POWELL, Wyo.— Mark Rentschler of Powell, was mighty pleased when he shot his 10- by 11-point non-typical mule deer in mid- November.
The buck's Boone and Crockett green score was 251 gross, and the net green score was 242. He scored 248 5/8 in Safari Club International, Rentschler said.
Rentschler's was the 13th biggest mule deer buck taken by rifle on the North American continent, according to Safari Club International. "This is the biggest deer I've ever seen — ever," he said.
As a farrier, his autumns typically are busy shoeing horses so others can hunt. But this year, he set aside time to scout and hunt, Rentschler said.
The limited-quota season in the Crandall Creek area Rentschler hunted ran Nov. 1-15. He began scouting in October, but he never got a glimpse of the humongous atypical. His post-season theory was the buck was nocturnal, otherwise other hunters would have detected and pursued him, Rentschler said.
His hunting buddy, Scott Kincheloe, spotted the buck the day before Rentschler bagged it. That day, Rentschler was hunting with another friend, Tim Metzler. Kincheloe got a good look at the big buck and his massive 10- by 11 point antlers.
"When he (Kincheloe) left the message on my phone he was more than excited," Rentschler said.
Mike Apanashk had a tag for the area too. The agreement was, whoever took the first elk would have first dibs on the first nice buck deer found. Rentschler got the first elk, a 342-class bull. So Apanashk got first crack at Crandall bucks, Rentschler said.
Apanashk took a fine buck. "It was pretty decent," Rentschler said.
Apanashk and Rentschler began the non-typical hunt in the wee hours. They spotted the muley two miles away. When they arrived at the last sighting, the buck was nowhere in sight. "That was at first light," Rentschler said.
Rentschler was patient.
It was a limited-quota area with only 36 tags issued. "If you want to shoot a big one, don't pull the trigger on a little one," Rentschler said. "I was willing to burn the tag."
Between 3:30 and 4 p.m., Rentschler got another chance at the non-typical trophy.
He took a shot, but missed. "All I had was a sliver of his neck to aim for," Rentschler said.
Like he was standing on a Pogo Stick, the buck bounced a short distance down a coulee and stopped. "He didn't go 20 feet though," Rentschler said.
At 150 yards, the buck presented Rentschler with a nice broadside view, but his big rack was distracting.
"And that's when I had trouble not looking at his horns," Rentschler said laughing. "I referred to it as buck fever on steroids."
He aimed his 6.5-284 Norma like it was target practice. "The second shot was easy," Rentschler said.
Big non-typicals are few and far between. It was a life-long dream to harvest a buck of such statue. "It's definitely a buck of a lifetime," Rentschler said.
Timber Ridge Taxidermy in Ralston will mount the head, Rentschler said.
That will go nicely with a bull elk already adorning his wall and maybe a mountain lion, if all goes according to plan.
When The Tribune caught up with Rentschler, he was planning his mountain lion hunt, but there are no guarantees.
"Cats are hard to get," Rentschler said.
Rentschler may be an avid hunter, but the call of the wild has many songs for those willing to listen.
"I just like to be out there," he said.
Information from: Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, http://www.powelltribune.com