The General Whitetail
Travis Smola

The General: The Giant Nebraska Whitetail That Was Larger Than the Rompola Buck


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These days, it feels like Milo Hanson's 213 5/8 world record whitetail is almost unbeatable. As we close in on the 30-year anniversary of the giant whitetail falling by Hanson's rifle in Biggar, Saskatchewan, it is hard to remember a time when Hanson was not atop the Boone & Crockett record books. However, at least one deer exists that had it been downed by a hunter, would set the bar at a level that likely never would be topped. The buck lovingly known as "The General" dropped his great crown all the way back in 1959 and would have gone unknown to the whitetail world in a dusty old farmhouse had outfitter Tim Condict stumbled across it in the mid-1990s.

This is the story of this gargantuan deer, and why it makes even some of the biggest bucks ever shot look small by comparison.

The story of the General has always intrigued us. Had that hunter not followed a wild story, the world may never have known about this unbelievable set of sheds. This massive buck grosses nearly 240 inches as a typical and would have netted in the mid-220s with a conservatively estimated 24-inch spread, and after deductions are factored in. There is no other deer that comes close to these dimensions, not even the infamous and questionable "Rompola buck." Just rattling off this buck's measurements leaves us in awe. He had a 14-inch G2 tines, 7-inch mass measurements and 32-inch main beams. Keep in mind that there were no high fence hunting ranches or genetic engineering back in 1958. That means the buck pre dates that and modern deer management practices. This not only makes him more impressive, it just goes to show that wild whitetails are capable of truly extraordinary things in the right circumstances.

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The General Whitetail

Travis Smola

According to North American Whitetail, the original owner of the sheds told Condict there were not one, not two, but THREE bucks of this size roaming the area in 1958. It's hard to say whether he was exaggerating or not, but he claimed to have seen the deer in person prior to finding the sheds. The rancher found the first one in a willow bush while tending to a cow that had just given birth. The other side lay only feet away. He picked them both up but clearly did not understand the significance of what he had just found. Stories like this are the kind that get our imagination churning. It makes you wonder whatever happened to this buck. Are there anymore of his sheds laying around in a dusty barn or attic somewhere waiting to be discovered? And how large could this buck have gotten after clearly surviving the season he grew these. The world may never know, and that is part of the fun of stories like this.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

READ MORE: THE 5 BEST HOME DEFENSE SHOTGUNS

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