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Voyageur's Best Sports of 2005

Arthur Juhl with buck

A jewel of a buck
Arthur Juhl leads contest with 224-pound trophy buck
by Sadie Frericks  |  November 22, 2005

It didn’t take long for Arthur Juhl to find the buck he was looking for, the buck every deer hunter was looking for. At two o’clock on the opener, Saturday, November 5, the 15-year-old from Lawler shot the deer of his dreams, a 9-point, 224-pound jewel of a buck, and put himself in the lead in the Jackson’s Hole Big Buck Contest.

On opening day, after lunch and a little break, Arthur took his Springfield Savage bolt-action .30-30, a rifle he was using for the first time, and headed out to his neighbor’s field for the afternoon hunt. Within 15 minutes, Arthur was on his way back to the house to get his father, Ted.

“I was out there for like five minutes,” Arthur began. “I walked around the poplar island twice [and] saw some tracks. I threw down some doe scent, grunted, and he ran out into the field.”

“He scared the [heck] out of me,” Arthur continued. “He was running straight at me. All I could do was pull the trigger.” Arthur figures the buck was only about 15 feet away when he shot.

“I didn’t think it [weighed that much] at first, until I walked up to it.” After taking a good look at his prize, Arthur went back up to the house to enlist his dad’s help in hauling the buck home.

“Arthur told me he’d got a big buck and I thought, ‘Yeah, right,’” Ted explained. “Then on the way out there I thought, ‘Man, that looks like a cow laying there in the field.’”

Lawler was the Juhls’ destination after bringing the buck, Arthur’s first, home to the farm. They registered the deer at Jackson’s Hole and had it weighed for the Big Buck Contest there.

Arthur’s deer weighed in at a hefty 224 pounds. The buck’s nine-point rack has a 19 1⁄2 inch spread with 3 1⁄2 inch brow tines. The Juhls are planning to have the deer scored (Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young) and mounted by Arthur’s uncle.

Darrell Helin, together with Judy Olson, has been weighing the deer in at Jackson’s Hole for 16 years now. “We’ve never had the first big buck hold for all of the contest period,” he recalled. “But I’ve also never seen this many bucks over 200 pounds. Usually we have five come in over 200. So far this year we’ve had eight.”

As a result, Arthur admitted, “I’m still checking the board every time I go by. They (the deer behind him in the standings) are getting bigger and bigger.”

Arthur’s doubts about winning the contest are well founded. The buck in second place for most of the season weighed in at 212 pounds, not that far behind Arthur’s 224. Third place was a tie between three 210-pound deer.

Despite his doubts, Arthur continues to be hopeful. “I hope I win this contest,” he said. “If I do, I’ll just retire my .30-30 to my [older] brother, Greg.”

Arthur’s hopefulness looks like it will pay off. At press time, Arthur’s buck was still in first place; when the contest officially ends on Monday, November 21, he very well might find himself the new owner of a Remington .30-06 Model 7400, a rifle valued at $600.

Arthur entered the Big Buck Contest at Denham Run, as well. If he wins, his prize there will be $500 cash, which he says he’ll use to pay for drivers’ education and buy some stuff for his new gun.

Ted claims it was a ‘stroke of luck’. Arthur thinks it was just a matter of ‘perfect timing’. Either way, in just his third year of hunting, Arthur has not only seen the buck of his dreams, he’s putting it on the wall, too. What’s left to look forward to? Hunting with a new .30-06.

This article first appeared in the November 22, 2005 issue of the Voyageur Press.