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What's the Truth Behind This Alleged 412-Pound Whitetail Shot on a Nebraska Indian Reservation?

The internet has awakened whitetail legends that raise more questions than answers, and here is another one of those whitetails. 

The internet has helped us connect, spread information, and be more efficient. But with all the information comes modern day urban legends that spread like wild fire. Back in 2006, details of 412-pound whitetail surfaced in a viral email chain that reached all corners of the United States.

Let's take a glance back in the archives and dig up the truth of this large than life whitetail.

Here's the original text to the email:

"For all you deer hunters; How about this deer?

Could you imagine!

412 pound deer killed along Clarion River in North West Pennsylvania
Good GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is one big deer...
Deer was killed in Clarion County, Pa. , weighed 412 lbs. Supposedly could be the heaviest whitetail ever taken.
Cabala's HERE WE COME"

Like any good internet legends comes discrepancy. Many critics of the pictures believed the deer was discolored and the antlers were too small for an animal of such a mammoth size.


Some media critics dug deeper to learn the truth and discover that the buck was actually shot in Nebraska. However, after contacting Nebraska Game and Parks Commission they had seen the pictures umpteen times, but couldn't identify who the tag holder would be. They found suspicions that one of the biggest deer shot in the country and no names were being brought forward.

After a little more digging, the NGPC said they were informed the hunter was from Truman, Arkansas. The commission came up with a name, but was unable to identify that person as a permit holder in Nebraska.


The biggest deer the NGPC has seen was 250 deer field dressed which would equate to approximately 300 pounds. Therefore the 412-pound buck seemed liked a strong rumor and deceptive photography.

In January, Dennis Anderson, a writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an article questioning the photos. A few weeks later, Stan Whitt the man who said he had killed the deer while bowhunting on an Indian reservation in Nebraska.The fact it was shot on an Indian reservation would clear the reason why the NGPC was not aware of the urban legend whitetail.

Whitt shot the deer at mere "five paces" and stuck the deer with a 100-grain broad head. After waiting four hours of waiting, he began to search the whitetail, but came up empty handed.


Sunday, the morning after shooting the deer, he found the whitetail with a reservation game warden and another man.

So at the end of the day, we can't say if the deer was actually 412 pounds. Whitt admitted that the animal was bloated. The reservation actually estimated the "live" weight at 412 pounds.

The method the reservation used typically only has a 6 percent margin of error, but seems to be inaccurate in this case.

What are your thoughts on this urban myth whitetail?

All images via Snopes


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What's the Truth Behind This Alleged 412-Pound Whitetail Shot on a Nebraska Indian Reservation?