Iowa teen downs 'walking world record' deer

  • News: Iowa officials fear big-buck harvest might increase poaching

    ALBIA, Iowa — The legendary "Iowa walking world record" buck is walking no more.

    The stunning non-typical whitetail buck that tantalized hunters across North America for several years since photographs and video of the buck began circulating has finally been tagged.

    The mammoth non-typical buck, which has been initially green scored at 322 4/8 inches net, fell to the muzzleloader blast of 15-year-old Tony Lovstuen of Albia, Iowa, on Sept. 29 in Monroe County.

    While declining to release details or photographs from the historic hunt, Lovstuen's father, Doug, did admit that it has been an exciting few days around the family home.

    "We're overwhelmed with the quality of the people that have been calling us," Doug Lovstuen said. "We don't know which direction to go right now. This has been a very exciting experience for us and a long time coming.

    "We enjoy the hunt and the chase of the game. Whatever happens, happens. Obviously, something exciting has happened for us and for everyone else in the hunting world."

    Should the initial green score numbers be verified following completion of the mandatory 60-day drying period and at a future Boone & Crockett Club panel measuring session, the Lovstuen buck could rank as the highest scoring hunter-harvested whitetail of all-time.

    Currently, Mike Beatty's fantastic 304 6/8 inch Ohio bow-killed buck in November 2000 occupies that lofty position as the greatest hunter-harvested non-typical of all-time.

    If the initial scores of the Albia buck hold true, the whitetail could rank as high as third all-time in the Boone & Crockett record book behind two pick-up entries.

    The current B&C world record, the 44-point "Missouri Monarch," was found dead near the city limits of St. Louis in 1981 and boasts a score of 333 7/8 inches. The current B & C No. 2, the "Hole in the Horn Buck" from Ohio, is a 45-point non-typical buck discovered in 1940 with a net score of 328 2/8 inches.

    Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Randy McPherren was one of two scorers who put the steel tape and measuring cable to the Lovstuen buck on Sunday, Oct. 5, for the green measurements.

    The young hunter, his family, a couple of conservation agents and an outdoor writer were reportedly present for the three to four-hour scoring session.

    "It was a dandy deer," McPherren said.

    Longtime B & C measurer Dale Ream, the records director for the Missouri Big Bucks Club, was the other measurer involved in scoring the Lovstuen buck.

    "There was a lot of excitement there," Ream said. "The young man and his family were anticipating an opportunity to have a tape put on him and see where (the buck) might be."

    If there was plenty of excitement before the scoring session began, it only increased when the pair of measurers added up the final numbers.

    "The gross typical frame was 175 7/8 inches and then there was 16 1/8 inches in differences," McPherren said. "That would put the net typical frame at 159 6/8 (inches). It was an eight-point base frame. There was a total of 162 6/8 non-typical inches."

    The massive south-central Iowa whitetail sports a total of 38 scorable points, consisting of 21 points on the right main beam and 17 points on the left main beam, according to McPherren.

    Other green measurements from the Albia buck include: main beam lengths of 26 4/8 inches (right) and 23 3/8 inches (left); inside spread measurement of 22 4/8 inches; and hefty circumference measurements ranging from 6 1/8 to 8 5/8 inches on the right main beam and from 4 0/8 to 8 2/8 inches on the left main beam.

    In addition, McPherren reports that the initial scoring effort found several lengthy abnormal points, including measurements of 13 5/8, 13 4/8, 11 2/8, 10 2/8, 9 7/8, 9 4/8, and 8 1/8 inches.

    "It definitely gets your attention," McPherren said. "It's massive and heavy and has a lot of long non-typical tines. I've done a lot of non-typicals, but to have this kind of length of non-typical points is obviously unusual."

    Ream agreed.

    "He's pretty massive and has got a lot of circumference," he said of the rack, which weighs a reported 11 pounds, eight ounces. "It's just an outstanding deer. The young man has a trophy of many lifetimes."

    Ream cautioned that the buck's score is currently unofficial and will have to be verified in late November following the conclusion of the mandatory 60-day drying period.

    But even then, the Lovstuen buck will face panel scoring, most likely when the 25th Boone & Crockett Awards Program Banquet is held next year in Kansas City.

    "He does have some calls that could be viewed in different ways," Ream said. "Anytime you have an antler with that much mass and that many abnormal points, it creates a lot of areas for judging in measuring.

    "I will probably take the photographs I took after measuring the deer and send (them) to Boone & Crockett and see if they have any thoughts or opinions. In 60 days, we'll see."

    One such scoring call could revolve around one of the rack's G3 points, which has a reported green measurement of 6 7/8 inches.

    "Even if we redid the measurement on the G3 on the right beam, (the buck) would still be over 315 (inches)," Ream said.

    Regardless of what the Albia buck's final score ends up being, Ream thinks it is an all-around great story about a legendary Iowa buck of world-class proportions taken by a teenager using an old-style weapon.

    "I'm glad it worked out the way it did; it couldn't have happened any better," Ream said. "He's a nice young man and took the deer with a muzzleloader. It's a great deal."