This year, a total of 21 students participated in the annual New Richmond High School Buck Contest put on by science teacher Jeff Albarado. The winner of the fifth annual event was Shaun Henke, who brought down a contest-record nine-point buck, while Hannah Burba took second place with a fivepoint buck. “When deer season comes around, I like to talk with the kids about deer hunting, but I was noticing that very few of the kids wanted to talk about it or didn’t have a lot to say about the upcoming season,” Albarado said. “That’s one of the reasons I started the contest, with the other being my wanting to promote hunting with the kids. I wanted to let them know that it is OK to talk about hunting and that there is still a good percentage of students who hunt every year.”
The winner of the contest is the student who takes down a buck with the largest spread/point count. Any student who is able to shoot a deer during the nine-day gun deer hunting season, which fell over the Thanksgiving holiday this year, is asked to bring in a photo of their kill to show the other students and count the number of points the bucks have.
“If it is too close to count between first and second place we’d have the students bring in the rack of their deer to measure them that way,” Albarado said. “The student with the biggest spread or highest number of points wins.”
When the students registered for the contest the week before Thanksgiving, they were required to pay a $1 entrance fee, which goes toward the overall pot that the winner of the contest then gets to designate for donation to whichever charity they choose. The winner also gets their name on a plaque and bragging rights over their fellow hunters.
“The winner only wins the bragging rights, but that is usually enough for the kids,” Albarado said. “The winner usually gives the money we raise to an organization like the Red Cross, the food shelf or a local church. They get to choose, but it has to be a nonprofit.”
The fifth annual contest saw a total of seven deer shot by the 21 participants.
“Usually, three-fourths of the students who sign up don’t get a deer during the season,” Albarado said. “But it is still fun to see all the deer the kids do get since a lot of the kids are just happy to have gotten something. They tend to talk a little smack too, which is always fun.”
According to Albarado, the previous record for largest buck was an 8-point buck that had a 14-inch spread. Although this year’s buck set a record for the contest, Albarado said that most years the winning deer usually isn’t that big.
“One year we had a winner that was a spike buck with just one horn,” Albarado said.
Albarado hopes to keep the contest going for years to come as long as students continue to take part.