Second Biggest Record Typical Whitetail Deer
Lori Helms/Dustin Huff

Indiana Hunter Reacts to His 211-Inch Typical Whitetail Likely Becoming No. 2 All-Time

When Indiana's Dustin Huff picked up his crossbow and went deer hunting in November 2021, he wasn't necessarily after a big buck. He certainly wasn't chasing a world-record buck or the biggest buck of his life. But what he connected with was the biggest typical whitetail deer tagged in 10 years, the Indiana state record, and the largest typical buck ever harvested in the United States with any implement. Huff's buck—a gorgeous, 6x6 typical whitetail—has captivated the big game hunting world.

Duff's whitetail, which scored 211-4/8 inches, has been verified by Boone and Crockett. But it won't be official in the records until it's scored by a judges panel, which won't happen until 2025. So, for now, the Huff Buck is listed as No. 2 in Big Game Records LIVE.

At any rate, the new Indiana state record—the crossbow world record and the second-largest typical whitetail deer of all time—has surpassed the Jordan buck for second place all-time. And it scores just a bit more than 2 inches smaller than the legendary Milo Hanson world record typical whitetail, shot in Saskatchewan in 1993.

"I'm just in shock," Huff said. "The last two months have been an amazing period in my life, but Number Two in the world? Who'd have ever thought that would happen?"

One thing for sure is that this North American whitetail has established its place in the world of hunting legends. The Dustin Huff buck is the kind of thing deer hunters young and old dream about, the kind of lofty ambition that gets hunters out time and time again, in pursuit of their own world record whitetail.

Second Biggest Record Typical Whitetail Deer

Dustin Huff

Huff had no history with the Decatur County, Indiana, whitetail buck that would make him a household name in hunting. That season, Huff had only one trail camera out, and it had captured exactly zero photos of the buck. What Huff didn't know at the time, however, was that other hunters in the area were well aware of the buck.

"After I killed him, I learned that a person who lives 8 miles away had a bunch of pics of the deer," Huff says. "And the guy who hunts the property adjacent to ours not only had some history with the buck, but had a pic of him on October 27. He took the entire following week off from work to hunt him."

Meanwhile, the 2021 season had been disappointingly slow for Huff. "I was putting in a lot of time as the rut approached, sometimes getting in 10-hour days," he said. "But all I was seeing were basket-racked bucks. So I decided it was time to do something different. I have a Summit Viper climber that I got when I was in 8th grade. I took that and headed to an oak grove that I hadn't been in previously and thought, 'I'm just going to give this spot a try,' and I climbed up a tree."

Huff's gamble paid off, huge. When Huff first spotted the buck, it was about 70 yards off. "He was facing me, and the first thing I noticed was how wide he was. I was honestly in shock for a bit; it was so much bigger than any buck I'd ever seen or shot, he actually looked like a moose to me." Traveling on same ridge as Huff, the huge buck slowed as it approached a small ravine between them. "I was trying to decide exactly where and when to take the shot," says Huff. "Of course, I was super-nervous, and there was a lot of self-talk happening as I tried to calm myself down." When the 12-pointer got to about 40 yards, Huff whistled softly to stop him, but the buck stopped behind two saplings. "When he took another step, I whistled again and he stopped again; he was still shielded a bit, but I could lean out some and get the sight on his shoulder. I held my 30-yard sight mark a touch high and shot."

The buck was killed on "a family friend's 185-acre farm," according to Huff, who "shot him at 6:40 p.m. that evening."

Dustin Huff

He used a Stryker Crossbow and a Beman Bolt to drop the deer, qualifying him for the new world record for a deer shot with a crossbow. After harvesting the deer, the process to get it officially measured needed to wait the 60-day drying period, and Huff was able to find an official measurer from the Boone and Crockett Club to conduct the scoring on Jan. 5, 2022, during the week of the ATA Show.

For confirmation, we reached out to the Boone and Crockett Club and spoke with its director of records, Justin Spring.

"We do have an official score chart, that was filled out by an official measurer, that is at that 211 and 4/8 number," Spring told us. "It has not been panel reviewed, and it has not gone through our due diligence for fair chase and all the documentation. But we do have that submitted, that is the score that the official measurer came [to], so that will be the entry score."

For context, antler scores are always noted as eighths of an inch because measurements are taken to the nearest eighth inch. That means 4/8 is equal to 1/2, but it's easier to compare to other scores when all the fractions are entered in eighths.

Spring went on to provide a few more thoughts: "From what we can see from the photos and a cursory overview, it does appear to be a valid score on that deer."

Second Biggest Record Typical Whitetail Deer

Dustin Huff

An official declaration, in terms of the B&C record books, will have to wait. Spring explained why: "This one did not get scored in time to be included in our current panel that will take place this spring. The next panel will be in 2025, and when that takes place, the point of the panel is to confirm the initial scoring. Two separate teams of two measurers re-score the head. We're not trying to penalize shrinkage or anything, we're just looking to make sure that initial measurement was done correctly. If there's a tine that was off, or something like that, we will make the correction to that single tine. We try to confirm as much of the original measurement as possible. In our best-case scenario, we want our official measurers doing it correct every time, so we're very happy when we are able to confirm it."

The deer, which Huff has nicknamed Moose "because that's what he looked like coming through the woods," is making the rounds on social media. Huff intends to travel with the mount, giving people a chance to see it at hunting and outdoor shows, conventions, and gatherings throughout the season.

"I plan on doing a bunch of shows this year all over the country and sharing my story," Huff said. "The reaction has been unreal, people are just amazed at how much mass the deer's antlers have. People are loving it."

When Huff isn't killing world-record-caliber deer, he's writing and performing country music, which can be heard on all online streaming services as well as his website, The self-proclaimed "Redneck of the Woods" is also on Instagram @thehuffbuck and Twitter @DustinHuffMusic, and he certainly seems to be staying humble about his notable, record-setting experience.

"I'm just still shocked about the whole thing," Huff told us. "I mean, I never guessed anything like this would ever happen to a guy like me. I'm super thankful for it and all I got to say is God works in mysterious ways. It couldn't have been more perfect timing."

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