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2013 BIG BUCK CONTEST

The West Virginia Big Buck Contest was established in 1964 to recognize hunters who bag extraordinarily big antlered bucks. The contest is co-sponsored by the Division of Natural Resources, the Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, the West Virginia Bowhunter's Association, the West Virginia Muzzleloader's Association, the Physically Challenged Advisory Board, and Toyota.

The Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young Club scoring systems are used to score bucks depending upon method of kill.  Guidelines for the annual contest are as follows:

  1. The deer must have been checked at an Official Game Checking Station, and the official West Virginia Game Check Tag must be attached to the antlers.
  2. A Fair Chase Affidavit must be signed and attached to the Official Score Sheet.
  3. Field photos of the freshly killed deer with antlers attached must be submitted at the time of scoring for state record entries.
  4. Any bow-killed or crossbow-killed buck that scores at least 125 typical or 155 non-typical, gun-killed or muzzleloader-killed bucks that score at least 140 typical or 165 non-typical must be scored by an Official Scorer approved by the Pope and Young or Boone and Crockett Club.

A review committee was established, by the Director of the Division of Natural Resources, to consider all deer entries to the Big Buck Contest.  The committee has the power to make judgments as to the legitimacy of each entry and to accept or reject any entry in question.  The West Virginia Big Buck Contest Review Committee consists of representatives from the Izaak Walton League of West Virginia, the West Virginia Bowhunter's Association, the West Virginia Muzzleloader's Association, the WVDNR's Wildlife Resources Section and the Law Enforcement Section, and the West Virginia Physically Challenged Advisory Board.

In 2013, 165 hunters had their deer antlers scored at one of the six WVDNR District Offices, Field Offices, or the West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show in Charleston (sponsored by the West Virginia Trophy Hunter's Association). There are 18 WVDNR Wildlife Biologists and Wildlife Managers distributed throughout the state that are certified by the Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young Clubs as official scorers.  In the 2013 Big Buck Contest hunters took 67 big bucks (Table 1) with gun, muzzleloader, bow, or crossbow that met the score minimums, the requirements concerning Game Check Tags and Fair Chase Statements, and were not excluded for cause by the Big Buck Contest Review Committee.  An additional 21 bucks from former years were scored that met the requirements for a Big Buck Certificate.

It is noteworthy that an additional two scoresheets that met the minimum score requirements did not have the Game Check Tag verified, or did not have a signed Fair Chase Statement attached.  These are the common reasons why hunter's bucks are excluded from the contest list and do not receive a Big Buck Certificate.  A good practice is to staple the Game Check Tag to the back of a mounted head so that it is not misplaced.  A hunter may only take their rack to be scored by one Official Scorer.  Score shopping is prohibited by the WV Big Buck Contest and will be dealt with according to Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young guidelines. It is the hunter's responsibility to work with their official scorer to make sure that all documentation is completed (by the contest deadline of March 15) and sent to the Big Buck Contest Review Committee Chairman.

Eleven bucks killed by gun hunters scored above 140 points typical or 165 points non-typical.  In the Typical-Gun category, the winner was Joshua Cooper of Racine, WV with a buck killed in Boone County that scored 157 6/8. There was no Non-typical buck taken with the Gun this year that met the minimum score; therefore that category has no winner this year.

There was one Typical buck taken with a muzzleloader this year that met the score minimums, the requirements concerning Game Check Tags and Fair Chase Statements.  Robert Neely harvested a buck in Marshall County with a score of 143 1/8.  There was no Non-typical buck taken with the muzzleloader this year that met the minimum score; therefore that category has no winner this year.

Bowhunters killed 53 deer that scored above 125 points typical or 155 points non-typical.  The winner of the Typical-Bow category was Ethan McCallister with a buck from Logan County that scored 172 1/8. This buck came in fourth place on the All Time Score Rankings.  The Non-typical Bow category winner was Myran Copley with a buck from Mingo County that scored 181 1/8. 

Physically challenged crossbow hunters killed two bucks that scored above 140 points typical.  The winner was James Goodwin of Kanawha County with a buck that scored 147 6/8.  There was no Non-typical buck taken with the crossbow this year that met the minimum score; therefore that category has no winner this year.

The WV Big Buck Contest Committee would like to congratulate all the hunters who took bucks that qualified for this year's contest. In addition, thank you to all hunters who participated and had antlers scored this past year!

Table 1.   West Virginia Big Buck Contest 2013 Score Rankings.

WV Big Buck Contest 2013 Score Rankings

Antler Configuration: Typical   Weapon:  Gun
Name County Harvest Date Ranking Score
Joshua Cooper Boone 11/25/2013 1 157 6/8
Brandon Toney Lincoln 11/28/2013 2 153 7/8
James Fleshman Greenbrier 12/2/2013 3 151 0/8
Waylon Kincaid  Nicholas 11/25/2013  4 150 2/8
Charles Hemmings Clay 11/25/2013 5 149 3/8
Gerald Daniel Lester Boone 11/27/2013 6 145 0/8
Steve Lewis Raleigh 11/25/2013 7 142 4/8
Gary Davis  Fayette 11/25/2013 8 141 5/8
Jerry Lilly  Kanawha  11/25/2013 9 141 1/8
Travis Brown  Braxton 12/09/2013 10 140 4/8
Patrick Smith  Kanawha 11/25/2013 11 140 1/8
         
Antler Configuration:  Non-Typical   Weapon:  Gun
None in 2013        
         
Antler Configuration:  Typical   Weapon:  Muzzleloader
Name County Harvest Date Ranking Score
Robert Neely  Marshall 12/09/2013 1 143 1/8 
         
Antler Configuration:  Non-Typical   Weapon:  Muzzleloader
None in 2013        
         
Antler Configuration:   Typical Weapon:  Bow
Name County Harvest Date Ranking Score
Ethan McCallister  Logan 11/13/2013 1 172 1/8
Justin Layfield Lewis 10/28/2013  2 167 2/8
Terry Smith Boone 11/23/2013  3 158 3/8
Joshua Walls  Wyoming 11/09/2013 4 156 3/8
Mitchell Oxley Kanawha 11/12/2013 5 154 1/8
Brandon Lilly Wyoming 11/14/2013 6 153 3/8
Jack Setlift  Lincoln 10/2/2013  7 152 2/8
Charles E Adams  Wyoming 11/11/2013 8 151 6/8
Harold Green Jr. Logan 11/9/2013  9 149 7/8
Jimmy Shrewsbury  Wyoming 11/1/2013 10 149 4/8
Dennis Lilly  Wyoming 11/22/2013 11 149 0/8
Jimmy C. Dillon Jr.  McDowell 11/17/2013  12 148 4/8
Ronnie Martin II  McDowell 12/7/2013 13* 146 7/8
John Pack   McDowell 11/21/2013 13* 146 7/8
Jason Edgell  Doddridge 11/02/2013 15 146 6/8
Roger Nottingham Cabell 11/29/2013 16 146 1/8
Russell Simpson   Wyoming 10/7/2013 17 146 0/8
Thomas Rinehart   Fayette 11/21/2013 18 144 4/8
Ryan Huffman   McDowell 11/29/2013 19 143 3/8
Matt Stephens   Kanawha 11/21/2013 20 140 7/8
Luke Stevens Wyoming 12/18/2013 21 140 5/8
Jeremy Hayhurst III   Wyoming 11/16/2013  22 139 4/8
Jeffery Hubbard McDowell 11/23/2013 23 139 3/8
Kevin Tallman Randolph 11/12/2013 24* 139 0/8
Steven Caron Raleigh 11/7/2013 24* 139 0/8
Ella Kelly   McDowell 12/16/2013 26 138 0/8
Michael Milam Wyoming 11/8/2013 27 137 7/8
Mark Harold   Wyoming 11/25/2013 28 137 3/8
Joseph Keiffer Webster 11/11/2013 29 137 1/8
Justin Warren   McDowell 11/8/2013  30 136 4/8
Fred Richter Jr.  Ohio 12/19/2013  31 135 4/8
Blaise Reed    Kanawha 11/16/2013 32 135 2/8
Ty Cutlip   Braxton 9/30/2013 33 134 6/8
Ronald Graham  McDowell 11/27/2013 34 133 4/8
Christopher Eckert  Cabell 11/19/2013 35 133 3/8
Justin Layfield  Lewis 10/7/2013 36 132 6/8
Theresa Maston Jackson 11/06/2013 37 132 2/8
Phillip Arrington McDowell 11/25/2013 38 131 5/8
Rodney Kirkendoll  Wyoming 11/16/2013  39 131 0/8
Vernon Santee Marion 11/21/2013 40 129 3/8
Buck Lambert McDowell 11/14/2013 41 129 0/8
Dennis Fisher Jackson 9/30/2013 42 128 7/8
Richard Thomas Wirt 10/23/2013 43 128 4/8
Katelyn Bennett  Roane 11/19/2013 44 128 2/8
Clarence Bowers Wyoming 11/11/2013 45 127 5/8
Tony Baker   McDowell 11/20/2013 46 127 3/8
Kevin Standifur McDowell 11/15/2013 47 127 0/8
Max Hornish  Ritchie 9/30/2013 48 126 5/8
Woodrow Hudson Mason 11/04/2013 49 126 3/8
Marlon Henry Gilmer 10/05/2013 50 126 1/8
Jerry Williams    Mercer 11/18/2013 51 125 7/8
Greg Trail   Roane 11/8/2013  52 125 5/8
      * Identical score - shares ranking
         
Antler Configuration:    Non-Typical  Weapon:  Bow
Name County Harvest Date Ranking Score
Myran Copley Mingo 12/3/2013 1 181 1/8
         
Antler Configuration:  Typical      Weapon:  Crossbow
Name County Harvest Date Ranking Score
James Goodwin Kanawha 11/19/2013  1 147 6/8
Franklin Rogers Jackson 9/28/2013  2 140 3/8
         
Antler Configuration:  Non-Typical   Weapon:  Crossbow
None in 2013        

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