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Wingmaster

Heaviest Whitetail Bucks?

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Wingmaster

I was wondering what some of the heaviest whitetail bucks people get in different parts of the state. I hunt near Aitkin and we seldom see a buck that dresses out over 200 pounds. I know that the NE part of the state seems to have some really heavy deer, but I am not sure about the Southern part of the state. Anybody have and photos of some of their heavier deer to put on hear. I do'nt know about you guys, but I like seeing the big bodied bucks even more than the slender racked 10 pointers.

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Scott M

The heaviest whitetail ever taken was a buck shot by Carl Lenandor in 1926 in Minnesota (I remember reading an article about it last year before rifle opener-I think it was somewhere in St. Louis county?). It had a dressed weight of 405 lbs, and was conservatively estimated to have a 500 lb live weight.

A buck shot in Maine, by Horace R. Hinkley, in 1955, had a dressed weight of 355 lbs, with a live weight estimated at 488 lbs. This deer is in one of Gary Clancy's White-tailed deer hunting books. It is huge.

Here is a cool recollection from that buck from Maine Fishing and Outdoor Magazine:

Maine's Record Buck: The Whole Story

by R.G. Bernier

For unexplainable reasons even to Horace, he never moved or made a sound. Something within (a gut feeling most successful hunters have learned to trust) told him there was more action to come. No sooner had that thought passed when the buck of any hunter's dream was sneaking directly towards Horace.

By the time your eyes light upon November's column, this buck hunter will have already buried himself deep into the wilderness of Maine. Hopefully, an oversized set of tracks will be laid out before me yearning to be followed.

My expectation is to be hunting the giant buck that eluded us last fall. He undoubtedly will rival the state record in regards to weight. The Berniers' goal is to catch up to this behemoth and end his career by the only fitting way we know - a projectile fired from a Bernier-held rifle.

Each fall, the annual gathering of the red coats brings on a renewed enthusiasm and expectation. As groups of hunters find their way to their traditional hunting camps, talk of big deer abounds. The anticipation of meeting up with the buck of your dreams fuels the desire as you encroach upon his domain.

One such buck in Maine's rich deer-hunting history met and surpassed even the wildest dreams of a 59-year-old hunter back in 1955. Horace R. Hinckley did what no other hunter has been able to match since, by shooting the heaviest whitetail buck on record within the state of Maine. In fact, Hinckley's buck places second in all of North America, only to a Minnesota buck shot in 1926 by Carl Lenandor. Carl's buck topped the scales at 402 pounds dressed.

The events surrounding the taking of this enormous animal are Horace's own words, excerpted from the August 1969 issue of Outdoor Life. I certainly would not want you to think I had any first hand knowledge, seeing as I was nothing more than a mere twinkle in Pop's eye when this momentous occasion occurred.

Little did Horace know as he struck off that morning that he was about to embark on a whitetail record that would stand for forty-three years. Days off for a lumber worker came only on holidays and during inclement weather. Vacations were out of the question, especially to go deer hunting. The Hinckleys hunted when they could, and because of expected rain on the first Saturday of deer season, they jumped at the opportunity to hunt.

Trophy hunting as we view it today had no bearing on the Hinckley mindset. They hunted deer out of enjoyment and to lay up sweet tasting venison for the coming winter.

Horace, his wife Olive, their son Philip and his wife Madeline traveled 60 miles from their Augusta home to hunt Northwest Bingham. The area is located on the western side of Fletcher Mountain. Once reaching the desired location, the elder Hinckleys hunted an old tote road for the first hour. Due to the lack of fresh deer sign, they stopped to ponder their next move.

While talking it over, a jeep approached. The driver was the foreman of a local logging operation who offered to take them to the end of a remote, almost undriveable road where he had seen lots of fresh sign two days prior. At the end of this two track, the Hinkleys made their way up through a winter beech valley encompassed on both sides by rising mountainous terrain. By 9 a.m. they had each taken a stand a few yards apart, in what appeared to be a great spot.

They didn't have to wait long before the action started. Twenty minutes after taking his position, Horace heard a twig snap, spotted a buck and fired. Fortunately for him, he completely missed. Within five minutes his wife's rifle echoed, only to be followed by her excited voice yelling for Horace to come see her nice buck. For unexplainable reasons even to Horace, he never moved or made a sound. Something within (a gut feeling most successful hunters have learned to trust) told him there was more action to come. No sooner had that thought passed when the buck of any hunter's dream was sneaking directly towards Horace. It only required one shot from his .30-06 to put this monster down for the count.

As astounding a morning as it was, there would be much more excitement to come before darkness fell on this day. Quickly realizing the two deer lying before them were more than they could handle, the couple started back to retrieve help. Not finding his son at the vehicle, they drove to his brother Ralph's house a short distance away.

Approaching the kill site with Ralph to help in the dragging chores, a six pointer was jumped and taken by Horace's brother with one quick shot. Instead of easing the burden, Ralph only added to it with the third Hinckley buck. Once the two men had finished getting the six pointer and Olive's big buck out, they jubilantly spotted Philip making his way toward them.

By now, the events thus far would have been more excitement than any hunting family could have expected in several lifetimes, but there was more good news. Philip's wife had shot a spikehorn, and during the dragging process to get her buck out, a big 200-pound plus ten pointer materialized. Philip made the shot count, and thus gave the Hinckley family five bucks in the space of one hunting morning. The story should end here once Horace's mammoth buck was laboriously hauled out, but it doesn't.

It was three days before a scale large enough to handle a buck of this proportion could be found. Once this great buck was hoisted up in front of several witnesses, including state sealer of weights, Forrest Brown, the giant deer pulled the scales to a whopping 355 pounds. It was calculated that Hinckley's buck had an approximate live weight of 488 pounds. Several measurements were then taken which included: neck girth - 28 inches, body girth behind forelegs - 47 inches, greatest girth - 56 inches, and a total length from antler tip to rear hoof of 9 1/2 feet.

Because of the constant influx of inquisitive viewers, Horace was unable to butcher his buck. To add to his dilemma, the sheer weight of his buck after six days of hanging collapsed the barn roof. When the animal finally reached the freezer plant the next day, it weighed almost 100 pounds less. A cloud of doubt now hung because of the unsuspecting discrepancy to the original weight. Due to the length of hanging time and the amount of trimming Horace had to perform since shooting his now famous deer, it was determined that shrinkage could easily have diminished the weight of the buck.

Unfortunately, and not without much difficulty, it took Horace over a year to have his buck validated as the heaviest ever recorded in the state. To you who think a buck of Hinckley's status is a thing of the past, and a record that may never be broken, I need only to remind you of Mark Maguire and his 70 homeruns. I, for one, know that a buck of that caliber not only exists, but I am also in hopes of dethroning the reigning king with the taking of him.

I can visually see him in the recesses of my mind, and perhaps this buck will become - the buck of my dreams.

********

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TrophyEyes

Please tell me you copy and paste.

We have shot deer in Southeast MN that easily go over the 275 live weight. I shot a 2 1/2-3 1/2 year old 8pt. last year that weighted 192lbs. dressed. It took 4 guys to drag it 300 yards. He had a stomach full of apples, corn and soy beans. He really was eating well.

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Scott M

That wasn't committed to memory, if that's what you are asking grin.gif

I popped open Clancy's book this morning to see that but the thread triggered a memory from reading that story about the MN deer last November. Probably looked like a Hereford beef bull it was so thick!

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umichjesse

My heaviest SE Minnesota buck. We weighed it the next day on an old spring scale and it said 210 lbs. I thought it was more, but then I think it is pretty common to over estimate weight.

342053.JPG

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Cooter

Anyone know where to find pics of say the state record or other bruisers?

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JEV

I've shot a couple that went just shy of 200. My biggest to date is 235 lbs fully dressed out. He was a late October buck and was a real bruiser. I shot another nice buck a couple of years ago during the muzzleloader season. He had a large framed body but only weighed 165 lbs. Chasing all them does must take a lot out of them. When I pulled the hide off he didn't have an ounce of fat on him.

JEV

Deer13.jpg

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bigbucks

I've shot a couple around 180 & they were big deer, long, but not the real bruisers. I'm guessing them both at 3 1/2, but am not sure, maybe only 2 1/2. I'd guess most 2 1/2 year-olds are in that 140-165 range. Very few yearling bucks will weigh more than about 130, most less.

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LABS4ME

4 years ago in WI, I shot a decent buck, nice spread but a skinny rack. Thought maybe it was a 3 1/2 year old, but the body was huge, and he was a lot grayer than normal on the face. Everyone in camp was guessing a young deer that should've walked, but I felt it's body was to big for a young deer...

4 days after shooting him, he weighed 198 dressed. When I cut him up, there was not enough fat on him to fill a coffee cup. We have a rule in camp, if you shoot a buck you have to mount it. I questioned mounting him as his rack was skinny, but he did have a nice spread, both brow tines were broke off, so in essence he was a 20" 6 point. My buddy asked when I was going to get a 6 point that big again? and a rule is a rule. So I took him in. When at the taxidermist, the DNR stopped by to get jaw samples so they could age some harvested deer... when I got my slip back, the biologists estimated him to be 7 1/2 years old. He was on his way down instead of up.

That being said, I agree it takes years to put pounds on as well as inches. That was the biggest (body) deer anybody I hunt with has taken.

I know 200 pounders are out there, but many 180 pound bucks are touted as being 200 pounds... just like a lot of 28" walleyes become those magical 30"ers.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Tippman

I wasn't going to post this picture because I know that there are much bigger deer out there but nobody is posting pics of their bruisers. This was last years bow kill dressed out at 204.

204lbpics033.jpg

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harvey lee

Tippman, thats one very fine buck you took there.

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bigbucks

That's a big deer, he sure was fat.

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finnbay

My Mom shot a deer north of Bovey in the early '60's with a .410 that my Dad brought to the neighbors cattle scale to weigh. Just a tad over 230.

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bigbucks

That's a lot of deer for a .410. I trust she must have made a very good shot. Of course I supposed if it was really close it would still pack quite a wallop.

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finnbay

Luck had some to do with it. She was close, about 30 yards and the slug went between 2 ribs on the way in, right through the heart and came apart on a rib on the other side. No exit wound!

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bubs

my family has have hunted in the ne part of the state since the 60's. It is has been very commen that the 8 pointers weight the most we rarely weigh our deer but the ones that I can remember were around 180 to 190. no bruiser since I started hunting in the 80's. My dad tells a story of how they helped a guy get a 8 pt out of the woods by quartering it because they couldn't drag it. he got one back in the 70's that went over 200 the scale they used bottom out at 200. my 14pt non typ went 189.

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Scott K

I have shot one buck, 13 pt non-typical that was 212lbs dressed. I also shot a doe that was 180. I have shot lots of deer and to only have 1 over 200. Its like the majic number to reach in this area.

I have seen one about 10 years ago that I bet was pushing 300 lbs. It was the weekend before deer hunting. I seen it in the field about a mile from where I hunt, there was 3 of us in the truck, staring at this monster, it was dark out and it was about 60 yds in the field. It wasnt to afraid of us, we sat there and watched it for a good 10 minutes, then it walked in the woods. I seen it during deer hunting briefly. I was walking to my stand in the afternoon, it jumped out from the creek bed, at up over a ravine faster then I could get my gun aimed at it, I ran to get a shot, but it was gone! You just dont see deer like that at all, it was my once in a life time thing, and I blew it frown.gif .

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DonBo

I shot one on a Metro Bowhunt a few years back that was 200 even. I had to drag it about 20 feet to gut it. It was all I could handle by myself.

Don't you love those commercials where the guy has his bow in one hand and the bruiser in the other dragging it out by himself?

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Jay R

I have been part of a very special hunting group in NW MN that has been hunting together since 1942 and we keep records of wieght etc thats 64 years. The heaviest buck our group has taken was 252# field dressed and the #2 buck was 250# field dressed. The largest set of antlers scored 198 5/8 non-typical and is displayed at the fargo scheels taken in 1951 that deer may have been the heaviest but was never weighed. The other two were taken in the mid 70's and early 80's

J

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Meat-Run

Quote:

I shot one on a Metro Bowhunt a few years back that was 200 even. I had to drag it about 20 feet to gut it. It was all I could handle by myself.

Don't you love those commercials where the guy has his bow in one hand and the bruiser in the other dragging it out by himself?


Yes there called Texes deer. My yellow lab with antlers!!!! grin.gifgrin.gif

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perchking

My heaviest was last years 202 dressed, I have shot alot in the 150-175 range and I didnt think this was was much bigger but once on the scale we had to shorten the chain being this deer was so long... I just noticed the date was 1 year off, it shows 05 but it was take on opening day of Michigan archery season of 06.

HPIM0126.jpg

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lawdog

This is by far my biggest buck, shot in Wisc. weighed 193 field dressed...

190buck1-med.jpg

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wdgold

My Grandfather shot a 14 point in 1958 by Hinckley that weighed 290 dressed he is 91 now and still has the rack hanging on the wall.

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      Many hunters are curious as to how we make our decisions on antlerless permit numbers and season structure, and that’s something we are trying to more effectively communicate. The process starts immediately after the deer season closes. That’s when area wildlife supervisors and staff monitor deer harvest results in their local areas and collect informal feedback from hunters, conservation officers, foresters and others. In spring, after winter severity has been monitored and deer mortality losses have been estimated, research staff run population models for each permit area based on the last year’s harvest, winter mortality, anticipated fawn births, predation and other data. These calculations are the basis of research staff recommendations for season permit area designations (lottery, managed, intensive harvest, etc.) and the number of antlerless permits that should be made available to hunters in each lottery permit area in order to achieve population goals. Research staff recommendations are sent to all area wildlife supervisors, who then have the option of agreeing with them or modifying them based on their own local observations and informal input. Often, these recommendations agree with each other, but not always. When this happens, differences get resolved at the regional or St. Paul office level. Ultimately, the agreed upon season structures and number of permits to be issued for each area are communicated to hunters through the multi-colored deer map that is part of the hunting regulations booklet and a new, more informative interactive deer map on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/deermap. On managing expectations
      That’s perhaps the hardest part of deer management, and it’s often a function of scope and scale. Our agency’s focus is on the big picture and a half million hunters. Conversely, the individual hunter is most interested in what’s happening within their immediate hunting area, which is often as little as 40 acres. It’s not well-known but among 13 Midwestern states, only Missouri manages deer populations at a finer spatial scale than Minnesota. We are serious about managing expectations and deer numbers in small geographic areas. Still, it is common to have a wide variety of opinions in each area on whether there should be more, fewer or different sized deer. To that point, we recently conducted a hunter satisfaction survey and one of the findings is that today’s hunters have higher expectations than those who hunted just 10 years ago. On communicating with hunters
      When I began my career it was common to interact with hunters at deer registration stations and local field offices. Today with the ease, convenience and popularity of phone and internet game registration, the DNR no longer has staff at deer registration stations. And people don’t visit DNR offices like they once did because so much information is available on the DNR website. Our challenge is finding new and efficient ways to have two-way conversations with hunters. This past winter we received more than 1,400 comments during a three-month long deer management plan public input effort. We were pleased with the response yet those 1,400 comments from an engaged and important audience represent only a minute fraction of the hunting public. There’s an irony in the fact that even though it is easier to be connected to one another these days because of smartphones and other technology, many people feel less connected than they once did. Figuring out how to maintain strong relations with hunters and other stakeholders is something on which we need to keep working. Minnesota’s first-ever deer plan will outline key concepts and crucial, ongoing work needed to manage deer, one of the state’s most popular and economically vibrant natural resources. An important aspect of the plan is how DNR will reach out and communicate deer management needs, necessary actions and reasons for those actions. A draft plan will be available in early 2018. I encourage everyone to read the draft plan, consider DNR’s suggested approach and give us your feedback and ideas through the public input opportunities we’ll make available. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.