The Boone and Crockett Club today sent a statement to two of its longest-standing official measurers: You can have an opinion, but we’ll give it to you.
Earlier today, Ron Boucher of Vermont and Craig Cousins of Wisconsin learned that they have been permanently relieved of their duties as official B&C scorers. Both men had been official B&C scorers for more than 25 years.
Boucher is arguably the most seasoned whitetail antler scorer in the world. He gained prominence in the 1990s after serving on the panel that scored the Milo Hanson buck, which was later crowned as the biggest typical of all time. Boucher has arguably been B&C’s biggest champion for many years.
Boucher apparently drew the ire of B&C executives through his steadfast convictions that the Johnny King Buck should be panel-scored. The King Buck, shot almost six years ago in Wisconsin, is a 12-pointer that many professional scorers, Boucher included, believe could surpass the Hanson Buck as the new World Record.
Boucher, in an interview that was completed just minutes ago, said he received the news in a brief typewritten letter signed by Buck Buckner of B&C.
“I’m still in shock, I guess,” Boucher said. “After 25 years, this is how it all ends … no phone call, just basically a form letter.”
The irony here is that Boucher — and all other certified B&C scorers — has worked all of those years as an unpaid volunteer. Becoming a B&C scorer has been considered an honor among scoring enthusiasts.
“I never got a penny for scoring a rack,” Boucher said. “Over the years, many people tried tipping me, too, but I never would accept it. You don’t do this for the money. You do this because you love antlers.”
“I guess I spoke out too much,” he continued. I fought for a deer that I thought was being improperly treated. This was about principle more than anything else.”
The dismissal by B&C is the second blow Boucher has received of late in his quest to have the King Buck receive a fair shake among antler scorers. The Pope and Young Club also stripped him of his certification for being allowed to score bowhunting trophies.
“I’m not being punished because I’m a bad measurer,” he said. “I’m being punished for expressing my opinions.
“I can’t tell you how much this hurts inside. Next to my wife and two children, this has been the most important thing in my life for the past 25 years. It’s going to take a while to process all of this.”
Cousins was apparently let go because of a comment he made to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel earlier this year. In that article, Cousins was quoted as saying, “It’s a shame what is happening to the King buck. It’s a typical 12-pointer in my eyes.”
Deer & Deer Hunting will continue to track this story and bring you further updates, including comments from the B&C Club.
Deer & Deer Huntingbroke Duncan Dobie’s story behind the controversy last year. The details surrounding this deer centers on its right G-2 and G-3 points. According to B&C, the points share a common base. The club, however, made this ruling without ever having officially scored the rack.
If scored as a typical with deductions, the King Buck would likely net in the 180s.
Last summer, Deer & Deer Hunting broke Duncan Dobie’s story on this controversy. The former editor of North American Whitetail, Dobie had been following the story closely since Johnny King of Mt. Horeb, Wis., killed the buck on Nov. 18, 2006. The details surrounding the controversy are complex, but they mostly boil down to an apparent dislike for the way the deer looks and to the fact that King, an average hunter with no desire for the limelight, sold the rack to an antler collector after becoming fed up with the bureaucracy involved in getting his deer a fair shake with antler organizations.
D&DH talked with several official antler scorers while at the Madison Deer Expo in Wisconsin earlier in 2012. None of them wanted to speak on record, yet all of them told me they thought the deer should be scored as a typical 12-pointer.
“There’s really no chance (B&C) will change their mind,” one scorer said. “They’ve dug in their heels, and don’t want to admit they went about this the wrong way. It’s frustrating, because, if anything, this deer should be scored by the Wisconsin organization. If it was, it would unseat the Jordan Buck as the state’s all-time largest typical ever.”
The Jordan Buck was the World Record typical for many years. The Hanson Buck unseated it in 1995.
D&DH also talked with several Wisconsin Buck and Bear Club members, and they said they wished their organization would stand up for what is right … and score the buck. One member told me he was puzzled why this hasn’t already happened, because WBBC is in no way affiliated with B&C. When asked why there was then a problem with scoring the King Buck, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Some of these guys are B&C-certified scorers and others aspire to become B&C scorers some day. They don’t want to jeopardize that by not towing the so-called company line.”
“I talked with most of the guys, and the vast majority of the Wisconsin Buck and Bear scorers think it is a typical 12-pointer,” another scorer said. “Not one of them said they thought it was a nontypical. However, we can’t do anything because B&C made their decision on it, and we just have to let it go away. It’s not right. It’s not fair. And it definitely is making me rethink how I view both organizations. This should be about giving a deer its due. It should not be about placating some guy’s ego. Some of these guys are acting like a bunch of little girls. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “We don’t care if it is the biggest buck ever killed. We have to save face and rally around our guys.”
Said another scorer, “This all very saddening. If you want my opinion, there are a lot of cowards in this building (where the rack was on hand). Someone needs to man-up and do the right thing.”
For the details behind the King Buck, check out these related articles:
Since Deer & Deer Hunting broke this story earlier today, social media sites have been buzzing with comments. Here are a sample of comments left on the D&DH and B&C Facebook pages:
Nick Heise: Why the hate for The King Buck and the people that stand up for it? Should be ashamed of how this deer was handled and embarrassed that you missed out on a new world record. I feel bad for myself for not being able to look up to your club anymore.
Chris Kenney, provincial scorer Nova Scotia: You people should be ashamed of yourself for firing Ron!! Even though i agree with the ruling that it is a non typ. point, for starters the king buck should be panelscored just because of the questioning involved. Second just because a measurer is vocal about his view on it is NO reason to dismiss someone!! I am ashamed for you!!!
Adam Fitzgerald: The way B&C is handling this whole King buck is really making me question the integrity of the organization. Why don’t they just score the rack, the rule for common base points is pretty clear.
Ryan Minard: This is the biggest load of crap I have seen in a long time. B&C and P&Y should be ashamed of themselves.
Tyler Cummings: I’m done with B&C. This organization has left a hole in the deer hunting community that can not be repaired. Too many Big Bucks have been thrown out the last few years and it is a shame.
Paul Luma: ridiculous. black and white score it. wtf
Chris Kenney: this is nothing but a joke now. Ron is everywhere you read for B&C. There is NO ONE more profesional or working harder for this organizationl .There is NO reason…. even though i also think it is a non typ. point…. this rack should NOT be given a fair shake and be panel scored. Makes me ashamed to be a scorer for B&C myself!!
Chuck Mortimer: I guess freedom of speech no longer matters in America. Records are made to be broken and cannot stand forever. The King buck seems like it should be panel scored and is possibly the new record. The man was simply asking for help in a difficult situation.
Randy Worley: Politics…. Everything about politics is stupid. That’s what this issue boils down to. Why else would B&C not want to score this buck? It makes absolutely no sense. Official scores are just about BS anyway. If the buck grows it, I’m going to count it. I could care less what any organization says about a buck, I know how to add. When politics get involved within a certain “thing,” that said “thing,” is already ruined.
Jason Battani: Couldn’t agree with Randy more…… politics are everywhere and in everything! Sad, very sad
Kyle Koke: OK, I’m an avid Wisconsin hunter/resident and i have not even heard of this buck or if i did five years ago i must have forgotten about it. Is B&C trying to keep it under the table or something? If this thing is a world record measure the damn thing! I know when the Mitch Rompla buck thing came up he had to sign something saying he would never refer to his buck as the world record again because Milo uses the name for a product. Sounds like he is kind of a little bitch about being knocked out of the world record spot also. If someone shoots a one bigger that is the new record deal with it….or thats what a real sportsman would do anyway. Sounds like B&C is trying to protect him or something..
Kyle Biba: What is wrong with the b and c?? wow…
Kyle Koke: The record will end up back in WI where it belongs sooner or later anyway! Would be great if someone gets it done with archery equipment this time!
John Mueller: Another reason why I do not enter my deer into the re ord books. There are giants all over that you will never see I the record books or in a magazine.
Matt Kuiper: Shameful that they let him go. Cowardly the WAY they let him go. a brief impersonal email after 25 years of UNPAID loyal service? Thats like your wife divorcing you through a text message
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