Just in case you haven’t been totally consumed by buck fever yet, here’s one last nudge to tip you all the way over the edge. We put together a countdown of the highest-scoring whitetail buck ever killed according to Boone and Crockett records.
Throughout the gallery we included the unbelievable stories of how some of these bucks were killed.
For more buck photos, check out these pictures of fighting, chasing, and breeding whitetails during peak rut.
All photos by: Boone and Crockett Club
1. Milo N. Hanson
Score: 213 5/8
It all started with a school bus driver. On the last day of Saskatchewan’s 1992 deer season, the driver told locals a monster whitetail was feeding in Milo Hansen’s alfalfa field. Once word got around, the buck was spotted on farms, in pea fields and then near a highway just north of Biggar in the southwestern portion of the province.
On opening day of the 1993 season, friends and family gathered at the Hansen house as they always had since Milo and his wife Olive moved to the farm in the early 1970s. They swapped stories of hunts past and talked of how to make a little history and kill the big buck. The opener proved a bust as the snow was a week old, but on November 22, new snow arrived and the posse devised a plan.
Neighbors spotted the buck and watched him go into the willows. No one saw him come out. One hunter went into the willows while everyone else posted themselves around the escape route. The buck flushed. Buck fever ensued and several shots missed their mark.
Milo watched the buck run, leveled his 4-power scope and took two shots from his .308 Winchester, bringing the buck to his knees. One more shot and the deer was dead. Milo hadn’t had a cigarette in three years, but he wanted one that day. Friends measured the buck, and then re-measured the buck. Soon, Milo realized he might just have a world’s record. Finally, three official Boone & Crockett measurers confirmed everyone’s suspicions. Milo had killed the world’s finest typical whitetail.
2. James Jordan
Score: 206 1/8
They say if you shoot a world’s record whitetail and drop it off at the taxidermist who moves to Florida and never returns your deer, but the deer finds its way back to you after nearly 60 years … well, the deer was meant to be with you.
Okay, maybe the original saying is a little different, but check this out. Jim Jordan shot this beautiful buck in early November of 1914. He turned the head over to his taxidermist as most hunters are apt to do and thought he would see it on his wall in less than half a century. Jordan checked in on his buck, only to find the taxidermist took off to Minnesota, then to Florida. You couldn’t just Google someone back then (doing so might have landed you in jail). Jordan thought his buck was gone for good.
His family eventually moved to Hinkley, Minnesota, where his taxidermist had moved prior to moving to Florida. Enter Robert Ludwig (a distant cousin to Jordan) 44 years later at a garage sale in Sandstone, Minnesota. He paid $3 for a beauty of a deer rack. In 1971, he had it scored by Boone & Crockett who named it a world’s record, but no one knew its origin.
On a visit to Ludwig’s home, he showed Jordan that buck who knew it was his. It took some convincing, but Jim Jordan finally got his name next to his buck in the book–even if it was some 64 years after he killed it.
3. Larry W. Gibson
Ten yards. That’s how far Larry Gibson was from this buck back in 1971 before he shot it with his .308. Taken in Randolph County of northcentral Missouri, the number three buck just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time as Gibson was just out to fill the freezer. He likely would have shot a fork buck given the chance.
Instead, he took this bruiser and sold the antlers to the Missouri Show-Me Big Bucks Club for $200. A great set of antlers is a lot like a Corvette as both will appreciate over time. Gibson likely could have sold those antlers and bought a Corvette had he held onto them.
4. Melvin J. Johnson
Score: 204 4/8
5. Stephen Jansen
Score: 204 2/8
A nice place to hang the V-belts. That’s what this deer rack was used for before the hunter’s nephew decided to put a tape to them. Yet rancher and hunter Stephen Jansen didn’t necessarily care for the antlers as they weren’t perfectly balanced, though the mice appreciated the dried head in Jansen’s shop.
Even if Jansen didn’t care for it, this buck was a doozy no one had ever seen before in the ranch country northwest of Calgary. The buck was 150 yards away when Jansen shot him with his Husqvarna .270. He writes, “It was the easiest whitetail I’ve ever shot.” And most certainly the biggest.
6. Robert Smith
Score: 204 2/8
Like so many big bucks before it, the Smith buck was killed after following a doe into range of the waiting hunter. Smith had never seen the buck before but the taxidermist who mounted the buck said he believed the deer to be just three years old.
7. Hubert Collins
Score: 203 3/8
8. Bruce Ewen
Score: 202 6/8
As the story goes, Canadian farmer Bruce Ewen was doing chores on his farm having already missed a pair of big bucks because of a faulty rifle. He decided to give it another shot after he’d finished up his work and finished doing chores on his Saskatchewan farm when he saw a small buck. His rifle still wouldn’t cooperate and he ended up moving into a willow thicket.
When this giant buck stepped out, Ewen was still messing with his rifle. The buck’s curiosity kept it in place long enough for Ewen to get the gun working. The end result is the 8th-largest typical whitetail of all time.
9. John A. Breen
10. Wayne A. Bills
Score: 201 4/8
11. Bradley S. Jerman
Score: 201 1/8
Hunter: Bradley S. Jerman
This buck is proof that hunters will lose their mind over a big rack. Bradley Jerman was sitting in a tripod blind filming a few deer when this whopper showed up out of nowhere. With too little light to shoot it with his crossbow, he filmed the buck and concocted a an incredibly stupid scheme to spend the night in the blind.
He was wearing just a few layers from his afternoon hunt. A few hours later, he was on his hands and knees, trying to make as little noise as possible while he made his way back to his warm home. He popped in the video and watched the deer’s antlers glow. He tried to sleep that night, but got very little. He was out the door by 3 a.m. and crawled 100 yards in 45 minutes back to the stand.
When daylight came, the antlers appeared. The buck followed a doe right up to one of the legs of Jerman’s stand. He walked off, eventually giving Jerman a shot. He connected and it was all over in a matter of minutes.
12. Wayne G. Stewart
13. James Cartwright
Score: 200 3/8
14. Peter J. Swistun
Score: 200 2/8
This could be heater-hunting at its finest. Whitkow, Saskatchewan is in middle of nowhere farmland Canada, which translates into big whitetail country. Peter Swinstun has been farming the area his whole life and spotted an absolute pig of a whitetail grazing in his oat field a month prior. That’s right, an oat fed Booner buck.
One evening Peter was out picking up some hay bales to feed his cows. He spotted a monster buck sneaking away nearly a mile off. He and his hunting buddy Dale jumped in the truck and took off after him. Nearing a brushy ravine, they split up: Dale went low and Peter drove to the top of a hill. After walking through the brush a while, the buck finally bolted toward Dale who unloaded on him with his .308 Savage. He missed.
They pile back in the truck and drive to the next ravine. Same scenario, except this time a small buck walked out, with the big boy on his heels. Dale unloaded again, and runs out of bullets. The buck stopped around 450 yards away and Peter fired. He hit the buck, but it doesn’t go down. Then they drive the truck to where the buck stood and see him working up another ravine. Peter hit him in the neck with his .30-06 and the buck’s day was done. They loaded him in the truck and drive home.
Peter would later write of his account that “excitement filled me when I learned that this could be a World’s Record set of antlers. I found out later it wasn’t quite that large, and I have to admit I was quite disappointed.” Cheer up, Peter. That’s a fine deer.
14. (Tied) Brian S. Damery
Score: 200 2/8
16. John Tarala/Maurice Berezowski
Score: 200 1/8
Two hunters. Two shots. One giant whitetail. John Taral and Maurice Berezowski were hunting together when they shot this beast of a Saskatchewan buck. Rather than fight over it, the two reached an amicable agreement to share in the accomplishment.
This buck nets over 230 inches as a typical, but was entered in the Boone and Crockett records as a typical as well.
16. (Tied) William Lloyd
Score: 200 1/8
The Lloyd buck is the biggest typical whitetail ever killed by a hunter in the South. Taken in December, it’s also one of the biggest whitetails taken in that month of the year.
18. Albert Daniels
19. Don McGarvey
Score: 199 5/8
If Don McGarvey wasn’t wearing his safety harness when he saw this deer from his stand, it’s likely his head would be on some deer’s wall. He knew big bucks roamed the farmland surrounding Edmonton (population of roughly one million), and he lined-up some private farmland to bowhunt close to the office.
He had been afforded two rare glimpses of this buck twice in the 1990 season--one time was at 12 yards, but he didn’t get a shot. Then in September the following year, he blew off work early and headed to the stand. A dandy buck wandered to within 15 yards, but never gave Don a clear shot.
Then just opposite that buck, the big boy showed up at 200 yards. Don almost lost it, nearly dropping his bow and falling out of the stand. (Again, always wear your harness kids). At 10 yards, he shot and the buck died not 60 yards away.
20. Jeffery Brunk
Score: 199 4/8
21. Thomas H. Dellwo
Score: 199 3/8
22. Vernon Jensen
Score: 199 2/8
22. (Tied) Vernon Virka
Score: 199 2/8
Taken in Saunders County, the Virka buck is not the only mega-buck taken in the county. Kevin Petrzilka’s 198 2/8” typical was also killed there.
22. (Tied) Kent Petry
Score: 199 2/8
22. (Tied). Pick-up Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks
1. Missouri Pick Up
Score: 333 7/8
Its rack weighs more than 11 pounds and it has more cheaters than a daytime soap opera. But that’s about where the drama ends for this guy. He was found dead inside a fence along a road in northern St. Louis County.
A hunter who already had his buck notified the warden who got permission to retrieve it. They couldn’t find any bullet holes and didn’t have any ideas on its cause of death. It was only 5 ½ years old. The head was forgotten until the first of the year when the warden took it to the taxidermist who knew at first glance what he had.
It was measured and dubbed the biggest and baddest whitetail of all time. Best of all? It remains property of the state of Missouri on display for all its citizens to see.
2. Ohio Pick Up
Score: 328 2/8
Everything is open to interpretation, and this buck tests the limits of interpreting an antler score. At first it was going to be the number one whitetail of all time, but then things got tricky. Taken down by a train, this buck hung in the Kent Canadian Club in Kent, Ohio for years.
Dick Idol, an outdoor writer and avid antler collector, acquired the antlers from the club a few decades after it died. He had it officially measured and the entry measurement had it coming in as number one. Idol declared it number one and started to spread the word that a new king was crowned.
The buck still had to go before a Final Awards Judging panel to be official. The Judges score was lower. So much lower in fact, that it was number two. According to the record book, “the slightly lower score...is explained by the necessary interpretation of several points on the beam as being either typical or non-typical.” Even still, it remains a fine buck.
3. Luke Brewster
Score: 327 7/8
This is the biggest free-ranging whitetail ever taken by a hunter, and it was taken by a guy who is no stranger to world-class whitetails.
Luke Brewster and his friends are whitetail fanatics with a knack for consistently taking giant bucks. The group called this buck “Mufasa” and Brewster (who lives in Virginia) was in the right place at the right time on a November morning when the buck showed up in bow range.
4. Stephen Tucker
Score: 315 1/8
For two years, Stephen Tucker held the crown of having killed the biggest free-ranging whitetail of all time before Luke Brewster’s Illinois giant fell.
Tucker killed his buck on his family’s small farm property during Tennessee’s November muzzleloader season. It was, in fact, the second time he’d had the buck within range. That morning, Tucker had the buck at 30 yards but his muzzleloader failed to fire.
5. Tony W. Lovstuen
Score: 307 5/8
Thanks to trail cams, magazine articles, video and shed antlers, this deer was hardly a mystery to hunters back in 2003. But for 15-year-old muzzloader hunter Tony Lovstuen , this buck would rock his world.
Tony’s dad was familiar with this buck already as he shot at and grazed the buck’s neck in 2001. But trail cameras proved the buck was still alive and wandering the small farms of Monroe County, Iowa. Prior to September’s regular archery season, Tony was able to hunt a special youth hunt, and his dad put him on the buck.
They went to the buck’s hang out and waited in a ground blind. At 70 yards, the big boy stepped out, and Tony shot him too far back. They found him the next day. With a good 38 points, this is the largest whitetail ever taken by a hunter.
6. Jerry D. Bryant
Score: 304 3/8
Illinois isn’t known for harboring caribou, but the shovel-like eye-guard on this bruiser could have come from the Great White North. Considering that hunter Jerry Bryant wasn’t after caribou or even a deer when he shot the new Illinois state record, the buck is a pretty good blind luck story.
Jerry was minding his own business back in 2001 in a tree stand on his buddie’s farm enjoying a Twinkie and some Mountain Dew with his trusty crossbow by his side. Because he was injured on the job a few years back, he couldn’t pull back his old compound, so he applied and got a special permit to hunt with a crossbow.
A group of gobblers came into view, and when he reached for his bow, they spooked and took off. Soon thereafter, a doe cruised by, peed and moseyed on. Hot on her tail was Big Buck Jones (seen here). He stopped to sniff her puddle of pee, which gave Jerry a 15-yard slam-dunk. The buck didn’t even flinch after being shot through the heart.
He took a few steps, wobbled, and died. Jerry kept the news of the buck on the down low as he was going through a rough divorce at the time and didn’t want half his buck taken. Once court was adjourned, he presented the world his 36-point buck.
7. Timothy Beck
Score: 303 7/8
Beck had hunted hard throughout the 2012 season, spending just about every minute of daylight on stand during Indiana’s two-week gun season. That dedication paid off when a doe crossed a cut cornfield followed by this giant of a buck. At 50 yards, Beck shot. The buck hardly reacted despite the shot hitting the deer in the chest. A second shot put the buck down for good and rewrote the Indiana record books.
8. Tony Fulton
Score: 295 6/8
Seriously, how do you measure this deer? It has a whopping 45 scorable points and the most massive ball of junk known to the whitetail world. Yet Tony Fulton would likely have never killed this buck had his wife not urged him to go hunting that January day in 1995.
He grabbed his gear and took off to a small field he’d planted behind his mom’s house. Expectations were low as he hadn’t seen anything from his stand yet that season. That all changed when a doe stepped out of cover, then this bad boy burst onto the scene.
The buck was only 50 yards from his stand when Fulton took his shot. It bolted leaving no blood or hair behind. He finally found some blood and recovered the deer.
Friends and neighbors came over to admire the deer that night, and his taxidermist told Fulton to get it measured. After a marathon measuring session that would rival the length of a heart transplant, the deer scored high enough to rank at number three for just a few years. It was likely 5 ½ years old.
9. Scott R. Dexter
Score: 295 3/8
10. Jonathan R. Schmucker
Score: 295 3/8
11. Kansas pick-up (James Wanklyn)
A tiny fly is all it took to take down one of the biggest whitetails of all time. EHD is suspected to have killed this Kansas monarch. With stunning mass, this giant was found along the edge of a creek with no visible signs of foul play.
The area had an outbreak of EHD that summer and it’s likely that was what led to the buck’s demise.
12. Michael D. Beatty
13. Tim Forret
Score: 293 3/8
You’ve likely heard of the “turdy-pointer”...but how about a 45-pointer? That’s how many scorable points are on Tim Forret’s Iowa giant.
Forret shot the buck during Iowa’s early muzzleloader season in October of 2012. Unfortunately, despite weeks of searching, he didn’t recover the buck until it was discovered during a deer drive in December.
14. Unknown Hunter
Score: 284 3/8
Of all the bucks here, this may be the oddest back-story of them all. In the 1800s, Albert Friedrich’s father made antler furniture, and Albert took to antlers himself. He opened his Buckhorn Saloon in San Antonio in 1881. Legend has it he traded booze for any set of whitetail antlers a man brought in. This sort of bait is hard to resist and he was inundated with bone.
In 1892, a man brought in two amazing racks (one of which is seen here). Grancel Fitz visited the saloon in 1955 looking not for whiskey but a world’s record. He found the 78 and 72-pointers. In 1958, they ranked number one and number two at 286 and 284 ⅜. Then in 1996, John Stein an official B&C measurer decided to take a closer look.
He x-rayed the 78-point rack, which showed them to be sheds, and the 72-point rack was still attached to the skull plate. So, the 78-pointer was dropped from the books and 72-pointer was re-entered. You can still check them out at the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum Hall of Horns.
15. Wesley A. O’Brien
16. Deric Sieck
Score: 282 2/8
To say the story behind Deric Sieck’s giant Iowa buck is full of ups and downs is an understatement. Sieck had to hunt the buck from the ground because the landowner who owned the land he was hunting would not allow elevated stands. A neighboring hunter had the buck in range...but missed. And Sieck had spooked the giant buck out of its bed. But, on November 21, Sieck spotted the buck bedded along a creek bank. He was able to close to within 45 yards of the deer and make a lethal shot.
17. Larry Raveling
18. James H. McMurray
Score: 281 6/8
19. Joseph H. Waters
Score: 280 4/8
20. Neil J. Morin
Score: 279 6/8
More than a couple of entries in the Top 20 are taken by farmers or ranchers. It makes sense; those are the folks out there everyday, and Neil Morin is one of them. He was out swathing a canola crop and passed within 40 yards of this buck while still in velvet.
He thought it looked big and started reading up on big whitetails. On his way home one evening during hunting season, he spotted the buck in a field and came back with his rifle. He crept through the standing wheat and the buck popped up 100 yards away, sniffed the air and bedded back down.
Neil crept ever so slowly to within 30 yards while antlers swayed just above the wheat. Then the wind shifted as the buck bolted like a branded cat. Both of Neil’s shots from his Model 70 .300 Win-Mag proved lethal and Neil’s hunch proved true--with 14-inch brow-tines this is certainly a buck for the books.
For More Boone and Crockett Records, check out The Top 40 Typical and Nontypical Mule Deer of All Time.