September 12, 2021
The in-print feature story of this buck will be found within the pages of our November 2021 Issue
One November 2019 morning, Nick Millspaugh was driving his truck on his way to church. Suddenly, a giant, double drop-tined buck ran across the road in front of him. Nick immediately called his dad, Rex, and relayed the news to him. At that time, Rex was also headed to Church, but he didn’t get too excited about this news. He’d already tagged out on an archery buck back in October, so he proceeded on to church.
After church, Rex went to the spot where Nick saw the buck, and the buck was still there. The deer was tending what most definitely had to be a doe-in-estrous in the middle of the picked cornfield. The huge buck just stood there. A bit later he laid down, so Rex decided to take a picture of him with his phone.
Nick then went back to check on the deer during his lunch break on Monday, when he ran into a few guys in a car talking about shooting the buck from the road — perhaps in jest, perhaps not. While this would not only be illegal, it also made the Millspaughs realize they should try to get the buck out of the open area before it was poached.
On Wednesday, Nick did spot the buck again, and he tried to belly crawl through a plowed farm field to get as close to the buck as he could. Ultimately, he ended up running out of legal shooting light.
Rex explains, “That would be the last time anyone in the family saw the big buck for the 2019-2020 season.”
Prior to the 2020 season, Rex decided to put up a sweet corn patch around a strategically placed clover food plot on the family property. But in all his off-season chores, Rex never laid eyes on the buck.
Then in late July everything changed. The monster finally showed on one of the trail cameras, and he was now bigger than life. That’s when Rex got serious about chasing this deer.
On Oct. 8, the buck was photographed on trail camera during daylight hours. Millspaugh recalls, “That’s when I knew it was time. They don’t always travel during the daylight when they’re that big.”
So, on Oct., 25 Rex arrived at his stand around 3:30 p.m. “It was a slow hunt, and I was beginning to get bored when I decided to look over my left shoulder towards our fencerow; and there he was. He was walking along the edge of our bean field about 50 yards away. All I saw was antlers, and I never looked at him again,” Rex remembers.
Rex explains, “I let him get in front of the big branch on the oak tree I was hanging in, to where he couldn’t see me, and I drew back.” The buck was a mere 7 or 8 yards from the base of the tree when Millspaugh let out a soft grunt. At the release of the arrow, the buck did the familiar “mule kick” and took off running hard to the west.
Veteran measurer Tony Wright would be tasked with measuring the giant buck’s antlers. The Millspaugh Buck truly has a bit of everything you feel a record non-typical whitetail would or should have. One of the first things that catches the eye is this buck’s classic, and beautifully symmetrical (on the typical frame) lines, and its antlers are a combination of multi-shaded mahogany colors.
The main beams feature a semi-bladed shape that is just as unique. They are 29 inches on the right and 28 5/8 inches on the left. The circumference measurements are nearly identical side-to-side, and the H-2 through H-4 measurements average right at 5 inches each. The G-2 and G-3 tines on the right side are 12 3/8 and 10 5/8 respectively. They start forward a bit, but then abruptly turn back toward the buck’s back, finally curling inward at the tips. Most of the tines feature the same semi-blading. The buck officially scores 259 2/8 net non-typical, making him the new official Indiana state record non-typical archery buck. Rex’s buck surpasses Tim Jungblut’s 246 5/8-inch beauty that was taken in Hamilton County back in 2011.