Brian Inda (right) of Wautoma and Craig Carpenter of Wild Rose pose with the 12-point buck that Inda killed bowhunting last Tuesday in Wild Rose. The buck is a potential state record; its shed antlers from last year are shown on the ground.

Record-breaking deer aren’t seen every year in every state. It’s even more unusual for a state to see two all-time record-book bucks turn up in a single season, especially when the deer are killed within a couple of weeks of each other. But that’s what happened in Wisconsin in November 2010 when the state’s archery and crossbow records fell.

Brian Inda of Wautoma killed the archery record on November 2 while hunting a Christmas tree farm near Wild Rose with friend Craig Carpenter. The two hunters knew a big buck was in the area because the previous year they had found its massive sheds, which grossed 192 inches, on adjacent property. They later saw the deer.

On the afternoon hunt in November, Inda had been sitting for about an hour when he heard footfalls about 60 yards away in the brush. He pulled out a grunt tube and called. Nothing happened at first, but then the huge buck appeared and began thrashing a mock scrape at 30 yards. Inda kept his cool and released an arrow when the deer was standing broadside at about 15 yards. The flight of Inda’s arrow was true, and the deer was found dead just 70 yards from his stand.

A panel of certified scorers representing the Wisconsin Buck & Bear Club officially measured the 5×7 on January 15, 2011. The final score of 187 5/8 topped the old record — a 16-pointer taken in 2006 by Barry Rose, a former wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills — by just 3/8 of an inch. The rack boasted four tines over 12 inches, with the longest (the left G-2) stretching 14 7/8. The main beams measured 27 inches on the left and 26 3/8 on the right, with an inside spread of 22 inches. The rack’s typical gross was 197 5/8.

The rack had 12 scorable points, five on the right antler and seven on the left. Its inside spread was 22 inches; the longest tine was the left G2 at 14 7/8 inches, with three additional tines measuring over 12 inches! The main beams were 26 3/8 inches on the right and 27 0/8 inches on the left. The rack had a typical gross of 197 5/8.

Less than two weeks after Inda killed his record-breaker, on November 15, 2010, 65-year-old Jim Spataro of Pewaukee headed out to the Waukesha County woods just a few minutes from his home, looking forward to the relaxation and contemplation he often enjoyed while hunting deer. Spataro was battling fibromyalgia, a painful, debilitating disease. But he had no trouble hunting with a crossbow he’d purchased four years earlier. He previously had killed a doe but no bucks. Nothing prepared him for the gigantic whitetail that passed within a few yards of his stand that day.

“I fired. I heard it hit him, hard,” Spataro later told a reporter. “The buck took two more steps, turned left and galloped back the way he came. I watched him for 30 yards along a little ridge before he disappeared. It all happened within seconds.”

Friends came and helped Spataro find the deer, a 7×7 typical with one non-typical tine. A panel of four measurers officially scored it at 179 3/8 inches (210 5/8 gross), enough for the monster whitetail to set a new Wisconsin crossbow record.