A World-Record Cover-Up?


A World-Record Cover-Up? Videos Photos: D&DH Examines Antlers
More Photos King Buck In-Depth Q&A BTR Score Sheet of the Rack
Reneau’s View Schmidt: King Buck Deserves Another Look Contact B&C




A replica of the Johnny King Buck

A mount of the Johnny King Buck displays a replica of the contested antlers. (Photo by Shane Indrebo, courtesy of www.classicantlers.com)

The King Buck Scores More than the Famous Hanson Buck, but Boone & Crockett Won’t Acknowledge It. Here, for the First Time, is a Look into the Truth, Lies and Intimidation Tactics that Have Prevented this Buck from Claiming the Title of “World’s No. 1 Typical of All Time.”

by Duncan Dobie

On Nov. 18, 2006, avid whitetail hunter Johnny King of Mt. Horeb, Wis., shot a massive 12-point buck the likes of which were almost unparalleled in the annals of deer and deer hunting. As a straight 6-by-6 typical with no additional abnormal points, the great rack grossed more than 220 inches, a milestone few typical whitetail racks in history have attained.

Yet, some 4 1/2 years later, the rack remains in relative obscurity. In a time where antler scores and giant racks are the Holy Grail to most avid whitetail fanatics, how could this happen to a buck of this magnitude? How could Wisconsin, rich in whitetail history and proud producer of the former world-record James Jordan Buck, let a deer like this slip through the cracks?

Johnny King with the buck he killed in 2006.

Hunter Johnny King, of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, killed this buck Nov. 18, 2006, the opening day of the Wisconsin firearms season. (Photo courtesy of Johnny King)

The answer is perplexing and, in a way, maddening. For King, life will never be the same. Here, in a Deer & Deer Hunting exclusive, is his untold story.

A Stunning Revelation

Soon after recovering the buck, King and his cousin Brad Heisz realized — to their shock — that the left main beam had been hit by one of the .30-30 Win. bullets from King’s Savage bolt-action. The bullet damaged the beam just below the left brow tine. As soon as the cousins began to examine the rack, the beam broke off in Heisz’s hand. Yet, for days, friends urged King to have the massive rack officially scored.

King contacted official Boone-and-Crockett Club measurer John Ramsey, who green-scored the antlers before the required 60-day drying period had elapsed.

Ramsey measured the rack as a clean 12-point typical. As soon as he tallied up the numbers, he was stunned. The antlers grossed in the low 220s and netted more than 215 typical B&C points. Ramsey told King that depending on how the broken beam might be interpreted by B&C, he could be the owner of a new Wisconsin record  and possibly the new world-record typical!

A closer look at where the bullet hit the rack.

Even after the left antler was repaired, Johnny King wanted the bullet hole in the left main beam to remain visible so that the antler would be unaltered in any way. (Photo courtesy of Klaus Lebrecht)

(Note: The current typical world record scored 213 5/8 and was taken by Milo Hanson in Biggar, Saskatchewan, in 1993. Ironically, the long-standing former world record before 1993 was taken in Wisconsin. In 1914, James Jordan shot a massive 10-pointer near Danbury on the Yellow River in Burnett County. The buck was later scored 206 1/8 typical B&C points. The Jordan Buck wasn’t officially declared a world-record typical until the 1950s. It held the top spot, however, until Hanson killed his buck.)

According to King, Ramsey was reluctant to officially score the head until a determination could be made by B&C about whether the broken beam could be accepted into the record book. Steve Ashley, an official measurer of the prestigious Wisconsin Buck and Bear Club, contacted King and made arrangements to inspect the rack. According to King, after Ashley examined the massive rack, he apparently concurred with Ramsey’s score.

“He insinuated that he thought I might have a new world record,” King said. “He asked me if I realized what I had. And then he told me not to let anybody see it.”

King was a little bewildered.

“Why shouldn’t I let anyone see the rack?” he wondered. “If it’s a new world record, everyone will want to see it.”

King said he was informed that his rack would need to be panel-scored by B&C if the issue regarding the break could be resolved. (A recent rule change by B&C makes it possible for bucks with broken beams like King’s to be entered in the record book under certain conditions.)

Page 2 >>

Click here to discuss this article on the forum.



More on King Buck

Videos: Deer & Deer Hunting One-on-One with Johnny King and Jay Fish

Photos: Deer & Deer Hunting Examines King Buck Antlers

More Photos of King Buck

King Buck In-Depth Q&A

See a Buckmasters Score Sheet of the Rack

Dan Schmidt: King Buck Deserves Another Look

Get Jack Reneau’s Point of View

Contact Boone & Crockett

8 thoughts on “A World-Record Cover-Up?

  1. Cole Hall

    My Dad he away Win and Shot the Deer in the Heart all the time and and he has 9 Deers hanging up on his Wall he has 5 hanging up in his office and 2 hanging up on the stairs Walls and he has 1 hanging up in his Gargare. My Dad is the Best Deer Hunter in the tried World!

  2. Gruber

    I am fortunate enough to say I have held those antlers. I believed that it was likely the new world’s record whitetail. I met the current owner of the rack during a show in Madison Wisconsin in early 2010 and to say the least it is impressive. I’m not sure what to make of it all except to say I spoke with one of the official Wisconsin scorers who was adamant that the deer was legitimate and should be recognized as the new number one. My hat is off to Deer and Deer Hunting for keeping the story alive.


  3. fballfan

    I realize this article perhaps only tells one side of the story. Regardless, I can’t imagine what could make Mr. Reneau continue to block efforts to have an independent panel score this buck. As explained in this article, the specific issue regarding the bucks typical vs non-typical status is open to interpretation. It’s understandable that there will always be grey areas with such scoring systems.

    Some people made comments alleging that Mr. Reneau could have something to gain by taking such a hard line stance. These people could be right. However, it could also be simple stubbornness, ego, and arrogance.

    It’s rediculous for B&C to allow this situation to continue to exist when considering the organizations significance. Quite frankly, this is the kind of stuff that will tarnish an organizations reputation. If I were a member of B&C, I’d make it known to the club that I would be terminating my membership until this issue is appropriately handled.

  4. ryanh2212

    This whole story sounds like it has some deeply political issues surrounding it. For all we know, Reneau has something to gain by keeping Milo Hanson at the top of the record book. Milo did everything he could to keep the Rompola Buck from being officially entered, but that’s a completely different controversy…For me, everything points towards the fact that Reneau has something to gain from all of this. Besides, how in the world does this guy have the absolute end-all authority in B&C to determine whether the deer has abnormal G-3s?! Isn’t that the whole reason for panel scoring? because scoring is somewhat arbitrary, and can differ from one person to another? If there’s even the slightest possibility that this animal can be considered a true 6×6 typical, then I feel it deserves the opportunity to be scored by a panel of experts. At this point though, if given the chance, who’s to say that Mr. Jack Reneau doesn’t get to hand select the scoring panel? They’d probably end up being friends of Milo too…Antlerhead6, the King Buck looks nothing like the buck on page 51. Get real.

  5. Antlerhead6

    To Duncan and curious Boneheads : I have had the antler disease all my life as I trapped, hunted, and shed hunted in western N.Y. I have picked up a few thousand sheds since1989, when I first became obsessed with antlers and their unique snowflake like nature. I have observed deer with bone similar to the King buck and also possess similar antlers, mind you W.N.Y. is very competitive for shed hunters, you almost have to watch em fall off to get some of the good ones here. Lots of genetic characteristics are shared in different herds or areas, this is common in some of my area, (extra or nontypical points on the beam, matched or unmatched) . This g-3 in my opinion is very definitely non- typical growth, tine shape and location comparison to the rest of the racks configuration leads me to this premise under current B&C rules and intention. If previous year sheds are available they would likely exemplify these arbitrary, and coincidentally matching points origin and possible randomness on this otherwise super clean 10 pt. frame.Often I find a shed like this and when you hold one you can envision the possible incongruity in the match, which is always confirmed if and when the match is located. This and other antler characteristics challenge any scoring system which separates and tries to define typical growth and/or frame, how about the buck on page 51!!! look familiar. This will continue to be a scoring gray area with the current buck availability and age to grow bone like this where they live. In conclusion, I feel Mr. Reneau is 100% correct although a panel or |jury| should be utilized, for the deer the hunter and the intent of our scoring systems which seek and categorize typical growth separately and/or aside from gross inches and mass.Hopefully any |jury| of our peers would consist of seasoned antler experts who know antler and understand the intent of our scoring systems,remember, this system allows alightly framed perfect 3 yr. old to be world record, not exactly my definition of trophy (I mean bestest world class ????? ) , but alas this buck is not the one, but congrats on a beautiful once in a lifetime buck.COMMENTS — no cover up Duncan! Antlerhead6.

  6. stanlh

    Time to call a lawyer. I hate to say that, but it appears obvious that Mr. Reneau is playing this his way rather than for the good of the sport and it’s participants, the shooting public.

  7. JDGardner

    Reading all this makes me think that some of you have it right ,That is One Great Buck no matter what it scores I have nothing to do with this at all for either side But it just looks like Jack Reneau is just being a little Hard on the King Buck why only he knows , He made a ruling and right or wrong that was his call and now the only thing that is so hard to understand is why he is not willing to let a group of judges look at the Buck to make sure he made the right call , This is why we have 12 people on a jury so that no one person can dictate the outcome of something that he or she may have a unknown reason for feeling the way they do about it. Jack is letting his feelings get in the way of making a call on something that should be clear on his behalf this is only making all B & C Judges and scoring system look bad. Both of you should do the right thing let a group of Judges rule on it and get this thing over with one way or the other. This is going to be a real black eye on B & C record book holders and judges if you cannot end this soon for after all it is the Animal we should be talking about Not the People that run the record book. Again that was and is One Great Buck , And that should be what we are talking about.

  8. jeffe

    I never realized that B&C was a dictatorship headed by Jack Reneau. The bottom line is, no matter who owns the rack, this is a magnificent animal that deserves a chance to possibly take its place among the greatest of all time. What’s the harm in letting a panel of B&C’s best/chosen look at the rack and make a democratic decision based on the facts outlined by B&C’s own rule book once and for all. Wouldn’t that be what’s fair? Don’t we owe it to the animal? Does it make sense that hunters are pitted against each outer because one man makes a decision and won’t let anyone check his work? We, as hunters, take EVERYTHING from the animal when we take it’s life. Giving it this consideration seems like the least we could do.

Comments are closed.