Pennsylvania’s Big Game Records book is swelling proudly these days according to Bob D’Angelo, the man in charge of the state elk and deer scoring program for the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).
D’Angelo told GoErie.com that more elk and deer are being made available to the state for record book consideration than he has seen in recent years. The PGC tracks trophy big game animals (including bears) on the state website and annually publishes a book highlighting them. The most recent printed record book reportedly has over 5,000 entries in 10 categories, with over 230 new game trophies added this year.
Perhaps the most noteworthy big game animal entered into this year’s Pennsylvania record book is a #1 state-record massive whitetail buck that was taken sometime in the 1960s. The date the deer was taken is arbitrarily tagged to 1968, according to D’Angelo, because the exact year in the 1960s that hunter Frederick Kyriss of Montgomery County downed the buck is unknown, and Kyriss has died. His widow offered the deer antlers to Bass Pro Shops that scored the rack at 202 7/8s, establishing a record for Pennsylvania whitetails. The rack was discovered in a garage, the owner not knowing or caring about its record-book status.
“Most people back then just wanted the meat,” D’Angelo told GoErie.com about Kyriss not getting it scored or mounted.
PGC has a replica mount of the Kyriss deer head in its Harrisburg office, courtesy of Bass Pro Shops, which has the original one on display at its Springfield, Missouri headquarters. The Kyriss buck topped a 189-inch Pennsylvania deer taken in 1943 in Bradford County by Fritz Janowsky.
“These big bucks are coming from all over now,” D’Angelo continued in the GoErie.com interview. “You are getting them from the big woods counties. It really amazes me. I score a lot and for me to see a 140-class rack anymore is not an everyday occurrence, but they are not rare anymore.”
Five whopper Pennsylvania bull elk are in this year’s state record book, including the new state #1 non-typical, 455-inch bull elk taken in 2020 in Elk County by hunter Duane Kramer. Behind Kramer’s bull is the state’s new #1 non-typical 400 2/8s-inch bull from Cameron County by bowhunter Ian Craig; followed by bowhunter Bowdy Gardner’s 379 7/8s-inch non-typical bull from Clearfield County.
Included in the typical archery record book division this year is a 381 1/8-inch bull from Centre County by Christopher Sebulsky; and a 374 1/8-inch elk from Clearfield County by bowhunter Arnold Metzger.
“We have tremendous bulls in Pennsylvania,” said D’Angelo. “These records seem to be falling just about every year.”