The Knife-Handle Buck

HOW AN IOWA MANMIGHT HAVE WHITTLED AWAY A FORTUNE

Hanging among the many trophy mounts at Cabela's in Hamburg, Penn., is a reproduction of an amazing buck that, had both sides of its rack remained intact, might have grossed more than 242 inches and, after deductions, scored a whopping 230 6/8 inches, easily making it the modern world-record typical whitetail. The story begins in Iowa in the 1970s, when a man stopped to ask a farmer permission to trap turtles in his ponds. While talking, he noticed that the farmer had a large pile of sheds that he had picked up from his property and asked what he planned to do with them. The farmer said the turtle trapper could have all of them--except one that was half of a matched set of 8 by 8 antlers. Seems the farmer had a relative who made knives and wanted a deer antler to use for the handles. The man compared the two beams and noted that except for a forked brow tine on the right side, they were nearly identical.

Years later, Tom Sexton, a taxidermist and sculptor, saw the half rack and heard the turtle trapper's tale. He decided to re-create the entire rack so hunters could see how one monster Iowa whitetail might have become a world record.