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November 04, 2008

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Special Report: The "Field & Stream Buck" Falls

Special Report by Field & Stream Senior Editor Colin Kearns

On September 4, we posted a video on our Whitetail 365 blog of a monster buck walking around unfenced property in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, that many hunters and deer experts speculated could be a new typical world record. Now, two months later, we have more images of the deer—courtesy of Bob Decker, the Wisconsin bowhunter who shot the deer on November 1.

Decker had been in a tree stand for more than three hours, seeing nothing, before he heard a twig snap below him. There, 40 yards away and coming closer, was a big buck. At the time, Decker only knew the deer was plenty big enough to shoot, so when the deer was 6 or 7 yards below, he released his arrow. The buck ran for 50 yards and dropped.

It wasn’t until Decker and his hunting buddy Paul Olson approached the deer that they realized just how big it was. As soon as they saw the buck, Olson started shouting that Decker had killed “the Field & Stream buck!”


F&S contributing editor Scott Bestul, who reported on the buck in the November issue of F&S, has not seen the actual rack, but based on the photos, he said he is almost certain that the buck Decker shot is the same from the video. However, Bestul believes the deer is not a world record and will be scored as a non-typical.


Decker said a score has not been released and added that it will be a close call on whether his buck will be scored typical or non-typical. “I’ve heard people say it could either way,” says Decker. “It’ll just be a judgment call. I have mixed feelings about [its potential as a world record]. I’d love it if it was the record. But if it’s not, maybe I can quietly ride off into the sunset and get out of the spotlight. Either way, I’m proud to have taken the deer.”

What do you think: World record or not? Typical or non-typical? And keep checking whitetail365.com for the latest on this story.



Absolutely amazing to be done with a bow!


AWESOME! Congrats Mr Decker! I have to agree with the other poster who was happy this deer went to a true local hunter. I hear that Decker has been hunting this land since long before the video was posted online. He grew up hunting in Wisconsin and didn't buy his way to this deer. It would have been a shame if someone from outside had flown in and paid big money to shoot down this animal on a drive. Nope. This was the way it should be. One man with a bow, relying on his own skill and determination, making a clean and ethical kill. Whether it's a world record or not, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Qhote from Brian "I love hunting, but a buck that big deserves to live" So your saying that you would pass it up? I don't get it...anyway that deer is huge...congrats


I can't believe that Brian guy. "deserves to live" what is that all about. What a magnificent Wisconsin deer. Glad one of our residents shot a big one once. Maybe it's time to bring the world record back to Wisconsin to join it's place with the Jordan buck. Excellent job!!!

dan mathiau


Terrance Mahoney

Great shot sure makes me miss the badger state. Hope to see more Pic's of that one in a million deer

the indian

great job that guy who said let it live never seen a true monster you are very lucky great job.

genky loves red

Brian should stick to video games and leave hunting to the people who know what they are talking about but any ways you make me proud to be a bowhunter in wisconsin.

genky loves red

Brian should stick to video games and leave hunting to the people who know what they are talking about but any ways you make me proud to be a bowhunter in wisconsin.

Matt Drda

Thats quite an accomplishment for any hunter congrats Mr. Decker and send some giants like that over my way please..... p.s. have fun with all the endorsement opportunities with that deer i wish i was in your shoes


what is brian thinking is all i got to say!


Ya, Brian. I guess that big buck deserves ta be eaten alive by coyotes, or slowly killed by disease or starvation rather than being immortalized by that proud hunter. Much more dignified...

jason jahnke

well played out Bob.... once in a life time buck right there


Wow! MAke sure that one is secured to the wall! No broken antlers, looks pretty perfect to me! Wonder if he stopped shaken yet. Great job!

I'd take it if it had that much horn growing out of its rump. Nontypical or not-ya'll put too much heed into scoring these days.


Congrats on the huge trophy! Long distance = Target Practicing
Shooting 7 yards...now that's hunting!!!

To comment on Brian's post, I think/hope what Brian was trying to say is that there is only a small percentage of deer that have the genes to actually get that big. Imagine if this buck would've been passed-up and could've spread more of those "huge buck genes" on down the line. In a lot of respect, hunters have it all backwards. We take the biggest and healthiest, thus making the remaining heards weaker and smaller.

Before I get criticized too heavily, let me also say that I am just as guilty of this as any...


holy cow is that a fricken monster

great job man!!! thats a nice 1


holy cow is that a fricken monster!
great job man thats a once and a lifetime buck rite there!!!!!!
i hope it hits the records. that would look nice in there....

Just wondering

What do you think the age of the buck was ? To me I would be amazed how he lived and dodge hunters for all this time.


Not the same deer as the 365 blog. Good kill though. Records mean nothing. It's memories that matter.


Great job Bob, I know how it feels. I shot a 187 buck last year in St. Croix County. The Buffalo County genetics are finally spreading our way.


Just Wondering --- I read that the taxidermist that capped it out aged it at 3 1/2 year old.
My 187 buck from last year was also a 3 1/2 year old; otherwise I would not believe it.

Andrew --- If you ask me it’s the 365 blog buck.


Always hard to score deer, especially from a photo, best guess is that this Monster will score as a 12, at best, probably a 10, and thats if the G1-G5s arent consideder points off of other vertical points, best way to have a better idea is print off the P& Y score sheet and see how a buck is actually scored. Symetry is the key to typical and I dont think this has it. Thats why taking a 200" plus buck bow or gun is like winning the lottery.

Jim in Mo

Bob Decker,
Play it smart and don't tell anyone what brand bow, arrows, or anything you were using. Endorsments goes to highest bidder. You deserve it so take it while the takins good.


Great buck!! NOT a record, will be scored a non-T. the junk will add up. again super buck.

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