By Jeff Brown
As Kajetan “Whitey” Sovinski prepared to go hunting on the morning of Dec. 5, 2002, he joked to his wife that he would kill the biggest buck in the woods for her today. Little did they know that Whitey was about to kill one of the biggest typical whitetail bucks taken in all of North America this hunting season!
Whitey has been hunting the deer woods of Massachusetts for 40 years. This morning he headed to the woods of Franklin County with his son, Bobby, to hunt an area near Quabbin Reservoir.
The pair planned to hunt a new area they had scouted on foot and with topographic maps. Their plan was to concentrate their efforts on a ridge and swamp connecting one of the few oak stands in this evergreen-dominated area. Their scouting trips revealed that deer were feeding and rubbing trees in the area.
As Whitey climbed the ridge at first light, he noticed another hunter on the right. Whitey moved to the left and settled in for the morning hunt. He got a glimpse of a doe, but could not get a clean shot because the deer had come up from directly behind him. Then, Whitey noticed some movement farther up the ridge and zeroed in on a twitching tail about 80 yards away. Whitey watched for about 10 minutes, at one point glimpsing a bit of antler through the thick trees, but he could not get a good look at the deer’s head.
At last, the hunter found the deer’s shoulder and squeezed off a shot with his Ithaca Model 37 20-gauge pump.
The deer went down, and at that point Whitey got his first glimpse of a huge rack as the deer disappeared from sight. Whitey chambered another shell and waited. The deer struggled to its feet, but Whitey’s second shot was true, hitting the deer in the neck and putting him down to stay.
Within hours word had spread that a hunter had killed an incredible buck. One of the first to see the great trophy was Jim Russell, NBBC scorer, who made arrangements to score the buck after the mandatory 60-day drying period.
When the scoring was done, the Sovinski buck had a gross score of 204 1/8 and a B&C net of 193 3/8. The buck’s rack has an inside spread of 25 4/8 inches. The main beams are 27 7/8 and 29 0/8 inches respectively. The G-2s are the rack’s longest tines, measuring 13 7/8 and 13 2/8 each. The bases measure 5 3/8 and 5 5/8 inches. There were four abnormal points, two of which were scored at 1 7/8 inches and 3 2/8 inches. These measurements are not added to the gross score, but they are counted as deductions in the final B&C net score.
Few typical bucks of this caliber are taken in North America each year, let alone a heavily hunted state like Massachusetts. The Sovinski buck is by far the most impressive typical buck ever taken in Massachusetts, and is one of the highest-scoring bucks ever taken in the Northeast.
With a gross B&C score of 204 1/8, it currently ranks No. 1 for typical whitetails taken anywhere in southern New England, according to the NBBC’s records. It easily outscores the former No. 1 typical buck from New England (found dead by brothers Ricky and Gary Vincent in Connecticut in 1987), a 10-pointer from Litchfield County that scored 187 3/8 gross B&C.
The former No. 1 typical buck in Massachusetts, Bill Tatro’s 184 1/8 trophy from Berkshire County, was taken in 1995. As impressive as those bucks are, the Sovinski buck scores nearly 17 inches more than southern New England’s previous best!
Based on the Boone and Crockett Club’s North American Whitetails 3rd Edition, Sovinski’s buck will rank No. 1 in all of New England with a net score of 193 3/8.