Record Bucks of History

Early Scoring System
Almost every hunter has heard of the "book"--the Boone and Crockett Club's Records of North American Big Game. In 1932, B & C published its first records book which listed 50 whitetails of all types. In 2005 the 12th edition had, including typical and non typical whitetail and Coues's deer, well over six thousand entries._ _ This gallery takes from those entries some of the most outstanding bucks ever to reach the top ranks of the Boone and Crockett Club records, some of those deer dating back nearly to the time of the club's founding, up to the world's records of today. __ But before moving forward, take look at the document to the left. Before the Boone and Crockett Club adopted its current scoring system in 1950, measuring a whitetail was much simpler. Here's a 1938 score sheet for a whitetail killed by a lion that was picked up in Mexico by a hunter. His name was Jack O'Connor.Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Texas
Antlers: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 284 3/8 Okay, follow closely: In 1881 Albert Friedrich opened Albert's Buckhorn Saloon in San Antonio, Texas, and offered to trade a shot of redeye or a beer for any set of whitetail antlers a cowboy or hunter brought in. In 1892 a man, believed to have been named Jeff Benson, brought in two incredible deer racks. In 1955 Grancel Fitz, who helped formulate the Boone and Crockett Club's trophy scoring system, visited what had then become the Buckhorn Curio Store and measured those two extraordinary sets of antlers. Fitz described them as a "78" and a "72" pointer, scoring the first at 286 B&C points, and the second at 284 3/8, making them the No. 1 and No. 2 record heads in the 1958 edition of the records book. Shorty after that, it was decided that the 72-point antlers were sheds from the 78-pointer, and the No. 2 deer was dropped from the book. For a quarter century, the 78-pointer reigned as the world's record non-typical buck, until it was surpassed by larger bucks. In 1996, an official B&C measurer in San Antonio, John Stein, examined both heads, x-raying the 78-point rack and having the 72-pointer remounted. What he found was that the 78-point antlers were actually the sheds, and that the 72-point rack was still attached to the deer's skull plate. So, the wrong antlers were dropped all those years ago, and the real world's record never received the credit it was due. It's almost certain that both antlers came from the same deer, and you can still see them in Old San Antone in the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum Hall of Horns.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Wisconsin
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 206 1/8 One of the most famous world's record heads in Boone and Crockett Club history is the buck 22-year-old James Jordan killed near Danbury, Wisconsin, in 1914. After pulling the deer out of the Yellow River where it fell, Jordan took the cape and antlers to a taxidermist in Webster, WI, to have them mounted for $5, and did not see them again for nearly 60 years. Jordan later came to believe that the taxidermist always intended to steal the trophy, and the taxidermist did take the antlers and cape to his house to mount, and then moved with them to Hinckley, Minnesota. He then moved to Florida, and Jordan thought he took the deer with him and that it was lost. In fact, the taxidermist left the head in his attic in Hinckley, where Jordan himself moved in time. Around the early 1960s, Robert Ludwig, a distant relative of Jordan's, bought the dusty, cracked mount for $3 at a rummage sale, and later had the antlers officially measured, establishing them as the world's record, with a Boone and Crocket score of 206 1/8 points. Some years after that, Jordan visited Ludwig, and Ludwig showed him the antlers, which Jordan immediately recognized as those of the deer he'd killed. Jordan then spent many years trying to establish his claim as the hunter of the deer. In the late 1970s, Minneapolis outdoor writer Ron Schara began tracking the story, verifying Jordan's claim. Sadly, Jordan died before his name was placed in the book beside his deer. James Jordan's buck stood as the world's record until 1993.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Minnesota
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 202 John Breen's hunt in Houpt, Minnesota, in November, 1918, had spectacular results. The buck he killed weighed 235 pounds and was said to be "in extremely poor condition"--except for the antlers. Breen loaded the buck onto a train to his hometown in Bemidji, hiring a horse and wagon to carry it to his house, where the antlers barely fit through the front door. Forty years later the buck's antlers were finally officially measured and proved to be the world's record, at the time, with a score of 202.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Arizona
Antlers: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 150 5/8 It took 39 years, after Charles Marbury killed this 150 5/8 Boone and Crockett point non-typical buck in Cochise County, Arizona, in 1929, for it to be recognized as the world's record in 1968, when the non-typical Coues category was first established in the Boone and Crockett Club's records book
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: New York
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 198 3/8 What's in a name? For Roosevelt Luckey, the name seemed to fit in 1939 when he took this tremendous typical whitetail buck in Allegany County, New York. At 198 3/8 Boone and Crockett points, the deer still ranks as the largest ever to come from the state.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Ohio
Antlers: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 328 2/8 The true, complete story of how the No. 2 record book non-typical whitetail was found may never be told. But in 1940, a buck that scored 328 2/8 Boone and Crockett points was picked up in Portage County, Ohio. Named the "Hole in the Horn" buck for a mysterious hole through a drop tine on the right main beam (maybe a missed shot?), it hung for over forty years on the wall of the Kent (Ohio) Canadian Club and is more than 20 points larger than the No. 3 deer. If the Hole in the Horn buck had been only slightly more symetrical, it would have been the world's record.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Texas
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 185 1/8 Henderson Coquat bought the Apache Ranch in Webb County, fifty miles north of the streets of Laredo, Texas, in 1948. During World War II, Army Air Corps pilots had cratered the property with practice bombs and .50 caliber machine gun fire, and Coquat was not optimistic that many deer could be left on the ranch. But on December 28, 1949, he ran into a phenomenal 27-inch-wide 13-pointer on the Apache. When officially measured in 1953, the antlers scored 185 1/8 Boone and Crockett points, making it at the time not only the first Texas buck to crack the Boone and Crockett top ten of all time record book typical whitetail deer, but the world's record of the day.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Arizona
Antler: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 142 7/8 This excellent non-typical Coues deer, scoring 142 7/8 Boone and Crockett Club points, was taken in 1950 on the Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona by an unknown Native American hunter. Today, it ranks 13th in the records book and is owned by the Arizona Department of Game and Fish.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Arizona
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 144 1/8 In 1953, Pima County, Arizona, hunter Ed Stockwell and his friend were heading back to camp after a morning's hunt in the Santa Rita Mountains. On the way in, they decided to hunt around a small peak, the friend taking a lower route, and Stockwell going high. Topping out, he was angling around some big rocks and bluffs when he jumped a spike and a really enormous Coues buck. The big buck quickly disappeared as Stockwell ran forward to get a better look. Then he spotted it on the back slope, coming out from behind an oak and moving downhill. Stockwell had his shot, 60 yards with his .300 Savage without a scope, bringing down what today remains the B&C world's record typical Coues deer. See what happens when you decide to take the high road?
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Nebraska
Antlers: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 277 3/8 Del Austin and his bowhunter friends spent several seasons stalking, without success, this magnificent 277 3/8 Boone and Crockett non-typical on an island in Nebraska's Platte River, until Austin caught up with it on November 1, 1962. For many years it was the second largest non-typical in the world (behind the "72" point Buckhorn Saloon deer), and the largest taken by a hunter, as well as the world's record of the Pope and Young Club.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Illinois
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 204 4/8 Peoria hunter Mel Johnson didn't have to fake the smile when he took this 204 4/8 Boone and Crockett typical Illinois buck in his "backyard" in October 1965. The deer was certified by the Boone and Crockett Club at the same time as James Jordan's buck, making them the No. 1 and No. 2 record book deer, with Johnson's buck still ranking as the Pope and Young Club's No. 1 typical.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Arizona
Antlers: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 196 2/8 Little is known about this incredible world's record non-typical, 196 2/8 Boone and Crockett Coues deer. It is believed it was taken in the late 1960s by a Native American hunter on Arizona's San Carlos Indian Reservation, somewhere south of Highway 70. It was later sold to a series of antler collectors. Bottomline, the antlers are their own truth.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Missouri
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 205 One shot at 28 feet from Larry Gibson's .308 brought down this 205 Boone and Crockett typical Missouri whitetail in November, 1971. At first it was scored at 201 5/8, but later over three more points were added. That made the buck Number 2 in the world at the time, and only one tine on the right antler, that had broken and healed, probably while the buck was still in velvet, may have kept it from being the world's record.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Montana
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 199 3/8 Hunter Thomas H. Dellwo took this 199 3/8 Boone and Crockett typical buck with his '06 at 75 yards in Missoula County in November, 1974, establishing what is still the Montana state record and the 15th largest deer in the record book.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Missouri
Antlers: Non-Typical
B&C Score: 333 7/8 After checking in his own deer with a Missouri conservation agent on November 15, 1981, hunter David Beckman was driving home when he saw a huge buck lying dead in a field off the road. He went back and told the agent, Michael Helland, about the deer, which was on private property. Helland found the landower and retrieved the buck. Unable to determine the cause of death, Helland skinned out the deer and took the rack, which weighed 11 pounds. When he brought the cape and antlers to a taxidermist several months later, the taxidermist asked a B&C measurer to score the rack. Ultimately, the deer netted 333 7/8 B&C points, making it the world's record non-typical whitetail to this day.
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett
Location: Saskatchewan
Antlers: Typical
B&C Score: 213 5/8 Like Mel Johnson almost 30 years before, Saskatchewan hunter Milo Hanson didn't have to go any farther than his own "backyard," literally, to find a new Boone and Crockett Club world's record typical whitetail, in November, 1993. Hunting his own land near Biggar, SK, after a fresh snow, Hanson and his friends pushed this fantastic animal out of the willow bushes. Then buck fever set in. Shots were missed and the buck was driven from more willow runs, before Hanson was the one to knock it down with his .308 lever action Winchester 88. When Hanson got up to the buck and saw the true size of its antlers, he began to shake. And that was before the buck was officially measured at 213 5/8 Boone and Crockett points!
Courtesy of Boone and Crockett

Almost all of the deer in this gallery, and many more, can be found in A Whitetail Retrospective: Vintage Photos and Memorabilia from the Boone and Crockett Club Archives. We would like to thank the Boone and Crockett Club for having generously let us reproduce them here. For those interested in helping the Boone and Crockett Club continue its vital conservation work, there is an associates program you can join for an annual fee of $35. -- T.M.