Thursday, August 9, 2012

World Record Deer & Muskies

If I am fortunate enough to shoot a deer or to catch a fish that could be close to a world record, than I won't tell anyone the size of that animal.  Only my dad and I will ever know how big that animal is.  And I will refuse to ever talk about it.

Here's why:

When someone shoots a buck big enough to possibly be a world record, then that hunter needs to jump through all sorts of hoops just to get scored correctly, after the required drying period, by several panels of experts, at several places and at multiple times and places.

Here's a story on a great big buck shot in Southwest Wisconsin, in 2005.

King Deer: Biggest ever Buck

Because of the, understandable, rules about what is typical, and non-typical this big buck was decided that one of the tines (points) was non-typical and therefore not the typical world record.  (I happen to disagree with that particular application of the rule, but that's neither here nor there.)

Rather than continue to argue, the hunter has decided to remove his buck from consideration as a world record.

And that's just for starters.

I have hunted within  the laws of the State of Wisconsin.  But I just know that if I shoot a potential world record deer, then everything that I have ever done would be called into question.  Rumors will start saying that I shot it illegally some way, or some other nonsense.  Not only would that sort of investigation not be fun, but there are still more problems.

Imagine if you become, somewhat, famous for shooting a world record.  Other people may decide that they want to hunt where you do.  This would be good, if you want to sell your property and they drive up the land price.  But if you just want to hunt in peace, you'll constantly need to worry about trespassers, etc.

You may even face extra scrutiny when you are outdoors, any misstep will call your record into question.  Look how much extra scrutiny Ted Nugent gets, when I'd bet money he's attempting to follow all of the rules and is only getting caught on violations that the average person would never have been made aware of.

There has been a lot of controversy about the biggest muskies ever caught.  An excerpt from this article on a record muskie controversy

"The photographs are measured and assayed from almost every imaginable angle and perspective. I am reminded of the Warren Report and their analysis of the personal photos of Lee Harvey Oswald holding firearms that were taken in the assassin’s backyard. This is the magnitude that this disputed record has risen to."

Many of the muskies once called world records have been proven not to be so.  I wouldn't dispute that Louis Spray's record muskie has some fishiness, but I doubt that all of the attempts to disprove are good for the sport.

The World Muskie Alliance seems to have been founded in order to remove Spray's record from the record books.  It would be nice if we could know what the actual world record is for muskies, but this alliance seems to have a dickish goal for itself.

Incidentally, the fish that very well could be the world record muskie, 61 pounds caught by Martin Williamson in 2000, was almost an undersized fish.  The size limit was changed the next year to 54".  The fish was first measured at 53.5", but later discovered to be 55.5" when the correct measurement was taken.  Can you imagine the world record muskie being too small to keep?  With that fish it was very close to happening.
Biggest ever Muskie

A fisherman who caught a world record muskie would have the same problems a shooter of the biggest deer would have: increased scrutiny, character questions, etc.

One of the founders of the World Muskie Alliance has been a big supporter of bigger muskie size limits.  Pete Maina also started the magazine Esox Angler.  He said that he would be open to new ideas, unlike the established Musky Hunter magazine.  So of course when someone submitted an argument against a 50" inch size limit, that well respected fishermen was told to never send any more articles for publication in the magazine.

For my money the buck pictured here, and fish pictured here, are the biggest shot and caught without serious questions about their authenticity.  If I get an animal comparable I'll not be involved in any of the mess we have with records.

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