No matter the pursuit, sportsmen and sportswomen are always interested in improving their game. If you fish for bass, you’re always after a bigger one than you caught the day before; if you like to hunt gobblers, you’re always on the lookout for a bigger and better bird than the last. Similarly, whitetail hunters are always keen to harvest a bigger buck than they ever have. And this drive will last for the rest of your life. Even if you managed to claim the biggest whitetail buck ever killed, you’d be out again next season, looking for his big brother. In this post, we’ll showcase some of the biggest whitetail deer on record and offer some background on the record keeping process.
The Biggest Whitetail Deer
While there are several different hunting clubs that maintain a record book of big bucks, the Boone and Crocket Club is North America's oldest wildlife and habitat conservation organization, founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt. While it may not take a freakish set of antlers to qualify for inclusion in the registries of several other clubs, only about one deer in a million finds its antlers on the Boon and Crocket registry.
The current record for the largest typical rack belongs to a deer shot in Saskatchewan, Canada by Milo N. Hanson in 1993. Totaling 213 5/8 points, this largely symmetrical, 14-point rack is impressive to behold. This deer took first place from a 10-point Wisconsin buck, shot by James Jordan. This rack scored 206 1/8 points and has held the record since 1914.
It is important to note that some antlers produce odd tines or exhibit asymmetrical or unusual growth forms. If these racks are measured using the same criteria that are used for measuring typical antlers, they would score very poorly—even if they were immense. Accordingly, some of the registries also recognize a nontypical category, that uses a different set of measuring criteria.
The largest nontypical rack on the Boone and Crockett registry tallies a mind-blowing 333 7/8 points. A true monstrosity of a rack, these antlers branch out from the deer’s skull like driftwood, with various tines emerging from a variety of unusual places and pointing in every conceivable direction.
Comparing Whitetail Deer
When going after your own record whitetail deer, the question becomes, how do you objectively compare deer? How can you tell if the buck you killed today is bigger than the one your buddy shot yesterday? Deer are big animals, so weighing them is usually impractical. Besides, their weight may fluctuate considerably based on a variety of factors, such as how much water they’ve got in their system. Accordingly, hunters use antler size, shape and spread as the yardstick to compare one animal to another. Your buddy’s deer may stand a few inches taller, or weigh a few pounds more, but bragging rights accompany the biggest rack of antlers.
Measuring Antlers and Keeping Records
Of course, measuring a rack of antlers isn’t like measuring the length of a fish. Antlers are complex and often convoluted structures, which are not easy to compare to one another. Fortunately, hunting clubs and whitetail enthusiasts have devised methods of measuring and scoring a given set of antlers, usually via a point system. Although these methods differ from one authority to the next, they allow direct comparisons. This way, you can even compare bucks from different areas, who were harvested by hunters using different techniques and weapons.
Even better, these records go back for decades in many cases. Some of the more storied hunting clubs have records going back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt. Want to know how your buck measures up against one claimed by the old Rough Rider? No problem. Want to know how your buck compares to others from your state? You can do that too.
Harvesting Your Own Record
Though the odds may be long, you shouldn’t discount the possibility that you will one day see your name attached to a world-famous buck. But to have the best chance of claiming a trophy buck, you’ll want every advantage possible. You need to slip into his world, remaining quiet, comfortable and concealed. Cloaking yourself in NOMAD high performance hunting apparel may just give you the edge you need to kill the buck of a lifetime.Shop All Nomad Whitetail Deer Hunting Clothes