his personal quest. He refuses to let a panel review the deer, going as far as squashing two attempts for a panel to meet and discuss / score the deer.

I remember my parents teaching me that sometimes right or wrong is something you just feel in your stomach. I think my belly has an opinion here.

How hard would it be to provide an unbiased panel to officially put forth a recommendation and score on this deer? And then call it a day?

It’s almost as if Milo Hanson were the one making the decision. I just don’t get it.

It should be mentioned that friend Brent Reneau is not beleived to be related to the B&C executive mentioned!