Buck sets world record for Tenn. Southern Baptist

by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, January 10, 2017 (12 days ago)

NASHVILLE (BP) -- A 47-point buck killed by Tennessee Southern Baptist Stephen Tucker is one step closer to official certification as a world record holder for a whitetail deer.

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A four-judge panel representing the Boone and Crockett Club measured the deer's rack Jan. 9 and gave it a score of 312-3/8 in the non-typical rack category, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said in a press release. The score exceeds the previous world record of 307-5/8 set in 2003 in Albia, Iowa.

Tucker killed the deer Nov. 7 in Sumner County while hunting with a muzzleloader just days before he was baptized as a believer in Christ Nov. 13 at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville; it was the same week as his birthday. The rack had to dry two months before being measured, according to Boone and Crockett rules.

"I have been truly blessed and I am very thankful," the 27-year-old Tucker said after learning of the score, TWRA wrote in its press release. "I have had a lot of phone calls and questions and have tried to be patient waiting through the process."

Tucker will be recognized at the annual Shooting and Hunting Outdoor Trade Show Jan. 17-19 in Las Vegas after a second Boone and Crockett panel measures the rack, TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter told Baptist Press. Boone and Crockett will conduct a third calculation at its 2019 triennial banquet before officially certifying Tucker's deer as the new world record.

"Exceedingly rare," is how Carter described the size of the rack to Baptist Press. Racks are judged in the typical and non-typical categories, with the typical designating what is normally seen in a whitetail deer.

"The non-typical deer like the one that Stephen took, it has a main beam but it will have several branches off of it," Carter said. "The non-typical racks are much harder to score because they have so many points as opposed to a 14-point typical white tail. When you get into 30-40-50 points on a non-typical rack, it's much harder to score."

The TWRA recognized Tucker Jan. 9 as the new state record holder, exceeding the record set in 2000 when Dave Wachtel killed a deer whose antlers scored 244-3/8, the TWRA said. TWRA's parent agency, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, recognized Tucker at a recent meeting.

Tucker killed the deer two days after first spotting it, taking care to maintain his composure for a good shot. He has shared with the press and on social media his excitement over killing the deer on his second try, having eyed it 40 yards away.

"I tried to focus," Tucker told the Gallatin News in November. "The other two times I had seen him, I was torn up. I had been coaching myself up this time."

When Tucker shot the deer, the animal ran about 80 yards.

"When we went down there, we couldn't find a blood trail. It wasn't until about 50 yards that we found a good blood trail. I started to get nervous. I started wondering if I had taken a good shot," Tucker said in the Gallatin News. "I was relieved when we found the blood, and in about 30 more yards, there he was."

The deer weighed 150 pounds and was estimated to be 3-and-a-half years old. The antlers could be worth more than $100,000.

The Boone and Crockett Club is the oldest wildlife conservation organization in the nation, founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell.

Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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