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Possible Iowa State Record Trophy Stolen
What do you do if you are 16 years old, shooting hand me down equipment and take a possible Iowa State Record Buck? And then discover the mount stolen?
In the fall of 2003, 16 year old Brian Andrews harvested an incredible whitetail specimen which is by all accounts the new Iowa non-typical archery record. One of the amazing things is that Brian did it with outdated, borrowed archery gear. Some people say that it is just beginners luck but the details of the story reveal that Brian knew exactly what he was doing. Now, less than a year after the harvest a thief has interrupted this young hunters dream. Learn more about the story and find out how you can help Brian recover his buck!
Most Impressive
By Tom Fassbinder

While working the Whitetail Fanatic magazine booth at the 2004 Iowa Deer Classic in Des Moines, a single theme seemed to be on the minds of many visitors to our booth. 

Brian Andrews field picture of his Iowa trophy buck.

“Did you see that new record deer? I heard a kid shot it? That is the most impressive (emphasis added) buck I have ever seen!” 

These statements are just a small sampling of the many similar comments I heard throughout the event. 

Not to take anything away from young Tony Lovstuen from Albia Iowa, but they were not talking about his pending world record non-typical buck taken with a Knight muzzleloader during the 2003 Iowa youth season which was also on display at the show. 

Instead, the focus of the continuous buzz was the pending new Iowa state archery non-typical record harvested by 16 year old Brian Andrews. One whitetail fanatic I spoke with summed it up best when he told me “it's like this; stick me in a tree and send the Lovstuen buck and the Andrews buck past my stand and I'm letting the Lovstuen buck walk and shooting the Andrews buck! No Contest”. 

That statement was echoed by other veteran hunters throughout the show.

By most accounts, the Andrews buck was the most impressive set of antlers at what is often billed as the Greatest Whitetail Show on Earth. Despite giving up around 60 inches of antler to the Lovstuen buck, the Andrews buck seems to have something for everyone. 

It had a huge typical frame with plenty of non-typical features plus it had width, mass, length, height and a gross score of 260 6/8. While Lovenstuens buck outscored it on paper, the Andrews buck won the hearts of many devoted whitetail hunters in attendance.

During the show I met up with Randy Andrews, Brian's father. We discussed doing a story on Brian and his deer in the pages of Whitetail Fanatic. Randy agreed and we made preliminary plans to do so. Randy and I also discussed the impact that the Lovenstuen Buck had on young Brian Andrews. 

With two young hunters both taking such great bucks the same year and with Lovstuen's buck likely breaking the world record, it seemed to overshadow the state record Andrews buck. However, with all the notoriety and carefully scripted commercialization surrounding the Lovstuen buck, the Andrews family seemed content to keep Brian focused on the more noble aspects involved with deer hunting. 

In simple terms, Mr Andrews told me that what he wanted Brian to take away from this hunting experience were the personal character building traits associated with a successful hunt along with some humble notoriety. The Andrews family was eager to share Brian's accomplishment with the hunting community but not overly interested with the short term monitory gains that sometimes accompany the harvest of a great buck. 

I was astonished. My initial thought was to consider the outstanding moral character of Randy Andrews along with the superior parenting skills he exhibited. He could obviously use his son's accomplishments to line his pants pocket with greenbacks but he found the real life lessons that his son would take away from the harvest of a state record deer much more valuable than the monetary compensation that might come his way. 

The conversation that ensued only served to reinforce those beliefs. In this writer's opinion, Mr. Randy Andrews is the type of person that fathers of young hunters everywhere should pattern themselves after. That is precisely what makes what happened next even more despicable. 

June 19, 2004 - It's Gone!
When I heard the news that Brian Andrews’ trophy buck was stolen my thoughts immediately turned to trying to imagine how Brian was coping with the issue. Imagine the gut wrenching disappointment Brian felt when he flipped on the basement lights to show visitors his awesome whitetail buck and discovered it was no longer there! 

Brian last saw his deer at 3:00pm on Thursday June 18, 2004. He and his family left the house for a few hours later that day. When they returned they were unaware that someone had entered their home and stole Brian's deer. 

The next day when Brian flipped on the basement light and discovered that thieves had taken his buck of a lifetime Brian was speechless. Brain still cannot comprehend why someone would steal a buck that he shot and one that meant so much to him. 

Your Help is Needed
The jerk that did this has to be brought to justice and this is a rally cry to all you amateur crime stoppers out there! As hunters, I ask you to get involved and help bring the thief(s) to justice. 

This is a unique buck and once you see it, you won't soon forget it. If you have any knowledge of the whereabouts of this buck or have information about who might have taken it please contact the Buchanan County Sheriffs Department in Independence Iowa at 319-334-2567

At the time of this writing a reward fund was being established.
Visit in the future for further updates.

Brian Andrews with his huge Iowa buck.

Brian Andrew's Iowa buck has a huge typical frame with plenty of non-typical features plus width, mass, length, height and a gross score of 260 6/8.

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Tom Fassbinder

Tom Fassbinder is the publisher of Whitetail Fanatic magazine -- the definitive source deer hunting enthusiasts turn to for information encompassing all aspects of the whitetail deer hunting scene. 

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