Not every monster buck is automatically a product of deer farms and high fences.
With the ever-increasing popularity of the captive deer breeding industry is an unfortunate side effect. And that is the assumption that just about every larger-than-normal buck isn’t a product of nature, but of man.
However, that isn’t always the case. Nature can produce some quality deer all on its own. And to prove it, for today’s #WhitetailWednesday, we’re highlighting seven wild animals that definitely pre-date those of practices that first became popular in the 1970s.
The John Breen Buck
One of the biggest 10-pointers ever shot, John Breen’s 202-inch typical was taken all the way back in 1918. Taken more than 50 years before selective breeding became a thing, it’s considered one of the most beautiful typical bucks of all time.
The buck wasn’t formally scored until 1950, but the monster buck from Beltrami County, Minnesota, held the typical world record for 21 years.
The James Jordan Buck
The internet masses would probably immediately label James Jordan’s spectacular 206-1/8-inch Wisconsin 10-pointer a high-fence buck were it shot today. The buck has it all: height, width and incredible mass.
It’s worth noting Jordan wasn’t some rich snob who could drop stacks of money on a single high-fence hunt. He was a simple trapper and logger who found odd jobs where he could. Oh, and he shot this buck all the way back in 1914, effectively pre-dating the explosion of high-fence hunting by some 60 years.
The Benson Buck
The Texas state record also stood as the world-record non-typical for decades. Many would be quick to pass off this 284-3/8-inch monster as a genetic freak conceived on a deer farm somewhere. However, this buck was shot back in the 1890s.
This buck came from a time before antlers became the top priority in deer hunting. In fact, no one even knows for sure who shot this buck because the details have been lost to time.
The Mel Johnson Buck
Amazingly, this buck still stands as the world record for a bow-killed typical whitetail. Mel Johnson harvested this 204-4/8-inch monster in Peoria County, Illinois, back in 1965.
If you’re keeping track, that’s 10-15 years before deer breeders took off.
As if the deer itself wasn’t incredible enough, somehow this buck has managed to stand up to a whole host of contenders to keep its status as the world record for decades now.
The Harold Smith Buck
Another deer that would be easily mistaken for a pen-raised animal, the Harold Smith buck boasts 272 4/8 inches of non-typical antler. But this buck was harvested way back in 1951.
There’s some debate as to whether this buck was a mule deer, whitetail or a hybrid of the two. Most seem to accept it as a whitetail. Whatever the case may be, it shows nature is capable of producing some amazing antlers if conditions are right.
The Elburn Kohler Buck
Another Canadian monster, the Elburn Kohler buck grew 265 3/8 inches of antler back in 1957 in Saskatchewan.
Even more impressive than the buck’s antlers is the fact this deer still stands as the biggest non-typcial ever taken in Saskatchewan. Considering the province’s reputation for big deer, that’s an impressive feat all on its own!
The Vernon Jensen Buck
Holy spread, Batman! Vernon Jensen’s awesome Minnesota whitetail scores a whopping 199 2/8 inches, just missing out on hitting the magical 200-inch mark for a typical.
It may look like the sort of thing some people would pay $20,000 or more to shoot in a pen, but this buck was killed in 1954, almost 20 years before deer breeding became popular.