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Big Buck Alert: 270-Class, 37-Point Whitetail Found in Missouri

A Missouri shed hunter discovered a 37-point rack on public land near St. Charles that could be among the top five whitetails ever recorded in the Show Me State.

The 270-class antlers—still attached to the skull of a buck that officials believe died in late summer—were found March 13 on the 7,000-acre August A. Busch Memorial Conservation area in St. Charles County. The find immediately brought to mind another trophy pickup from Missouri, the Boone & Crockett world-record nontypical “Missouri Monarch” (pictured below).  That 333 7/8-inch 44-pointer was found dead in St. Louis County, which borders St. Charles County, in 1981.

“It’s surprising to see a deer of that size come off the Busch area,” says John Vogel, Wildlife Regional Supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, who has worked at the conservation area for 13 years. “The biggest I’ve seen was in the 190 range. Seeing something in the 270s is impressive. There aren’t a lot of nontypical genetics here. We see a drop tine here and there, but even that’s rare. So it’s unique seeing a rack like this.”

The Busch area, located 30 miles from downtown St. Louis, features hiking and biking trails, an archery range, dog training areas and fishing lakes. It also hosts archery, muzzleloader and youth whitetail hunts. The managed hunts have been popular in the past, and probably will get even more popular now, Vogel says.

Though it’s a pickup like the Missouri Monarch, this latest find went undiscovered for months, far longer than the world-record buck. “What impressed me most is there’s not one gnaw mark anywhere on the rack,” Vogel says. “The rodents and squirrels usually wreak havoc on them.”

Unofficial estimates put the gross at 270, with a projected net in the low 260s. That would be enough to rank the 5 ½- to 6 ½-year-old as the No. 4 nontypical in Missouri. State officials plan to have the rack officially scored in the near future. The shed hunter (who prefers to remain unnamed) was issued a permit to legally possess the skull and antlers.

The 37-point rack features an inside spread of 20 ½ inches. By comparison, the Missouri Monarch boasts 44 points with an inside spread of 23 3/8 inches. That rack weighed 11 ¼ pounds when it was discovered near a fence line in 1981.

While the Busch buck is a noteworthy testament to the trophy potential of Missouri deer, there’s no doubt which set of antlers is still king.

“When you see the Monarch, just the mass of that rack, the variety of drop tines and different points going in different directions, it’s impressive,” Vogel says. “If you put the two racks side by side, I don’t think you’d have trouble knowing which is the Monarch. It stands in a class by itself.”

Top photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
Middle photo courtesy of Boone & Crockett Club.
Bottom photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

 

Comments (11)

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from mytonytiger wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Nice find. I'm hoping it's legit and wasn't bagged illegally and later presented as a "find". The lack of non-typical genetics in that area and the lack of gnaw marks from rodents is at least a little suspicious.

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from Blase110 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I go out to Busch all the time and it amazes me that it went that long unfound with the amount of people that hunt, hike, and shed hunt out there. The local story is that it was found real close to one of the conservation office buildings in an area that no one really hunts (until next season). Supposedly everything checked out and it legitimately died of natural causes. Pretty amazing.

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from Hick Finn wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

EHD hit many places in Missouri last summer because of the drought. I live an hour and a half north of this area. Finding dead bucks last fall became co thosemmon. I do not doubt the story especially since it was found where few think to look. As for non-typic EHD hit many places in Missouri last summer because of the drought. I live an hour and a half north of this area. Finding dead bucks last fall became co thosemmon. I do not doubt the story especially since it was found where few think to look. As for non-typical genetics, where the Missouri Monarch was found was not known as a mecca for non-typicals either.

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from Hick Finn wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

EHD hit many places in Missouri last summer because of the drought. I live an hour and a half north of this area. Finding dead bucks last fall became common. I do not doubt the story especially since it was found where few think to look. As for non-typical genetics, where the Missouri Monarch was found was not known as a mecca for non-typicals either.

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from Gary Devine wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Deer that are found dead by EHD are found in water in most cases. This buck could have been killed by a vehicle, a poacher or a deer hunter's wound.

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from jay wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I own 200 acres 60 miles north of St. Louis and found 17 dead deer from EHD. While most where near water sources I found several that were not. EHD was devastating in this area, estimates I have read have been as high as 70% mortality. Based on the number of deer, sign and trail cam pics; I can't argue with that number.

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from fishead wrote 1 year 1 week ago

the lack of gnaw marks strikes me as a little suspicious

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from Hogan24 wrote 1 year 1 week ago

That's an amazing deer. Hard to believe a buck can grow that big on public property.

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from Hoodie wrote 1 year 1 week ago

Yeah great find but the word on the street is that the shed was confiscated by the Conservation Dept because the shed was still on the skull. The value of the shed is believed to be about $20,000.
Great find but a even tougher loss!!!

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from BuckWhistleWorksBest wrote 1 year 6 days ago

No mouse chew?? after a full winter in the field?? I think someone poached this beast and needed a reason to show it around

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from Marc Hightower wrote 46 weeks 6 days ago

I bet the reason there were no chew marks on the antlers was because all the rodents got there fill on all the other deer that died from ehd. There's a track of land in Missouri that the locals call The Hunting Grounds in Caulfield Missouri close to bridges creek. That produces monster bucks almost as big as this one. It must be the genetics and the mineral content in the water and food source. It's a great place to look for arrow heads also I guess the hunting has always been good in that area.

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from mytonytiger wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Nice find. I'm hoping it's legit and wasn't bagged illegally and later presented as a "find". The lack of non-typical genetics in that area and the lack of gnaw marks from rodents is at least a little suspicious.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blase110 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I go out to Busch all the time and it amazes me that it went that long unfound with the amount of people that hunt, hike, and shed hunt out there. The local story is that it was found real close to one of the conservation office buildings in an area that no one really hunts (until next season). Supposedly everything checked out and it legitimately died of natural causes. Pretty amazing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hick Finn wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

EHD hit many places in Missouri last summer because of the drought. I live an hour and a half north of this area. Finding dead bucks last fall became co thosemmon. I do not doubt the story especially since it was found where few think to look. As for non-typic EHD hit many places in Missouri last summer because of the drought. I live an hour and a half north of this area. Finding dead bucks last fall became co thosemmon. I do not doubt the story especially since it was found where few think to look. As for non-typical genetics, where the Missouri Monarch was found was not known as a mecca for non-typicals either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Devine wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Deer that are found dead by EHD are found in water in most cases. This buck could have been killed by a vehicle, a poacher or a deer hunter's wound.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I own 200 acres 60 miles north of St. Louis and found 17 dead deer from EHD. While most where near water sources I found several that were not. EHD was devastating in this area, estimates I have read have been as high as 70% mortality. Based on the number of deer, sign and trail cam pics; I can't argue with that number.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fishead wrote 1 year 1 week ago

the lack of gnaw marks strikes me as a little suspicious

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hogan24 wrote 1 year 1 week ago

That's an amazing deer. Hard to believe a buck can grow that big on public property.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoodie wrote 1 year 1 week ago

Yeah great find but the word on the street is that the shed was confiscated by the Conservation Dept because the shed was still on the skull. The value of the shed is believed to be about $20,000.
Great find but a even tougher loss!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marc Hightower wrote 46 weeks 6 days ago

I bet the reason there were no chew marks on the antlers was because all the rodents got there fill on all the other deer that died from ehd. There's a track of land in Missouri that the locals call The Hunting Grounds in Caulfield Missouri close to bridges creek. That produces monster bucks almost as big as this one. It must be the genetics and the mineral content in the water and food source. It's a great place to look for arrow heads also I guess the hunting has always been good in that area.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hick Finn wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

EHD hit many places in Missouri last summer because of the drought. I live an hour and a half north of this area. Finding dead bucks last fall became common. I do not doubt the story especially since it was found where few think to look. As for non-typical genetics, where the Missouri Monarch was found was not known as a mecca for non-typicals either.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BuckWhistleWorksBest wrote 1 year 6 days ago

No mouse chew?? after a full winter in the field?? I think someone poached this beast and needed a reason to show it around

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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