When it comes to hunting records, the storied Boone and Crockett Club has showcased some truly massive whitetails. Some records have stood the test of time, such as the Hanson buck, which remains the largest typical whitetail buck ever bagged for 30 years and counting. Other records seem to be shattered every few years, such as many of the non-typical buck world records.
Throughout the years, an intriguing trend has emerged: Bucks, especially non-typical bucks, seem to be getting bigger. The racks on these whitetail deer are getting heavier; more points are being grown; and overall, a whole lot more calcium is being shown off above the ears. Or maybe it seems that way because more bucks are being entered into the record system more frequently, which naturally creates a larger average? Either way, the reasons for the seemingly significant burst of non-typical brutes in the record books include injury, genetics, hormones, disease, parasites, and environmental factors.
But the numbers aren’t all about bragging rights. When the Boone and Crockett record database was created in the 1920s, it established a scientific baseline for data collectors to study wildlife management over time. Today, researchers may sift through nearly 60,000 trophy records and a plethora of data.
The following list, which also includes some bowhunting records from Pope and Young, offers a look into 10 of the biggest non-typical buck world records, either taken by or discovered by hunters throughout the world.
1. Luke Brewster Buck
Year taken: 2018
After serving the nation in the Marine Corps, Luke Brewster returned to his roots and started going fishing again. Soon, some friends of his got him into whitetail deer hunting. He remembered his father hunting deer with a muzzleloader while growing up, but he found he was more interested in bowhunting. He first harvested a couple of does; then in 2017, he got his first archery buck, which was a 2.5-year-old, 10-pointer.
At that time, Brewster’s father owned a 40-acre farm in Illinois near the Indiana line, which he leased out to a local farmer who hunted it. After meeting the farmer and his sons, Brewster and the crew became fast friends. They told him all about a huge buck, which they dubbed Mufasa, that had been roaming the farm since at least 2014. In 2017, one of the local hunters flung an arrow at him, but it was a clean miss caused by a deflecting branch. The following year, in November 2018, Brewster joined them for a bowhunt.
Brewster had been sitting quietly for about four hours when two does approached the stand. Not long after, the buck named Mufasa followed them in. Brewster was able to get a clean, 26-yard shot at him and sealed the deal on the archery non-typical buck world record.
2. Jim Brewster Buck
Year taken: 1905
Where: British Columbia
Five years after the turn of the century, hunting guide Jim Brewster (no relation to Luke, above) was hunting whitetail deer in British Columbia’s Elk River Valley when he harvested this whopper of a non-typical whitetail—which became the very first Boone and Crockett non-typical buck world record.
In the early days of its record-keeping, Boone and Crockett only recorded measurements for main-beam length. The Brewster buck’s right beam measured a whopping 31-2/8 inches. Even after the organization adopted its modern scoring system, the Brewster buck retained its world-record status with a final score of 245-7/8 inches.
3. Tucker Buck
Year taken: 2016
Stephen Tucker was chug-a-lugging his tractor across his Sumner County, Tennessee, farm in September 2016 when he caught sight of this giant with the non-typical rack. At first glance, he thought the deer had corn husks entangled in its antlers. After setting out a couple of trail cameras to monitor the buck’s activity, he made his move during Tennessee’s November muzzleloader season.
On the morning of the season opener, Tucker was up and ready at daybreak. The unusual buck appeared and walked into range. He squeezed the trigger but what he got instead of a boom was a muzzleloader hunter’s worst fear: a misfire. The buck was unhurt and walked away unfazed. A few days later, the same scenario played out again. But this time, instead of disappointment, Tucker’s trigger finger was met by a thick plume of smoke and victory. The big buck scored 315-1/8 inches and held the non-typical buck world record until Luke Brewster killed his Illinois giant just two years later.
4. Butcher Buck
Year taken: 2019
The Butcher buck is anything but a typical whitetail deer: One side dons only three points, while an insane 64 points weigh down the other. Hunter Brian Butcher followed this monster buck in Chase County, Kansas, throughout the spring and fall of 2019 on trail camera photos before getting a chance at it during the hunting season.
It was October 11 when Butcher and a friend were in the woods trimming shooting lanes near a recently hung treestand. After completing that task, Butcher climbed into the stand while the buddy moved onto another area.
The action came fast. First a young buck came in, followed by another buck—this time a nine-pointer—an hour later. Thirty minutes after that, two more bucks showed up. One was a small typical buck, but the other was a big deer that looked as if there was bailing twine or a small bush caught in his antlers, Butcher said. Butcher took a 25-yard shot, sailing his arrow right through the lungs, and his eponymous trophy made history. The buck’s official net score is 321 3/8inches, according to Boone and Crockett.
5. Vraspir Buck
Year taken: 1959
Minnesota bowhunter Don Vraspir was still hunting with a recurve when he had the opportunity to tag this incredible buck in 1959.
He and a hunting buddy were in Ottertail County. The plan of attack was to hunt the same cover from the opposite directions. His buddy jumped a giant buck, which then ran toward Vraspir, who sent a cedar arrow at the buck at only 11 yards.
Vraspir’s non-typical would become the Pope and Young Club’s first world record-holder in the non-typical whitetail category. The buck’s abnormal points earned him a score of 186-2/8 inches.
6. Austin Buck
Year taken: 1962
Del Austin was hunting a giant whitetail named “Ol’ Mossy Horns” on a farm on in the Nebraska’s Platte River bottoms when he broke the Pope and Young record in 1962.
His hunting companion, a friend named Al Dawson, had been pursuing this monster whitetail since 1958. Austin arrowed Ol’ Mossy Horns with his recurve bow, setting a record that stood for nearly four decades. To this day, it is the No. 3 world-record non-typical buck world record. The buck had 39 points, a 21-3/8-inch inside spread, and scored an overall 279-7/8 inches.
7. Beatty Buck
Year taken: 2000
Next up is the world-record buck that broke Austin’s four-decade record. It was November 2000 when an Ohio bowhunter named Mike Beatty took a shot at a buck that bested Austin’s score by nearly 15 inches. Beatty had noticed a giant 8-pointer early that season and had decided he was the target-shooter buck that year.
On the fateful day, Beatty called him into range but at first couldn’t get a shot opportunity. The big deer meandered away, but Beatty wasn’t defeated yet. After a few minutes, he started calling again, hoping to pull that 8-pointer back into range.
What happened next is the stuff of legends. A much bigger, world-record class whitetail buck appeared, and Beatty sealed the deal. His non-typical, 39-point buck netted 294 inches. The buck remains the Pope and Young No. 2 non-typical whitetail deer.
8. Lovstuen Buck
Year taken: 2003
“The Albia Buck,” named by locals for the small southeast Iowa town near where it dwelled, was revered when it was alive as much as after its harvest in 2003. Folks had caught glimpses of the monster buck in photos, videos, and trail cam pics for several years before it was taken out by a 15-year-old hunter during youth season.
Tony Lovstuen, the teenager who harvested the buck, had some stiff competition. Many Iowa hunters had chased this same deer, which had a reputation as a walking world record. Even members of Lovstuen’s own family had been hunting the deer before he took it out with a muzzleloader. The Albia buck garnered a Boone and Crockett score of 307-5/8 inches.
9. Missouri Monarch
Year found: 1981
The final two world record bucks on the list weren’t taken down by deer hunters but, rather, discovered after death.
The origins of the “Missouri Monarch” spurred many rumors and disagreements. It all started in early November 1981, when hunter David Beckman discovered the dead deer on the side of the road near St. Louis, Missouri, lying on the inside of a fence. He contacted the local game warden, who retrieved and skinned the deer but could not pin down any apparent cause of death. Stranger yet, the deer had only a few teeth left in its jaw, and the lower jaw was set back about 3 inches from the upper jaw. It was a curiosity for sure.
The Missouri Department of Conservation took ownership of the antlers, and the buck was eventually taken to a taxidermist who suggested that the buck needed to be scored. The result from a Boone and Crockett official measurer was an initial score of 325-7/8 points. That score surpassed the then-non-typical buck world record of 284-3/8, which belonged to a Texas buck reportedly killed in 1892.
That’s when things got really heated. News that this Missouri buck would knock the Texas buck out of the top spot angered many hunters. The most passionate objection came from Horace Gore of the Texas Trophy Hunters Association, who penned an elaborate story with his theory that the deer was pen-raised and had died in the back of a livestock trailer during transport and was haphazardly tossed aside. He believed that the buck originated from a deer pen near Bemidji, Minnesota. These claims were investigated by Boone and Crockett Club officials, but no hard evidence was ever produced.
10. Hole in the Horn Buck
Year found: 1940
The story of the “Hole in the Horn Buck” begins in 1940. Railroad workers stumbled upon the dead deer, which was stuck under a chain-link fence and was apparently struck dead by a passing train. It was taxidermized and hung guard over the Kent Canadian Club in Kent, Ohio, for several years when an antler collector received a tip from a friend. The collector purchased the deer mount from the private hunting club in 1983 and gave it the name “Hole in the Horn Buck,” for the mysterious hole it had in one of the antlers.
There are two theories about how the hole ended up in the antler that outdoor writer Gordon Whittington explored in an article in North American Whitetail. The first came from an eyewitness to the buck’s recovery in 1940 who said that a piece of wire fence had pierced through the beam and was sticking through the hole. The other account came from a bartender at the Kent Canadian Club, who said the club manager had drilled the hole in the antler in order to use a wire to straighten the mount, after becoming annoyed with how it always hung crooked on the wall.
The Hole in the Horn Buck was taken to Boone and Crockett Club official measurer Phil Wright, who gave the rack a net score of 342-3/8 points, far surpassing the score of the Missouri Monarch. It was prematurely declared a new non-typical buck world record and the buck the “greatest of all time.” The North American Whitetail magazine ran a photo of the buck on its cover with the words “World Record Shattered!!!”
But the story doesn’t end there. The final score of the rack, which was conducted by a panel of Boone and Crockett measurers, concluded with a lower score, placing this buck at No. 2 after the Missouri Monarch. The monster buck’s slightly lower score came down to a difference of interpretation of several points on the beam as being either typical or non-typical.