Record Velvet Mule Deer Certified by Pope & Young

Justin Gordon's velvet mule deer scored 324 3/8" and is the Pope & Young world record for the category.

Record Velvet Mule Deer Certified by Pope & Young

Justin Gordon with his velvet mule deer that has been certified as a world record in the category.

Justin Gordon arrowed a monstrous mule deer still in velvet while hunting in Colorado on Sept. 2, 2018, a buck he knew should be scored by the Pope & Young Club as a possible record.

It was, and on Oct. 28, 2020, a special panel of judges certified it as the world record velvet non-typical mule deer. Gordon's buck scored 324 3/8 inches and smashed the existing record by more than 50 inches.

 The Pope & Young Club recently changed a policy to allow velvet antlered species to be eligible for world records status within their own velvet categories. Measurers present at the panel Dallas Smith of Utah, Justin Spring of Montana, Dallas Leo of Utah and Roger Atwood of Idaho. Also present to oversee was Records Chairman Roy Grace of Arizona.

"It was evident this was a unique and tremendous animal," Grace said. "Animals of this size and age are a true testament to the success of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and support (of) all science-based conservation programs across North America."

Gordon’s buck surpasses the previous record, taken by Jeff Cisneros, with a score of 272 6/8 inches.

"To find an animal this rare in such a remote and beautiful setting can only be described as once in a lifetime," Gordon said. "Five days into the 2018 archery season the buck was first spotted by a friend with whom I shared base camp. The buck was a spooky deer, constantly on the move and rarely hanging around past predawn light.

"Several days after we initially spotted the buck, the deer actually presented an opportunity for a stalk. After a couple of hours on the stalk, I found myself inside 27 yards of the bedded buck. When he stood, he presented a steep quartering away shot. The arrow was true and the buck died after a very short run downhill."

Gordon's record buck will be on display at the Pope & Young’s Biennial Awards Convention in Reno, Nevada. The event is scheduled for April 14-17th, 2021.

Gordon's mule deer has been entered into the 32nd recording period,  representing entries accepted into the P&Y Records Program from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2020. At the close of every biennial recording period, numerical awards and honorable mentions are awarded to the most outstanding bow-harvested animals in each species category that have been entered during this two-year recording period. New records are verified and proclaimed, and awards are presented to these outstanding animals during the Pope and Young Club's convention.

Source: Information from Pope & Young Club

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