There are 5,607 non-typical whitetails listed in Boone & Crockett’s record program, 27 from Tennessee. As of Tuesday, one Volunteer State buck is officially the biggest of the big, with B&C recognizing Stephen Tucker’s muzzleloader kill as the new world-record non-typical.
The huge buck was shot in Tucker’s hometown of Gallatin on November 7, 2016. It had 22 scorable points on its left beam and 25 on its right—one of only four B&C entrants to have more than 47 scorable points. The rack gross-scored 313 2/8 inches. After undergoing the mandatory 60-day drying period, the buck still measured 312 inches, putting it ahead of the previous record of 307 5/8 by 4 3/8 inches.
“What also makes this particular deer special is an entry score of 312 0/8 on only a 149 1/8-inch typical frame, which includes a modest inside spread of 14 1/8 inches. That’s 162 7/8 inches of abnormal points,” said Justin Spring, director of B&C’s big game records.
As a result, Tucker’s buck is also the de facto Tennessee non-typical record. The previous record, taken in 2000 in the same county as Tucker’s, measured 244 3/8 inches.
“If you look at the historical data, one thing that is special about this deer is that the majority of record-book deer from Tennessee have come since the mid-1980s,” Spring said. “That’s conservation success that is trending. A tip of the cap should go to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the sportsmen of Tennessee for what they have been able to accomplish with their deer herds.”
Only two larger non-typical bucks are known to exist in the world, one measuring 333 7/8 inches and the other 328 2/8 inches. Both were picked up, leaving Tucker’s buck as the largest hunter-taken buck ever recorded.
“He pretty much won the lottery,” Josh West of Wildlife Taxidermy in Portland, Tennessee, told The Tennessean. “He will have all kinds of opportunities to make a lot of money off endorsements, public appearances, and things like that.”
Jared Steele, owner of Utah’s Basin Antler Buyers, told the paper the rack could be worth at least $100,000. Its new world-record status will undoubtedly see that figure rise, but Tucker told The Tennessean in November that a sale wasn’t on the horizon.
“I don’t have any plans for it right now,” Tucker said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m just going to go with the flow. I just feel very blessed.”