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Rasmus Back Svendsen talks to Danish hunter, Mikkel Vendelin Olesen about the roebuck of a lifetime and a potential record breaker!
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In 1982, the world’s biggest roebuck was shot at the Widtsköfle Estate in Sweden. Weighing in at 970 grams and measured to 246,9 CIC points, the Widtsköfle buck is still, to this day, the biggest approved roebuck in the world. Several bucks have come close, and some have even surpassed it in weight or CIC points. However, these have not been approved by the CIC Trophy Committee as they were deemed abnormal and are thereby disqualified from contention as the biggest roebuck ever shot. Now, it seems that we may have yet another challenger looking to dethrone the famous “Widtsköfle Buck.”
In early July 2022, rumours that a very big roebuck was shot in Hampshire in the south of England started circulating. The rumours turned out to be true. The Danish hunter, Mikkel Vendelin Olesen, had shot a very nice roebuck and it would soon become apparent that it was not just any big roebuck. It could potentially be a challenger for the honour of the biggest roebuck in the world.
The south of England is quite well-known for producing roebucks with trophy sizes above average and has had several bucks that have matched, or even outscored, the current world record but were disqualified from contention by the CIC due to abnormal traits in the trophies. Whether this will be the case for the new contender is not yet decided. Currently, the trophy has been measured several times and based on these unofficial measurements the roebuck looks set to beat the current world record-holder by quite a margin. The trophy will need to be approved by the CIC committee in order to find out if it is in fact the world’s biggest roebuck.
We talked to the lucky hunter about persistence, deer management, and how the COVID-19 pandemic helped him bag the roebuck of his dreams. The hunting area where the buck was shot has delivered several medal-class roebucks over the years, but on that early-July evening, all previous records at that area were put to shame.
When COVID-19 started to dominate the world in 2020 travel was not possible, and for Mikkel, this meant that he could not visit his hunting ground in Southern England. “Ironically, COVID might have been a contributing factor to me getting this enormous buck. I was not able to go hunting in this particular area as I normally would, due to travel restrictions, so the buck was actually given a couple more years to grow bigger and stronger. Chances are, if I had met him a year or even two before, I would have taken him and he would have been a beautiful gold medal-trophy but not quite what he would turn out be a couple of years later.”
The stalk itself was actually not too difficult, Mikkel recalls. “We knew which area he was roaming around in, and after stalking our way to that particular area for a couple of hours, we spotted a very nice buck at the end of a field. Initially, we did not think that this was the monster buck that we were after, as the body size wasn’t that impressive, and judging by the size of his antlers he had to have a very large body.” It was, however, the right buck they had spotted while standing in the hedgerows quite far away from the buck. “We were looking to move forward and continue our stalk to track down the “big guy” but after glassing for a bit with our binoculars, we started to realise that this, in fact, was the buck we were looking for.”
“After a short discussion on how to proceed, we started to stalk along the hedgerows, and when we came in close enough, I put my rifle on the sticks and let go of the bullet. The buck jumped straight up in the air and set into a short sprint before tumbling over after about 40-50 metres.” It wasn’t until Mikkel walked up to the buck that he realised the actual size of the trophy. “As we had seen from a distance, the body wasn’t actually that big, so it wasn’t until I got up close that I truly realised how big the antlers actually were.”
The roebuck is still awaiting the final verdict on whether it is to be considered the new world record for European roe deer. The chances are good as the buck weighs in at just shy of 1,100 grams and the unofficial measurements indicate a result above 270 CIC points.
For Mikkel, the record would be a bonus but, when it comes down to it that does not really matter for the very experienced hunter: “It is hard to say if this is in fact the biggest roebuck in the world, we will have to wait and see, but for me, this will probably be the biggest roebuck I will ever come across, so for now I am just very happy.”
If you are wondering if Mikkel is done with stalking roebucks after bagging one of the largest representatives of the species, the answer is clear: “I am just as eager for the next roebuck season to start, as I have been my entire life. I love this elegant and magnificent deer, and, to me, success is not only measured in the size of the trophy but just as much in the experiences and challenges that stalking offers.”
You can watch the entire interview about the world’s potentially biggest roebuck here
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