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Yeremey Savin
Yeremey Savin

Where To Buy Legendary Whitetails

Legendary Whitetails founder Larry Huffman passed away in early January. His unwavering passion for whitetails prompted him to assemble one of the greatest trophy antler collections of all time. Larry will be

where to buy legendary whitetails

greatly missed. By Les Davenport Two sorely missed whitetail icons: Larry Huffman (right) posed for this picture several years ago at the Iowa Deer Classic with Larry Raveling and his great Iowa buck taken in 1973. Sadly, Larry Raveling passed away in April 2005 after suffering a heart attack. Photo courtesy of the Huffman family.There are few men who have walked this earth with more love for whitetails than Larry Huffman of West Bend, Wisconsin. Sadly, Larry passed away in early January 2007 after a brief illness. He had just turned 71 in December.

Larry harvested his first whitetail, a running doe, with a Bear recurve bow during Wisconsin's 1962 archery deer season in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. His budding obsession for whitetails grew during the '70s and '80s. He and his wife, Joyce, had four sons: Greg, Todd, Doug and Troy. The boys all became whitetail hunters.

By 1990, Larry's fascination with whitetails led him to start collecting world-class racks. Gordon Whittington, then editor of North American Whitetail, remembers meeting Larry for the first time at the Boone and Crockett Club convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in June 1992.

"I had heard of Larry from Dick Idol, who at that time was still writing a lot of big-buck features for us," Gordon recalls. "I immediately realized Larry was as crazy about giant whitetails as I was, and we hit it off from the start.

Gordon felt honored when Larry, along with David Morris of Venture Press, asked him to co-edit the first Legendary Whitetails book in 1996. Gordon was honored again when Larry asked him to edit the second volume in that series, published in 2001. Each book is a coffee-table work of art featuring 40 historic stories about some of North America's top whitetails of all time. Volume 1 actually contains stories about 40 world-class bucks that made up Larry's original collection. Duncan Dobie, current editor of North American Whitetail, wrote several stories in each book. Legendary Whitetails III was in the works (and scheduled to be published later in 2007) at the time of Larry's death.

"Though Larry was a smart, self-made businessman, I never got the impression that his interest in trophy-class whitetails was based on profit potential," Gordon notes. "It was more of a hobby for Larry. He simply loved world-class bucks."

Larry's passion for whitetails was an extension of his excitement for life. Born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois, he moved to Wisconsin in 1957 and began working as a draftsman for Super Sky Products, International, of Mequon, Wisconsin, the leading skylight company in the world. His 30-year service included serving as president and CEO until 1987. He later founded several businesses, including the East Mequon Development Corporation, a commercial real estate development firm. Wildlife Images, an art gallery and direct mail-order company specializing in hunter apparel, and Venado Hills Whitetail Farm were also successful businesses born out of Larry's love for whitetails.

In February 1991, Larry's obsession with trophy whitetails prompted him to purchase the Walter Schreiner collection of 13 world-class heads. That collection included five typicals averaging 196 3/8 inches and eight non-typicals averaging 238 7/8 inches. Larry next acquired Dr. Charles T. "Chuck" Arnold's well-known collection in October 1992. That one-of-a-kind collection included the Jim Jordan 206 1/8-inch typical (at that time, the reigning world-record typical), the John Breen 202-inch typical, the Elburn Kohler 265 3/8-inch non-typical, and the 207 2/8-inch typical Flemming sheds.

Larry's four favorite whitetails were the Hole-in-the-Horn buck, the Jordan buck, the Breen buck and the Illinois Road Kill. Larry believed that the most valuable trophies were those with a colorful history and a good story behind them.

After years of travel and displaying the Legendary Whitetails Collection at many of the country's top deer shows across the U.S. during the '90s, Larry took it upon himself to start a show in Des Moines, Iowa, in the spring of 1999. Anyone who knew Larry will attest to the fact that he always strived for the best in anything he did. That first Iowa Deer Classic in 1999 boasted an unprecedented display of over 200 B&C whitetails from within the state. An average of over 100 B&C whitetails from Iowa have been on display at every classic since.

Today the Iowa Deer Classic is considered by many to be one of the top whitetail shows in the country. The 2007 Classic, held last March, was the show's ninth consecutive year. Sadly, it was also the first in which Larry's smiling face was noticeably absent. However, the show did feature a special memorial to Larry where replicas of eight of his favorite all-time whitetails were displayed in his honor. As you might guess, those great heads included the Jordan, Hole-in-the-Horn, Raveling, Bills, Breen, Mel Johnson, Del Austin and Illinois Road Kill heads.

Legendary Whitetails III provides snapshots of 40 of the greatest whitetails ever taken, including some of the most secretive bucks ever killed. It tells the back-story, shows the actual score sheet and other critical details. As former editor of North American Whitetail, author Duncan Dobie knows the details behind all these deer and uniquely qualified to tell their story. Antler replicator Klaus LeBrecht has worked with each rack and has produced unique photography to show readers the full scope of these magnificent antlers. 041b061a72


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