Who says a buck has to be really wide to be a shooter?
When picturing the buck of their dreams, most hunters picture a deer with an exceptionally wide spread. While it is true that many of the biggest-antlered bucks in the books had wide racks, there are deer in the Boone and Crockett record books with very average spreads.
To prove that point for today’s #WhitetailWednesday, here are six narrow-racked bucks that still made it into Boone and Crockett’s record books with plenty of room to spare.
The Franz Buck
Joe Franz’s 2014 Iowa whitetail scored a staggering 230 7/8 inches. Amazingly, the 23-pointer has only a 13-inch inside spread!
The lack of width doesn’t detract from this buck in any way however. The towering, picket-fence row of tines on either side are wildly palmated. Add in a big drop tine jutting off the right side and an hunter would harvest this buck.
The Wayne Stewart Buck
Very few typical whitetails ever score over the magical 200-inch mark. Even fewer manage to do it with a rack as narrow as Wayne Stewart’s 1961 Minnesota whitetail.
What made this story even crazier was what happened after the hunt. The antlers of this old buck spent years locked away in a garage before Stewart finally decided to have them mounted. Then they were stolen from a car while waiting to be mounted. Amazingly, the family recovered them years later and finally put the tape measure to the buck.
The Stewart buck nets 201 3/8 typical while sporting a spread of just 15 5/8 inches!
The Mitch Vakoch Buck
Minnesota’s best non-typical fell in 1974 to 17-year-old Mitch Vakoch. He took down the monster with a 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun. Buck fever must have gotten to Vakoch, though, because his first shot missed. Luckily for him, the monster buck ran right at him and he was able to nail him with the second shot.
This mature buck has a relatively average 15-4/8-inch inside spread. But most hunters aren’t noticing the width of this deer’s rack, but rather the 43 unbelievable non-typical points, including a big, club-like drop tine.
This monster buck scores 268 5/8. Not bad for a first buck, right?
The Frank Sullivan Buck
This buck was actually taken just last year by Louisiana dentist Frank Sullivan. Even crazier than the big buck’s non-typical rack is the fact Sullivan shot this buck right behind his dental practice. Talk about every hunter’s dream, being able to keep tabs on your hunting spot from work!
Sullivan’s buck isn’t very wide for a world-class whitetail at just 17 3/8 inches inside, but the double main beam and matching drop tines are what make this buck a real head-turner. The massive antlers score 198 3/8 inches, which is enough to secure a place in the Boone and Crockett record book, as well as a spot as the new No.1 buck ever killed with a bow in Louisiana!
This one, unfortunately, is a sad story. This buck, found dead by James Wanklyn in 2012, was actually killed by a gnat or fly and not a hunter. Wanklyn had been monitoring this buck via trail camera and matched a set of sheds the year prior. But the bruiser buck disappeared from camera the summer after an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, which is spread by flies and other biting insects.
Knowing the area where the buck lived had an outbreak of the disease, Wanklyn decided to search a local water source, just in case. Unfortunately, his nightmare scenario quickly became a reality when he found the massive buck had indeed met his demise from EHD. This buck really is in a league of its own, too. It’s one of the rare whitetails to crack the elusive 300-inch mark with a score of 312 1/8. At the time, it would have made the deer a new world record for a hunter-killed whitetail.
Even more astounding than those eye-popping measurements is the fact this buck achieves them with an inside spread of just 15 5/8 inches!
The Stephen Tucker Buck
The Tucker buck was like a bomb dropped on the whitetail world when it appeared out of nowhere in 2016. No one would’ve expected the next world-record whitetail to come out of Tennessee. The monster 47-pointer scored an incredible 312 3/8, making it the largest whitetail ever harvested by a hunter.
Even more amazing than the score is the fact that the buck gets just 14 inches of inside spread credit from the buck’s unusually narrow and tall rack. It really makes you wonder just what the deer would have scored had its antlers been just a bit wider.