Record 8 Pointer Killed Illegally

A typical 8-point buck with antlers larger than any other 8-point on record for North America was killed in Goodhue County, Minnesota during the fall of 2009. County resident Matt Stans is shown with the one-of-a-kind rack that grosses 190 5/8 and nets 185. The buck was aged at 7 1/2. Stans and a neighbor both missed shots at this buck in 2006 and had been hunting it ever since. Unfortunately, a poacher got the buck before those who were hunting it legally. This photo of Stans with the head of the buck he had been hunting was taken outside a taxidermist's shop where the poacher brought the buck's head for mounting. At the time this photo was taken, it was not known it was an illegal kill.
The highest scoring 8-pointers known taken in North America prior to 2009 were a pair that netted 180 3/8. Both are in Boone and Crockett Records. Vic Bulliner from Davison, Michigan is shown in this photo with a full mount of one of them that he took with a shotgun on November 16, 2001 in Hillsdale County. The second 8-pointer netting 180 3/8 was shot in South Dakota with a rifle years earlier.
Stans saw the big 8-pointer in a food plot one morning during the fall of 2007 after he had filled his tag with a different buck. He spent weeks looking for the monster buck's shed antlers during the spring of 2008 and finally found both of them. The left antler was located last and had been chewed on by squirrels before it was recovered. The rack had an estimated net score of 175 during 2007.
Matt saw the 8-pointer at a distance when bowhunting during the fall of 2008 and then during muzzleloader season, after shooting time ended. Toward the end of February of 2009, a neighbor found the buck's right antler, which he had just lost, and gave it to Stans. That antler is lying on the counter, with the sheds from the year before being held in the background.
Matt then began looking for the left antler and found it in half a day. That antler grew a fifth point in 2008. Giving the rack an inside spread of 25 4/8 inches, it would have netted 182 1/8. This photo shows both sets of antlers that the buck grew in 2007 and 2008.
Here are both sets of sheds next to the buck's head and antlers from 2009. The inside spread of the buck's final set of antlers is 26 3/8 inches. the right beam was 31 5/8 inches long and the left measured 31 6/8 inches. Circumference of the antlers at the bases was 6 1/8 and 6 inches. The longest tine was 12 inches in length. Note that the right antler from 2009 has the start of a G4 tine.
Here's a side view of the three sets of antlers. There are two sticker points on the base of the left antler. One is 1 4/8 inches long and the other is 1 1/8 inches, both of which end up being deductions from the final score.
Matt had a head mount done with the buck's shed antlers from 2008, with the sheds from 2007 displayed below.
Stans arrowed a trophy buck on November 1, 2009, that he thought might be the monster 8-pointer, but it proved to be a smaller, younger deer. The buck he tagged was 4 1/2 years old and the antlers grossed 160 6/8 and netted 143.
Matt thinks the buck he tagged is related to the monster 8-point. Here's the mount of his bow kill next to the mount of the sheds from 2008. There are similarities.
It wasn't until Matt brought the head of his bow kill to a local taxidermist for mounting that he saw the head of the record 8-point that had been killed by someone else. At the time, he was happy for the other "hunter." It wasn't until news broke about who claimed the 8-point that someone who knew him reported that he had taken two previous deer that he failed to register. The antlers were then confiscated by the MN DNR. Minnesota Conservation Officer Tyler Quandt of Red Wing is shown with the confiscated antlers. He investigated the incident (Photo by the MN DNR).