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Record-breaking buck harvested in Westmoreland County

| Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, 11:06 a.m.
Ron Shaulis (center) holds his record-breaking deer rack.
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Ron Shaulis (center) holds his record-breaking deer rack.

When Ron Shaulis harvested a deer from the state gamelands in Donegal in October, he knew he'd bagged a big one. But he didn't realize quite how big.

Little did Shaulis, of South Huntingdon, know that the rack on that deer was the largest ever taken in the state under the Typical Archery category.

"I didn't know what I had until I took the rack to the taxidermist," Shaulis told the state Game Commission. "He told me I should definitely get it scored, as it might be a new record. That's when I knew I wanted to take it to Harrisburg to get it officially scored."

The rack eventually made its way to Bob D'Angelo, coordinator of the Game Commission Big Game Scoring Program. D'Angelo said that this year and last, there have been a number of record breaking harvests, but this particular rack broke a record that had stood for more than a decade.

The rack had a net score of 1854⁄8, which surpasses the previous record of 1782⁄8 from a buck harvested in Allegheny County in 2004.

"The 13-point rack was very symmetrical, and lost only 77⁄8 inches in side-to-side deductions, which included an inch-and-a-half abnormal point off the right side G-2 point," D'Angelo said in a news release. "That's not much in deductions on a set of antlers this size."

Shaulis said he spent countless hours scouting and monitoring trail cameras before taking the deer, which he first spotted in May.

"Everyone is out looking for a deer that big from the day they get their license," Shaulis said. "It's exhilarating to say the least, unexpected."

According to the commission, the rack "had 25-inch and 26-inch main beams, more than 11-inch G-2 and G-3 points, a more than 20-inch inside spread and 41⁄2 inch or better circumferences at the four locations where circumference measurements are taken on the main beams."

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said Shaulis' buck "is the trophy of a lifetime and representative of the amazing quality deer hunting available in Pennsylvania today."

According to D'Angelo, who scores all of the big game for the state, record-making and breaking harvests can be attributed to antler restrictions put into place in 2002 that require young bucks to be left alone until their antlers reach a certain size.

Last year, a buck taken in Clearfield County that scored 2286⁄8 was a new record in the Nontypical Archery category.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675,, or on Twitter @matthew_medsger.

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