Outdoors Almanac: Record-setting 'Lovstuen Buck' sold
Doug Smith, Star Tribune
Published February 15, 2004 ONOT15
Sold: one legend.
The 38-point "Lovstuen Buck" -- the largest whitetail ever killed by a hunter -- has been sold by the Iowa family that bagged it last fall.
The buyer: Johnny Morris, owner of Bass Pro Shops. The record rack will be on display at Morris' flagship store in Springfield, Mo.
The price: unknown. Speculation is that it fetched around $100,000.
The mammoth deer, shot by 15-year-old Tony Lovstuen near his home in Albia, Iowa, sent the hunting world into a tizzy. The 38-point nontypical rack scored 319 and 4/8ths under the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system, making it the No. 3 buck in the world, behind two famous whitetails that were found dead and not killed by hunters.
That means it's the No. 1 whitetail, based on antler measurement, killed by a hunter.
While Bass Pro Shop officials were tight-lipped last week, Christy Lovstuen, mother of Tony, confirmed that the family had sold the rack.
"It will be on display at the Springfield, Mo., store," she said. "It will be nice to have everyone able to go see it forever."
She scoffed at speculation that the rack might be worth millions to the family. "No, not even close," she said.
Christy Lovstuen was in Las Vegas over the weekend attending the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show. A replica of Tony's deer is on display there. The family has made several replicas and retained rights to display them at shows, she said.
Since word of the big buck spread last fall, the family has been swept up in a whirlwind, fielding calls from reporters around the nation. The family gave exclusive rights to photos and their story to North American Whitetail Magazine.
"We had no idea it would be like this," she said. All of the attention has been "mostly good," she said.
Tony was with his dad, Doug Lovstuen, and an uncle when he shot the buck with a muzzleloader during a special youth hunt in September. The buck was well-known because of photos the family had taken of it while it was alive. It was called Iowa's walking world record.
"They didn't do it for money and fame," Christy Lovstuen said. "They did it for the hunt."