The “Dryden Buck” Rediscovered
Waaaay back in November 2003 a whitetail buck of trophy status was shot by a US hunter after dark and on private property just north of Dryden, Ontario. For those unfamiliar with the details around the unlawful harvest of this magnificent whitetail deer, I wont go into great detail as there are many links to the capture and prosecution of the hunters involved…and justice was served!
Back then I worked for the MNR and was called to put a tape to the seized antlers as I was an accredited scorer for FROW (Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife). This remarkable buck ended up having a green gross typical score of 223 7/8″. After non typical and side to side deductions the deer netted 199 1/8″. Truly a remarkable set of antlers in any jurisdiction!
Recently, a good friend and avid big buck chaser showed me something that took my breath away. He discovered the unmistakable right shed from the Dryden Buck! He discovered the shed from an acquaintance, whos dog dragged the antler home in the vicinity of the Dryden Bucks home territory. It hung in a garage for over 15 years before coming to light. I was fortunate to put a tape to the shed the other day and came up with a typical score of 84″. There was also a 4″ non typical sticker near the base, identical to most of the abnormal points the Dryden Buck grew. Doing a bit of math… double this score, add 20″ for an inside spread and you have a buck grossing 188″. Interestingly the left antler of the Dryden Buck is more impressive than the right with an additional G5 point of over 7 1/2″.
“What Ifs”…Lets do a bit of math and do some what if comparisons. What if the Dryden buck had grown a matching G5 on the right antler? That would bump the gross typical score to 231 4/8″, the resulting net score (including abnormal deductions) would be close to 214 3/8″. The current world record shot in Saskatchewan has a net score of 213 5/8”. I often think of the “What Ifs” and “what coulda been”, whether its that huge walleye that just broke your line at the boat or the monster moose that just walked by out of bow range. I think its the “what ifs” that keep us intrigued and drives us crazy while sitting in a tree stand.
The discovery of a shed antler from a potential world record buck is truly an amazing chapter in this bucks story. What is most amazing is the fact that no one had heard of or knew of the bucks existence before he made that fatal mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time back in 2003!