Zaft Buck Denied World Record

The Pope & Young Club's final word on this potential archery world record isn't the one Alberta bowhunter Wayne Zaft was hoping for.

A P&Y panel dropped the buck's score by more than 30 inches. Photo by Gordon Whittington.

By Gordon Whittington

The Pope & Young Club has ruled that a giant Alberta whitetail arrowed by Wayne Zaft on Oct. 8, 2001, falls far short of the world-record score at which the deer had been entered into the bowhunting organization's record book.

The Zaft buck, which was shot in the bow-only zone near Edmonton, had been officially measured at 206 7/8 net typical and entered into P&Y's records at that score. Had the score been upheld, the deer would have become No. 1 over Mel Johson's 204 4/8-inch Illinois buck, which has stood as the archery record for almost 40 years.

At the time the Zaft buck was entered, the burning question was whether or not the club would accept the rack as a basic 6x5 typical. To do that, the panel would need to agree with original measurer Dave Paplawski's ruling that a pair of "common-base" points on the right antler both were typical. The panel disagreed, ruling the more forward of those points is non-typical. This decision resulted in a significant loss of measurable antler on the typical frame, as well as much higher deductions for asymmetry. When the new net score was calculated, it dropped all the way to 172 5/8. The net non-typical score would be 210 1/8.


As a result of the panel's decision, Wayne has notified P&Y that he does not want the buck listed in the club's records in either category. Nor will he list his trophy in the record book of the Boone and Crockett Club, which already has notified the hunter that it will accept the P&Y panel score, rather than have its own panel verify the score at its 2004 convention in Kansas City.

Despite the loss of more than 30 inches off the original net score, even at 172 5/8 the Zaft buck would have qualified for inclusion in the all-time B&C records, which have a minimum qualifying mark of 170 net for typicals.



Had the original score of 206 7/8 been accepted by B&C, the deer would have ranked No. 2 in that club's typical listings. Only Milo Hanson's 213 5/8-inch world record, downed with a rifle near Biggar, Saskatchewan, in 1993, has been certified as scoring higher. The current No. 2 typical in the B&C records is James Jordan's 206 1/8-inch rifle kill, which was shot in Burnett County, Wisconsin, back in 1914.

The Zaft buck will remain listed in the Alberta record book, which already has accepted the 206 7/8 score as submitted. There reportedly are no plans to lower it on the basis of the P&Y or B&C decisions.


For a detailed comparison of the entry and panel measurements of the Zaft buck, click on the "Next Page" line below:


By Gordon Whittington

Comparing the Zaft buck's 60-day entry score and ultimate P&Y panel score shows several differences of opinion in scoring, as well as what are presumably the effects of shrinkage during the 15 months beween the two scoring sessions.

What prevented the deer from having a net typical score in excess of 200 inches? In the panel's view, it was the point called the right G-3 tine on the entry score. The panel ruled that this point, the longest on the rack, is actually abnormal. Reclassified as abnormal, it went from adding 14 5/8 inches to the typical score to subtracting 14 0/8 inches from it, in itself resulting in a net score swing of nearly 30 inches. The panel's total reduction of net score from the original was 34 5/8 inches. Here's how the "before" and "after" score sheets compare:

TOTAL POINTS (R, L): 7,6 entry; 7,6 panel
TIP TO TIP SPREAD: 11 3/8 entry; 11 2/8 panel
GREATEST SPREAD: 24 3/8 entry; 24 2/8 panel
INSIDE SPREAD: 20 7/8 entry; 20 5/8 panel

ABNORMAL POINTS: 1 0/8, 3 0/8 entry; 14 0/8, 1 1/8, 3 5/8 panel

MAIN BEAMS: 28 6/8, 27 7/8 entry; 27 3/8, 27 2/8 panel

G-1 TINES: 9 0/8, 10 1/8 entry; 9 1/8, 10 1/8 panel
G-2 TINES: 13 0/8, 13 0/8 entry; 13 2/8, 12 7/8 panel
G-3 TINES: 14 5/8, 13 6/8 entry; 12 4/8, 13 7/8 panel
G-4 TINES: 12 3/8, 10 5/8 entry; 4 4/8, 10 6/8 panel
G-5 TINES: 4 3/8, 0 0/8 entry; 0 0/8, 0 0/8 panel

H-1 CIRCUMFERENCES: 5 2/8, 5 3/8 entry; 5 1/8, 5 2/8 panel
H-2 CIRCUMFERENCES: 4 7/8, 4 7/8 entry; 4 6/8, 4 7/8 panel
H-3 CIRCUMFERENCES: 8 4/8, 5 7/8 entry; 4 6/8, 5 6/8 panel
H-4 CIRCUMFERENCES: 4 6/8, 4 7/8 entry; 4 4/8, 4 7/8 panel

RIGHT ANTLER TYPICAL TOTAL: 105 4/8 entry; 85 7/8 panel
LEFT ANTLER TYPICAL TOTAL: 96 3/8 entry; 95 5/8 panel
DIFFERENCE: 15 7/8 entry; 29 4/8 panel

GROSS TYPICAL SCORE: 222 6/8 entry; 202 1/8 panel
FINAL SCORE: 206 7/8 entry; 172 5/8 panel (210 1/8 non-typical)

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