Tag Archives: Deer & Deer Hunting

He Got the Cover (Twice)!

In honor of this week’s release of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, which includes Kate Upton as its cover model, I thought I’d share something I stumbled upon by pure coincidence a few weeks ago.

Alsheimer's Buck Is a Cover Boy ... Twice (click photo to enlarge)

As I sat in my recliner, the magazine rack next to me had a pair of hunting magazines resting next to each other. The magazines were the October Outdoor Life and December Deer & Deer Hunting. As I glanced at them, likely pondering if I should pick one up, I noticed how much alike the massive buck pictured on their respective front covers was.

Then I looked closer.

I realized that it was actually the same deer, in almost the exact pose, possibly over the same log, at a completely different time (the D&DH photo includes a snow-covered ground beneath the buck).

I thought that was interesting.

And as I suspected, each cover was shot by renowned deer photographer (and fellow Southern Tier of New York native) Charlie Alsheimer.

That buck has done well for Charlie! I’m really surprised that both photos ran so closely to each other (within a matter of a few weeks). I wonder if either publication had any issue with that.

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 DeerandDeerHunting.com

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 AHuntersTales.com friend Brent Reneau is not beleived to be related to the B&C executive mentioned!

An idol’s reply …

The passion for the outdoors is rooted in my soul as deep as the tentacles of a 100-year-old white oak. I daresay that anyone who knows anything at all about your faithful blogger knows that hunting is a major part of my DNA.

That was no different some 15 years ago when, as a young adult, I needed to seriously consider what my future held in front of me with respect to a career. Since the seventh grade, it was understood that I wanted to be a journalist. And looking back, it was crystal clear that those aspirations included covering and/or writing about the outdoors in some capacity.

Charles Alsheimer was among my idols. Growing up just a rifle’s report away from his Steuben County, NY, home (mine in neighboring Allegany County), it captivated me to read his articles and see photos of deer that could theoretically run the same woods that I hunted. And there was no mistake that Alsheimer was among the kings of outdoor media – still in its infancy at the time when compared to today. Staples upon receiving Deer & Deer Hunting each month included checking contents page to see if he had photographed the cover photo and then flipping directly to his articles to read them first.

It was with that admiration and respect that I opted to send Mr. Alsheimer a letter one fall in search of perspective of how I could fulfill my outdoors passion by merging it with my professional career.

What I received back from Alsheimer will stick with me for a lifetime. His counsel was honest, it was clear and it helped shatter an adolescent dream. Ultimately, it also helped me plot a course into what is a very enjoyable career in marketing communications – albeit minus any considerable connection to the outdoors world.

Alsheimer noted that he appreciated my letter, and was humbled by my interest in him as a role model. He added that he has been extremely fortunate in the world of outdoors and that it came with many sacrifices – some that he wanted me to be well aware of before I decided to make a career in the outdoors my life’s calling.

Simply put, he was right. As a young adult, those sacrifices to focus on the outdoors would likely have been too much to bear. The opportunities for working in the outdoors at the time were far less than what they are today. Mass media has literally grown the industry tenfold over the last decade alone.

I still have the letter from Alsheimer. And the fact that he took to time to hand-write a note to me and provide more than a “Go get them, Tiger” message sticks with me as a very sincere gesture. For that I thank Mr. Alsheimer – in fact, I was able to send a note back at the time expressing that as well.

Who knows? Someday I might be able to retire to a career that rekindles my early dream.

For the record: A hunter must possess a child’s imagination when navigating a long sit in the deer woods. It keeps the spirit alive when nothing much else seems to be moving. It’s that same imagination that keeps reading Alsheimer’s articles a favorite of mine. For that wide-framed 10-point buck he’s analyzing in his article, very well could be the next deer I see out of my treestand!