Record Buck to Be Scored December 16 in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. – An Allegheny County buck taken two months ago during the statewide archery season might be a new Pennsylvania state record.

(Photo: Jeff Lenzi, of Allegheny County)

Viewers everywhere can watch live online as the buck is measured and its official score recorded.

Allegheny County hunter Jeff Lenzi, who harvested the massive 10-point buck Oct. 10, is scheduled to bring the rack to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s headquarters on Tuesday, Dec. 16, to have it officially scored.

And the 9:00 a.m. scoring session will be streamed live on the Game Commission’s website,

Most big-game animals can be measured officially to see where they rank all-time. Pennsylvania launched its Big Game Records Program in 1965, and today, records are kept of all official measurements recorded for white-tailed deer, black bears and elk that meet minimum qualifications for entry into Pennsylvania’s records book.

Records are split into a number of categories, based on things such as the configuration of a deer’s or elk’s rack, and whether the animal was taken with a firearm or archery gear. A successful hunter must take his or her trophy to an official scorer.

It appears likely that Lenzi’s buck will be scored in the typical category, meaning its rack does not have many abnormal points. While Lenzi’s buck was an archery harvest, but he has said unofficial measurements taken on the rack might make it bigger than any of the typical record-book bucks in the firearms category, as well.

It could be the top typical deer of all time in Pennsylvania.

To date, the top buck in the typical firearms category was taken way back in 1943 in Bradford County by Fritz Janowsky, of Wellsburg, N.Y. That buck scores 189 inches, based on the Boone & Crockett Club measuring system.

The top typical buck in the archery category also is a product of Allegheny County. It was taken in 2004 by Michael Nicola Sr., of Waterford, and its official score is 178 2/8 inches.

Minimum qualification for the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book is 140 inches for typical bucks taken with firearms, and 115 inches for typical bucks taken with archery equipment.

Official measurements on any deer cannot be taken before the conclusion of a 60-day drying period to allow moisture to evaporate from the antlers and the rack to reach its final size.

Lenzi’s buck will be scored by Bob D’Angelo, who coordinates Pennsylvania’s Big Game Records Program.

D’Angelo, who said he’d been hearing about the buck long before scheduling the scoring session with Lenzi, said he’s excited to score the rack. The potential new No. 1 has been drawing a lot of interest, too, D’Angelo said.

“We are getting plenty of calls from hunters who have heard about the trophy buck, or have seen photos of it,” D’Angelo said. “It does not surprise me a buck of this caliber was taken in Allegheny County. Allegheny County has the second most entries in the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book, behind only Bradford County.

“This trophy also could meet the minimum score for inclusion in the Boone & Crockett Club’s records book, which is very difficult to do, and a testament to the trophy deer potential we have in the Keystone State,” D’Angelo said.

Pennsylvania entries scored now through the end of July 2015 will be added to the 2015 edition of the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book, if they meet minimum qualifications. The 2014 edition was published in October and can be purchased for $6, plus shipping and handling, through The Outdoor Shop at the Game Commission’s website. Pennsylvania residents must pay sales tax on all purchases.

Big-game scoring session scheduled:

Successful hunters who are looking to have their trophies officially scored can do so at a public, big-game scoring session to be held on Feb. 14, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg.

Deer, bear and elk that have been harvested in Pennsylvania are eligible for entry into the Pennsylvania Big Game Records book.

Deer and elk racks cannot be measured until after a 60-day drying period from when the skull plate was removed from the animal. For bears, the 60-day drying period begins after the skull is thoroughly cleaned by boiling or from the use of beetles.

Deer racks to be scored should have at least eight measurable points, and hunters need to register by Feb. 9, 2015. To register, call Patty Monk at 717-787-4250, ext. 3312. For more information on the session, contact Bob D’Angelo at 717-787-4250, ext. 3311.

All are welcome to attend.

The Game Commission’s headquarters is located at 2001 Elmerton Ave. in Harrisburg, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81.

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