On Monday, Stephen Tucker, 26, of Gallatin, Tennessee, bagged what could be the largest non-typical whitetail buck ever taken by a hunter. His massive muzzleloader kill sported 47 points and more than 300 inches in total length, easily surpassing the current state record. If the 60-day drying period goes well, Tucker’s buck could also edge out the current world-record non-typical.
Tucker was hunting in Middle Tennessee’s Sumter County when he shot the deer. Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s Capt. Dale Grandstaff measured the buck using the Boone & Crockett measuring system, putting the buck at an incredible gross score of 313 2/8 inches.
However, TWRA reports that, after non-typical deductions were made to the score, the net green score was calculated at 308 3/8 inches.
Tennessee’s reigning non-typical champion was taken in 2000 in the same county as Tucker’s buck, but that buck measured “only” 244 3/8 inches. While the so-called “Tennessee Tucker Buck” is in the mandatory 60-day drying period for official scoring, it will undoubtedly smash this standing record and become the state’s new non-typical record.
What isn’t as clear is whether or not the Tucker Buck will succeed in dethroning the current world-record muzzleloader buck.
The current record holder is an Iowa buck taken in 2003. It officially measured 307 5/8 inches and is the only other free-range whitetail to have ever been taken with more than 300 inches of antler.
It’s doubtful the drying period will be so kind to Tucker’s buck as to remove less than one inch in total score, but if it does it will certainly create a stir in the deer hunting community.
So far Capt. Grandstaff has been the only scorer to measure the buck’s antlers. The official score will come at the next Boone & Crockett banquet, when world records are put to the test and officially recognized. Tucker will have to wait a bit to find out whether he’s toppled the current king; the next B&C banquet is scheduled for the spring of 2019.
The all-time Boone & Crockett record non-typical was a 333 7/8-inch buck found in Missouri in 1981. Picked up by a hunter in St. Louis County and later owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation, this buck has three fewer points than the Tucker Buck but would have still won handily in total score had it been taken during a hunt.