5 Biggest Whitetail Bucks Found (Not Killed)

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We often hear about some incredible deer when they get harvested by a hunter. The news of a new record buck spreads like crazy. The Milo Hansen buck, the James Jordan buck, and now the new Stephen Tucker world record buck have and will consume hunters’ minds and stories for decades. Have you wondered about the biggest found whitetail bucks? The legends not killed by a hunter?

To me, there’s something even more special about a large buck who defied the odds and outsmarted hunters its whole life. These bucks became world-class deer and avoided the tip of an arrow or the smack of a bullet until their last breath.

They eventually met their fate, though; we are glad someone stumbled across them. It makes you wonder what bucks are out there and what bucks have lain dead on the forest floor, never to be found.

Indeed, these five bucks have a spot in history and will be talked about for years and years to come.

The Hole in the Horn Buck

Allegedly found dead by some railroad workers, this deer is a king of kings.

This monster buck has a unique feature. On the buck’s right antler, on a drop tine, there is a crisp, clear hole that goes through the tine. Giving the legendary buck the name “Hole in Horn Buck.” Whether or not it was a bullet hole is still debatable. Most recognize it as a bullet hole because it adds flair to the story. Stories! People love ’em.

The Boone & Crockett record book lists the “Hole in the Horn” buck as the No. 2 nontypical of all time. Still, most in the outdoor world view it as the biggest buck ever because of its gigantic and massive rack: incredible width, enormous mass, and tines going everywhere. At a whopping 328 2/8 inches, the buck truly is “the” buck of a lifetime more than any other whitetail discussed.

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There’s still controversy surrounding how someone found it and the scoring of the deer. So the buck and its rack had left people in awe since 1940 when it was found dead in Kent, Ohio. It hung in the Kent Canadian Club for 40 years before being taken into an official scorer in 1983.

The Missouri Monarch

Another famous deer (the highest-scoring free-range buck of all time) finds its way onto the list. Yes, the two most giant bucks ever didn’t fall to the bullet or arrow of a hunter.

This buck is known as the Missouri Monarch. A mature Missouri buck showcased some serious head gear totaling a staggering 333 7/8 inches, making it the most giant whitetail ever scored. A hunter in St. Louis County, Missouri, found the B&C world record in 1981. Experts determined that the buck died of natural causes and demolished the score of the previous record, 286 inches from a buck in Texas. That record had been standing since 1892.

The buck had an inside spread of 25 1/8 inches, and it doesn’t seem too likely that a deer will top its score anytime soon.

The Illinois Roadkill Buck

If you’ve ever driven in the rural areas of the Midwest, Illinois included, you know just how many deer bound in front of you across the roads at night. This deer didn’t quite make it across, and it just so happened to be one of the largest-framed whitetails anyone had ever seen.

Illinois conservation officer Jim Twitchell picked up a road-killed deer in Randolph County, Illinois, in November of 1965. According to Legendary Whitetails, Jim and the others who saw the deer could not believe the size of either the body or the rack. They were enormous!

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As you can see, the rack is one of a kind and ridiculously big, but what was almost more impressive was the fact that the buck weighed over 400 pounds. Forever coined the Illinois Roadkill Buck, another giant fell victim to a vehicle’s grill, as they often do.

With a 31-inch spread, many who see this deer will claim it’s the biggest deer they’ve ever seen. Legendary Whitetails has it on display. They state this deer garners more attention than any buck on the premise because it almost looks too big to believe. That includes the Missouri Monarch and the Hole in the Horn Buck.

Because of the way one of the tines comes off, it’s G2. Most consider it to be an abnormal point and ultimately hurts the final score of this deer’s incredible rack. Viewed as an 8-pointer because of the “abnormal” point, the Illinois Roadkill Buck gross scores at an absurd 202 6/8 inches but officially nets scores at 176 5/8. Let that sink in for a minute—what a deer.

The Heartbreaker Buck

found whitetail bucks

Adam Jordison of Iowa loved deer hunting and shed hunting. One spring in Iowa, he drove home from college to do some shed hunting. Jordison found a stunning pair of some nontypical sheds of the same deer but different years.

He tried to locate and kill this buck for the next three years but never got an opportunity. After hardly being unable to hunt any during the 2008 season, Adam set out to scout his property a day before hunting the following week. While exploring, he couldn’t believe what he saw.

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Adam walked up on the buck of a lifetime. Noticing he had something special, Adam contacted his local IDNR agent and asked what he should do. It was clear that the buck had been dead awhile, and it was later determined the buck had died of Blue Tongue, a common whitetail disease.

That following March, Adam dragged the rack and skull to the Iowa deer classic, and the buck was scored at 272 3/8 inches and was estimated to be 6 1/2 years old. A true blue mature Iowa giant, and a score that would only fall behind the Missouri Monarch and Hole in Horn Buck. Some great legendary whitetail company.

After the story began spreading, people discovered that three different hunters had been chasing this once-in-a-lifetime majestic whitetail, and none of them were aware of the others. The buck and news that broke hearts—the Heartbreaker Buck.

The Kansas Mystery 99 Buck

This buck is somewhat of a mystery as we couldn’t find any information about it besides a picture, the score, and the fact that it is in the record bucks.

What is a big buck list without Kansas in it, anyway? Someone picked up this monster whitetail in Kansas in 1999, hence the name “99 Buck.” But that name has a double significance, as this giant whitetail scored a whopping 199 2/8 typical inches.

The story behind it remains a mystery. But it was found, not killed, and this list is all about.

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