Back in February of 2019, I posted the news here that Justin Gordon of Utah had taken the potential new Pope & Young World Record Mule Deer out of Colorado.

At that time, he would have needed to strip the velvet to enter the buck in the all-time record book, as a velvet category didn’t exist for an all-time listing.  Justin chose not to strip the velvet, so World Record status was never confirmed.

Roll forward to June of 2020.  Pope & Young changed their policy on ranking velvet-antlered species.  That change meant that velvet-antlered trophies are treated just like all other animals accepted into the Records Program. Additionally, and most importantly, velvet-antlered animals will now be eligible for World Record status within their respective velvet category.

You can read that full press release here

With that policy change, the Gordon Buck was now eligible for World Record status while still retaining the velvet.

So on Wednesday, October 28th, the Pope and Young Club convened a Special Panel of Judges at the Cabela’s Store in Lehi, UT, for a potential P&Y World Record Velvet Non-Typical Mule Deer. Justin Gordon’s velvet mule deer scored an amazing 324 3/8″ and is now the largest bow-harvested VELVET Non-Typical Mule Deer in North America.

Measurers present at the Special Panel were (L to R) Dallas Smith of Utah, Justin Spring of Montana, Dallas Leo of Utah, and Roger Atwood of Idaho.

Personally, I’m very happy to see the Gordon Buck recognized for what it is: The highest scoring velvet bow killed mule deer of all time!

At 324 3/8″, this buck could hold the World Record Velvet Mule Deer Non-typical spot for a long time. For comparison, the World Record Boone & Crockett Non-typical Mule Deer, scoring just 30 7/8″ more than the Gordon Buck, has held that title since 1926!

Congratulations to Justin Gordon and a big thanks to the Pope & Young club for recognizing the huge interest in velvet antlered mule deer among today’s western hunters.

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Robby Denning
Robby Denning started hunting mule deer in the late 1970’s, only missing one season in 35 years. At 25, he gave up the pursuit of all other big-game to focus on taking the best bucks possible. He began hunting the West on a DIY budget hunting an average of 30 days a year for mule deer. Robby loves the hunt as much as the kill and the entire process from research to scouting to hunting. He’s killed four bucks over 200 inches in the last 15 seasons, mostly on easily-obtained tags. He owns a public-land scouting service and runs a private-land outfitting business helping other hunters in their pursuit of deer and elk. Robby has scouted and hunted literally thousands of square miles of mule deer country and brings a wealth of knowledge about these experiences with him. To him, the weapon of choice is just a means-to-an-end and will hunt with bow, rifle, or muzzleloader – whatever it takes to create an opportunity to take a great mule deer. He is also the author of "Hunting Big Mule Deer" available on Amazon. Robby believes all of creation is from God for man to manage, respect, and through which to know its Creator