Jan 11, 2008

What Ever Happened to Whitaker's Buck?

Have any of you heard of Susan Whitaker? If you own a copy of Arizona's Record Book then you might know who she is. In 1984 she took a giant pronghorn in Coconino County. The buck officially scored A LOT! The very next year Mike O'Haco took a buck near Chevelon Butte in 4A. Both bucks, after being entered into the Arizona Record Book and the Boone & Crockett Record Book, were invited to B&C's 3-Year Awards Banquet where they would need to be panel scored to uphold their entry scores. Both bucks were bigger than the current World Record so the anticipation was high!

The rest of this is a story that was told to me by a little birdie ;)

The two bucks were officially entered into the book at 94 6/8 for O'Haco's and 94 4/8 for Whitaker's. They were then sent to be panel scored. After the panel O'Haco's buck scored 93 4/8. Whitaker's buck was slightly smaller. O'Haco's buck was declared the New World Record. O'Haco was then awarded B&C's most prestigious honor - The Sagamore Hill Award. After the ceremony Whitaker noticed something on the score sheet she received from the panel - the score didn't add up. The panel apparently added incorrectly and her buck should have scored more than O'Haco's. She brought this to the panel member's attention and they said there was nothing that could be done now, presumably because they had already awarded O'Haco The Sagamore Hill and they weren't about to take it away. Susan then immediately withdrew her buck from B&C's Record Book. If you look in B&C's book you will not find her buck.

This is the story I was told. It may just be a story, it may be the truth.

In 1984 a friend of ours claimed to have archery hunted Susan's buck in Unit 10 near Bishop Lake. If that's the case the genetics have disappeared with time. After my Dad heard where her buck was supposedly taken he scoured Bishop Lake for the next several years and found nothing even remotely similar in size of shape. Another story has her buck being taken either near or on the Freeman Ranch (private). There are big bucks on this ranch, but I honestly have no idea if either locations are correct. For all I know it could've been Bishop Tank which is quite a distance from Bishop Lake.

In the years from 1984-1987 Arizona had quite a bit of moisture so I'm sure there were several giants taken that became rumors and never appeared to the general public. Any one of them may have been thought to be Susan's buck.

I have a picture of Susan's buck somewhere - when I find it I'll post it.

There are many other fun and thought provoking mysteries surrounding other giant bucks...I love hearing good stories like this - it gets my blood pumping and my heart pounding and it gets me ready to go chase rumors!

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