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World Record Whitetail: Top 10 States to Harvest a Record Whitetail [PICS]

Are you looking to harvest a world record whitetail?  You may want to know the best states to start looking and what the numbers tell you.

It’s been said, “The past predicts the future.” Historical data provides a solid foundation from which patterns start to emerge.

While we can’t predict the future, historical data can focus our attention in areas more likely to yield the results we want to achieve.

To provide our foundation, I created two lists from the Boone and Crockett record books and sorted them by state: Top 10 States for Typical Whitetail and Top 10 States for Non-Typical Whitetail. Out of fairness to our fellow hunters north of the border, I included Canadian provinces, as well.

According to the Boone and Crockett’s records, these are the top 10 states for each category…

bar graph
Image via author
Bar graph
Image via author

As you can clearly see, several patterns start to emerge. Let’s look at a few of them…


The Badger State also appears to be the whitetail state when it comes to overall success. With 1,064 typical records, Wisconsin clearly leads this category with 18% of the total. In fact, you are nearly 2 ½ times more likely to land a typical record in Wisconsin than and non-typical record.

If you combine Wisconsin’s numbers in both categories, they hold 16% of the 9,444 records held by these 10 states. That’s some impressive figures, but, if you like your bucks a little on the trashy side, consider our 2nd place finisher.

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Illinois has long been a favorite destination for monster buck hunters, especially those with less-than-perfect racks. With 575 records, the Land of Lincoln holds 16.3% of the total non-typical records surveyed. Considering Illinois has the 1st place honors for non-typical records and the 2nd place honors for typical records, think long and hard about going to Illinois. Remember, 13.9% of the total records are found within their state lines.


World Record Whitetail
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When it comes to big whitetail, our friends in Canada may be keeping a secret from their fellow hunters. While they placed 6th for typical records and 9th for non-typical records, they hold four of the top ten biggest typical whitetails of all time, including Milo Hanson’s #1 monster that measured 213 5/8 inches.

A trip across the border may be in order for some of our readers. Just be sure to pack some insulated underwear and a space heater.


Everyone’s heard the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” Texas isn’t necessarily a state that comes to mind when talking about record whitetails, yet it did make both Top 10 lists and with more than 6% of the records in each category.

In addition, the enormous size of the state holds far more deer than any of the other states on the list. Biologists are predicting an average hunting year for 2014 but I wouldn’t count Texas out. There are some distinct advantages to hunting the state and it should be given some consideration.

Related: The Biggest Bear Kills From the Record Books [PICS]


The Wheat State may have been the biggest surprise on the Top 10 lists, checking in at 10th place with just 6.5% of the typical records. However, they improved their standing greatly by moving into 5th place for non-typical records with an impressive 8.6%.

Kansas does hold the #3 non-typical record of all time with a giant 312 1/8 inch rack found in Marshall County in 2012.


World Record Whitetail
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Like any state, differing environments can positively influence growth in one area and not the other. The Show-Me State is a good example.

Conditions in the northern half of Missouri are far more favorable for deer growth, producing deer that are considerably larger than those in the southern part of the state.

While you should factor in these conditions, don’t rule out Missouri as a record setting state. The largest whitetail rack ever found, 333 7/8 inches, came from St. Louis County and the #3 Typical Whitetail was harvested by Larry Gibson, and scored 205 inches.

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World Record Whitetail: Top 10 States to Harvest a Record Whitetail [PICS]