In November 2021, Ontario hunter Dearl Hill killed what is likely to become the new No. 1 typical whitetail ever taken by a hunter in the province. The record has not yet been confirmed by the Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario’s Wildlife, according to Ontario Out of Doors. The group, which maintains the Big Game Records of Ontario book, will have the antlers panel-scored before it can become official.
At this point, however, the panel-scoring is little more than a formality. Hill’s buck is already listed in the Boone & Crockett book as the top hunter-killed typical whitetail ever taken in Ontario, with a final score of 190 4/8 inches. (This score is only topped by a 194 2/8-inch whitetail that was picked up by an official with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 2009.) The B&C’s score chart for Hill’s buck shows a total of 14 points and a gross score of 204 4/8 inches.
Little is known about Hill’s hunt for the monster whitetail, and he did not respond to immediate requests for comment. But the 62-year-old hunter’s Facebook profile shows photos of him with the buck in a bean field on Nov. 7, 2021. Hill, who lives in Sarnia, noted in a comment that he killed the deer near Brigden, which lies roughly 10 miles east of the U.S. border and the town of St. Clair, Michigan.
“He was the king of the Oil Springs area,” one of Hill’s friends wrote in a follow-up comment. “You took his crown!”
Ontario Out of Doors reports that Hill kept the buck’s head in a freezer for the next six months until it could be checked out by a Boone & Crockett scorer sometime in April 2022. According to the publication, the scorer recorded a total of 194 3/8 inches of antler. This doesn’t match with the Club’s score sheet, which shows a final score of 190 4/8. However, even the lower number will be enough to edge out the current No. 1 whitetail in the Typical Firearms category of FROW’s big game records book: a 190 1/8 whitetail taken in 2009 by hunter Harry Brown.
Assistant Director of B&C Big Game Records Kyle Lehr confirmed the buck’s final score of 190 4/8 in an email to Outdoor Life. Lehr also cleared up some confusion about how the head was stored before it was scored by an official measurer, as B&C requires the head and/or antlers to be kept for 60 consecutive days at a habitable room temperature before measurement. It turns out that Hill had actually kept the buck’s cape, and not the head, in the freezer.
“After having reviewed the file again and speaking with our Official Measurer and the trophy owner,” Lehr explained, “the records department is satisfied that all requirements for entry have been met.”
Editor’s note: This article was updated on Sept. 7 to include input from the Boone & Crockett Club.