Minnesota Monster: Found Deadhead Buck Could Be State’s No. 1 All-Time

Minnesota Monster: Found Deadhead Buck Could Be State's No. 1 All-Time

Jesse Schroeder of Lake City found this deadhead, which net scored 277-plus. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota Officials Measurers)

A look at the news and notes from the outdoors world last week:

Minnesota Monster Buck Scored

June might not seem like the time of year when news breaks about big bucks, but it happened over the weekend when the Minnesota Officials Measurers put out a Facebook post on Sunday, June 11. “Jesse Schroeder of Lake City, found this deadhead in Goodhue County this spring 2024,” read the post that drew immediate attention. Yeah, big bucks draw a crowd even in June. The post continued:

“After the 60 day drying requirement, it has been panel measured and it sports 31 scoreable points. It scored 277 3/8 net and 282 1/8 gross, making it the new number 1 non-typical all-time in Minnesota. This deer was well known by a handful of people that were fortunate to see it, get trail camera pictures of him and find his sheds. He is every definition of a Minnesota Monster.”

The MOM post comes from a group of trained measurers who measure big-game specimens in Minnesota (white-tailed deer, black bear, moose, elk and wolf). The group maintains a Minnesota record book too, now in its second edition.

While there’s no word yet on whether the dead-head will be recognized by the Boone and Crockett Club, the record-keeping and conservation organization does recognize pick-up entries in its data base. In fact, the B&C world record non-typical white-tailed deer is a 333 7/8-inch St. Louis County, Missouri buck—the Missouri Monster—that was found dead by Missouri Department of Natural Resources officials back in 1981.

Incidentally, the current Minnesota record non-typical whitetail in the 14th Edition of Records of North American Big Game maintained by the B&C Club is a 268 5/8-inch buck. That huge whitetail was taken in Norman County, Minnesota in 1974 by Mitchell A. Vakoch. That 41-point buck, which had a gross score of 295 6/8 inches, is now owned by Bass Pro Shops.

Colorado Makes Hunting License Cuts

In response to this past winter and some of the most severe snow conditions that residents of northwestern Colorado have seen in 70 years, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife is making unprecedented big-game hunting license reductions and even shortening some season dates in response to the severe winterkill following historic snow and cold.

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The CPW Commission recently approved the issuing of “…236,600 licenses for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and bear. These license changes include a reduction of 32,000 (-12 percent) limited licenses from last year.”

Also being approved are the following measures:

  • Statewide, CPW is issuing 12,600 (-12 percent) fewer deer licenses than last year. For the northwest region, it’s a reduction of 12,800 (-33 percent) deer licenses.
  • Statewide, CPW is limiting 107,700 licenses for elk, down 15,400 (-12 percent) licenses from last year.
  • Archery licenses for hunt code E-E-004-O1-A and muzzleloader licenses for hunt codes E-E-004-O1-M and E-E-014-O1-M have been reduced by an additional 25 percent.

“This winter has been historic in many ways,” said Darb Finley, the Meeker-area Terrestrial Biologist for CPW, in the news release. “These recommendations were not easy to make, and we know they will impact more than just CPW, including hunting opportunities and local economies. However, we believe these substantial reductions in licenses will allow herds to recover as quickly as possible.”

Two Kansas Fishing Records Fall

The Kansas Parks and Wildlife Department reported that anglers there have set two state records in recent weeks.

The first came on April 4, 2024 when Topeka resident Bobby Parkhurst caught a 4.07-pound white crappie on a minnow while fishing at Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake No. 2. That beat the previous record for a white crappie, a 4.02-pounder caught in 1964 by Frank Miller of Eureka.

The second reported Kansas state record is a smallmouth buffalo from Clinton Reservoir that was arrowed by Topeka bowfisherman Thayne Miller on April 27. Miller arrowed the big fish—which weighed 64.75 pounds, measured 45.25 inches long and had a total girth of 35 inches—while bowfishing at Clinton Reservoir to the west of Lawrence.

Incidentally, KDWP reports that the previous state record for a smallmouth buffalo was set in 1979 by Scott Butler of Lawrence when he reeled in a 51-pound, 41-inch-long specimen from a Douglas County farm pond.

Texas Game Wardens Assist with Panhandle Flooding

The Texas Panhandle is better known for dust storms, wildfires, rattlesnakes, bobwhite quail, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and waterfowl than it is for flooding rains.

But copious rains fueled perhaps by the developing El Nino led to historic floods along the Canadian River only a few days ago. That led the Potter County Sheriff’s Office to request unusual assistance from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden swift-water search and rescue teams in the days following Memorial Day.

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“Through strong interagency efforts and intensive training, Texas Game Wardens were prepared and ready to respond to an incident in the Panhandle,” said Potter County Game Warden Ryan Hunter in a news release. “The search and rescue team maintains highly skilled members across the state and has a long history of supporting local authorities during times of severe weather crisis.”

The team of TPWD wardens reportedly facilitated multiple vehicle-related rescues at lwater crossings. And after Potter County-home to Amarillo and its population of 308,297 residents-issued an emergency declaration closure of the Canadian River area near the U.S. Highway 287 bridge, TPWD said its wardens also assisted with enforcement efforts through river patrols. Potter and Randall County Fire and Rescue, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety and many others assisted with the emergency efforts.

Massive Catfish Caught in Italy

This big fishing tale-or is that tail?—has been reported on by numerous news outlets like the Miami Herald and comes from Italy’s famous River Po, home to some extraordinary wels catfish.

The most recent tale includes a potential International Game Fish Association world record for the species after MADCAT pro-staffer Alessandro Biancardi landed, measured, and released a 285 cm long monster whiskerfish according to a MADCAT Team news release.

When the big bite happened, Biancardi was using a MADCAT XTAAZ spinning rod, a Savage Gear SGS8 8000 reel, prototype MADCAT braid, a Savage Gear Cannibal 15cm soft plastic, and a 12/0 (40g) MADCAT jighead. When the fight began, the angler noted that the huge fish “stood still some seconds before starting a complicated fight between strong currents and a lot of submerged obstacles.”

The Italian angler reportedly fought the big wels for 40 minutes before it finally surfaced and he realized how big it was. After trying to glove the fish two or three times, he was finally able to land the fish alone in shallow water, according to the report.

“I called my friend Marco to reach me and to warn the guys at the near WELS-CAMP AM PO, I was sure that the fish I caught was special, but I never imagined what would happen next when we measured the fish on the mat,” said Biancardi in the news release. “Under the incredulous eyes of many anglers, the meter stopped at 285 cm, it was the new WORLD RECORD catfish!”

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With the fish being released, there’s no way to know if it was heavier than the IGFA’s all-tackle record for the species, a 297-pound, 9-ounce. (134.97 kg) wels caught on the River Po on March 11, 2010 by Attila Zsedely.

But that fish reportedly measured only 96.46 inches in length, according to media reports, and the Biancardi wels catfish measured 112.205 inches when the reported 285 centimeter length is converted to inches. Since there is currently no IGFA catch-and-release record for a wels listed in the 2024 World Record Game Fishes record book, the Biancardi fish looks to take that record if the application gets approved.

Short Casts

An interesting story appeared in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend involving fishing. The June 11 WSJ story by Harriet Torry notes that Peter Barnett was unhappy about increasing airline baggage fees for checked and carry-on luggage. The solution? Wearing a fly fishing vest, old-school style! … It’s one month and counting until the 66th edition of the ICAST show opens up in Orlando, Fla. for its annual mid-summer run. The July 11-14, 2024 show—put on by the American Sportfishing Association and technically known as the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades—has more than 600 companies ready to display fishing gear and lifestyle products and should draw more than 12,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center, host facility for the show since 2014. … Squirrel season is now open in Missouri, with the lengthy season held each year by the Missouri Department of Conservation running from May 27, 2024 through Feb. 15, 2024. According to the Springfield News-Leader, Missouri has had a squirrel season since 1905 and is one of only 10 states with spring hunting allowed. Those 10 states with spring squirrel hunting include Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia according to the newspaper. … A news release from the Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society indicates that the conservation group recently signed the Sugar Creek Stewardship Agreement on the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The project, which will help upland bird habitat in the area, was previously shelved as a “no-bid” timber sale and will improve Tar Heel State forest health and habitat through active forest management on 409 acres across a 1,912-acre project area.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>