Hunters know a thing or two about patience, but perhaps none more than Yukon guide Paul Deuling, who waited more than two decades to be recognized as the shooter of the world’s biggest mountain caribou. When Deuling first saw a huge mountain caribou while solo hunting for Dall’s sheep in Yukon’s Pelly Mountains in 1988, he knew it was the biggest bull he’d ever laid eyes on. Little did he know it would be 22 years after he pulled the trigger before it would be recognized as the new world record.
After the required 60-day drying period, the bull apparently scored 458-3/8, besting the record at the time. To be officially recognized by the Boone and Crockett Club, however, the antlers had to be sent to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for panel scoring, something Deuling couldn’t afford. So, the trophy fell into relative obscurity until Eldon “Buck” Buckner from Boone and Crockett came to the Yukon in August 2009, and scored the bull again. Buckner found one point the original scorer had overlooked, giving Deuling’s bull an official score of 459-3/8. Still, it had to be scored by a panel of judges, so Deuling finally shipped the antlers south and they were scored at a B & C convention in Nevada in June 2010. And thus, his mountain caribou was finally declared the official world-record.
Additionally, Deuling received the Boone and Crocket Club’s Sagamore Award for his adherence to the principles of fair chase, self-reliance, perseverance, selective hunting and mastery of challenges. As they say, good things come to those who wait.
See all the record caribou trophies here.