Morson hunter bags record-setting whitetail

Peggy Revell

The big buck James Lundgren of Morson bagged back in 1975 has been hanging on his wall for decades.
But after finally having its antlers measured this past year, it turns they set an Ontario record for their size.
With a gross score of 204 6/8th inches, that measurement put Lundgren as having the largest grossing typical whitetail deer in Ontario, according to the fifth-edition Big Game Record Books for Ontario published by the Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife.
“And then they take away all the—they call it “junk”—the points that are non-typical, and that took away a score of 27 4/8ths, which left me with a net score of 177 2/8ths,” Lundgren explained.
That was 11.875 inches short of upsetting the Ontario net record score of 189 1/8 set in 1958, but it still was 15th overall.
Meanwhile, the world record for the largest typical whitetail deer antler is a score of 213 5/8”, which was bagged by Milo Hanson of Biggar, Sask. in 1993, according to Boone and Crockett’s Big Games Records.
The discovery of Lundgren’s record-breaking buck even led to a feature piece in Ontario Monster Whitetails Magazine. But for Lundgren, it was just “another day of hunting” back in the fall of 1975 when he shot it.
He had been out most of the day hunting when he heard it and its mate walking in the bush around 4:15 p.m.
“At the time when I shot it, I was much younger and being in the record book wasn’t that big of deal,” he explained.
But after taking a look at the antlers brought in during last year’s inaugural gun and hobby show in Barwick, Lundgren went home to bring in his own catch, figuring it would beat the ones already there—which it did.
“From there, it was a lot more talk and they wanted to have it officially scored and put into a book,” Lundgren noted.
While he did think over the years it was possibly a record-setting deer, officially having the antlers measured wasn’t a priority for him.
“I guess I knew it would be, but I just never pursued it,” Lundgren laughed. “It was on my wall and to me that was the biggest thing that counted, until some of these other outfitters started getting after me to get it scored and advertised a little bit.
“It’s been interesting,” he said of all the publicity and learning just how big the antlers were.
“It makes things more interesting and kind of makes you wish you had done it sooner so it would have more recognition,” Lundgren admitted.
“And had I done it sooner, it never would have been the number one, but it would have been number two for quite some time.”
Over the years, Lundgren has shot other whitetail deal that were close to this one’s size but had given them all away—something he’s now wishing he hadn’t done.
“Especially one other one that counted more points than this one here,” he said. “I gave it to a fellow in Manitoulin Island.
“I’d like to track it down, but I haven’t been able to yet,” he noted.