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Scoring “The King” Mule Deer

provided by John E. Phillips

Mossy Oak Pro Cody Robbins lives in an area that’s home to some of the best mule deer and elk hunting in North America. Most specifically, he believes, “Here in Delisle, Saskatchewan, we have bigger mule deer than you’ll find anywhere else.” Cody and his wife, Kelsy, host the TV show, “Live2Hunt.” He explains why he’s able to hunt some of the biggest mule deer in the mule deer’s home range. To learn more about Cody, visit his Facebook Page.

2 mule deer bucks

I knew that the rack needed to go through a drying period before being officially scored, so I really had no idea of what the rack would score. My friend, Bentley Coben, was an official scorer, so I felt sure he knew what he was doing. After measuring each measurable point, Bentley said, “Who’s going to do the adding and subtracting?” Shane replied, “I’ll do it.” Shane took the measurements that Bentley wrote down and went off by himself for about 20 minutes. 

When he came back, he had a weird look on his face. “I’m getting a score of 291 inches,” he said. Suddenly, the whole crowd, including me, cracked-up and started laughing. When the laughter died down, I said, “How about somebody else take the score sheet and add this up. Shane probably flunked math class and can’t add.” Then Bentley took the paper back to his truck and added up the inches of each point he had measured. Once Bentley returned from his truck, he announced that Shane was right. “I got 294 gross and 288-1/8 net inches.”

velvet mule deer buckOf course, to get the mule-deer buck officially scored, we had to wait for the 60-day drying period. Before the Pope & Young panel scored the rack, Bentley called me and said, “Would you mind bringing that rack to me, so that I can rescore it. I’m nervous about the score I gave you, and I want to make sure that I’m at least close on the score. I don’t want to mislead you on what the buck’s rack may score.” This time, Bentley scored the buck at 288 net non-typical. According to Bentley, “I measured those antlers as tightly as I possibly could, and I didn’t feel like the Pope and Young panel would score The King much different from what I did.”

The three men on the panel were all three Boone and Crockett and P&Y scorers. The master measurers scored the buck at 288-1/8 inches net. Bentley was only 1/8-inch off the score that the master measurers gave my mule deer. These men spent 3-1/2 hours measuring the buck’s rack. I explained to the panel that I wasn’t going to strip the velvet off my mule deer to have the score official. But in July, 2020, P&Y started allowing velvet-antlered mule-deer bucks taken with bows to be ranked. Since then, I’ve been called and emailed by so many people who have said, “We’d sure like to have your buck in the P&Y record book because it would be ranked the new world-record velvet-antlered mule deer buck taken with a bow.”

Note: At this writing, Cody Robbins’ buck has not been officially ranked as the new world-record velvet-antlered mule-deer buck taken with a bow but stay tuned.

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