Nebraska Man Gets Official State Muzzleloader Record
When Brandon Wilke of Paxton bought his muzzleloader deer permit last year, he hoped to put a little venison on the table, even if that meant taking a doe.
Wilke had never shot a buck deer before, but when the white smoked cleared during a hunt on Dec. 22, 2005, he had become the Nebraska record holder for typical white-tailed deer taken by muzzleloader.
His buck scored 178 1/8 points, outscoring the previous record muzzleloader white-tailed deer by 3 1/8. The record was held by Chip Wical of Wayne, who established his 175-point record in 1996. Wilke's deer is a typical five-by-five, with four additional short points near the base of the antlers that subtracted seven points from the score. The subtotal of 188 4/8 also was penalized 3 3/8 points for minimal length and circumference differences between each side of the rack.
"Wilke's white-tailed deer has an impressive rack," said Nebraska Game and Parks Commission wildlife manager Richard Nelson, who scored the deer for the agency's trophy citation program. "It is exceptionally well balanced, has good point length, beam circumference and spread. Obviously, those factors place it high in the record book."
Wilke, 24 at the time, shot the deer just east of Sarben in Keith County. He used a Hawken style .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle with double set triggers.
"I hate to admit it, but my dad and I sat around until mid-morning drinking coffee and debating whether to go deer hunting or not," Wilke said. "We finally decided to go out along the North Platte River, where we had permission to hunt. I was standing at the base of a tree while my dad was walking along the river. He spooked this big deer from its bed, and it came in my direction. I really wasn't expecting to see a buck, let alone one that big."