The Best of NAW TV's Big Buck Profiles
October 06, 2014
For 10 years, North American Whitetail TV has been bringing the stories of some of the most iconic bucks into your living room. From the Hole in the Horn buck to Del Austin's 1962 kill with a recurve bow, if it's a big buck with a great story, chances are NAW TV has featured it in the "Big Buck Profile" segment on the show.
We're crazy about big whitetails, and over the years we've had the opportunity to get some of these big racks in our hands to really tell the story. By documenting the bucks we're telling a small piece of history. In celebration of North American Whitetail TV's 10th anniversary, we've rounded up the best of the big bucks to ever grace the small screen.
Here they are:
Scoring 279 7/8 inches non-typical, Del Austin's 1962 kill with a recurve bow stands out not only for the method taken, but because the size of the rack and age of the buck. It's estimated this buck was nearly 9 1/2 years old when Austin's arrow took down the bruiser on a friend's farm. Interestingly, this friend had been hunting "Old Mossy Horns" for five years before Austin was lucky enough to take him. With super drop tines and tons of mass, the local legend became the biggest Pope and Young non-typical for 38 years before being bested by Michael Beatty's 2000 294-inch Ohio buck.
A classic of the whitetail world, the John Breen buck was killed near Bemidji, Minn., in 1918. Himself a meat hunter, when Breen saw this buck the trophy hunter in him came out. Breen became a local celebrity after killing the buck because of the large rack, even at a time when nobody really cared about rack size. With 31-inch main beams and one of the most perfect typical 5x5 racks ever seen, Breen's buck would've been the world record typical with a net score of 202 inches typical had it been scored at the time. Instead, the buck remained unscored until the 1950s when it was certified as the world record...until James Jordan's 1964 Illinois buck overtook him.
Arriving at his stand later than he anticipated on the morning of this hunt turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Brian Andrews. His No. 10 Pope and Young non-typical was taken at just 10 yards with a perfect broadside shot. With 30-inch mainbeams and 26 scoreable points, the Andrews buck scores 253 1/8 inches and is the Iowa state record for non-typicals — a real buck of a lifetime for Andrews.
Hole in the Horn
If ever there was a mascot for North American Whitetail, the Hole in the Horn buck is it. Scoring 328 2/8 inches, this buck was killed by a train in northeast of Ohio in 1940. With 45 scorable points, a 33-inch outside spread, and nearly 200 inches of abnormal rack, the Hole in the Horn buck is one of the largest racks ever. The source of the hole was a mystery until 1995 when NAW received a call from a man who was on the scene when this buck was discovered. Turns out the hole was not caused by a bullet, like many had thought, but instead it was the result of being hit by the train and tangling with the chain link fence in a way that put the hole into the horn. Regardless, this buck is still one of the most iconic bucks ever.
Though not typically thought of as a whitetail haven, Canada's westernmost province has produced some extremely big deer over the years. Just look at Harold Smith's buck taken in southeastern British Columbia near Ta Ta Creek in 1951. Scoring 279 3/8 inches with 32 scorable points, an inside spread of 26 inches, an outside spread of 31 7/8 inches, a mainbeam mass of over 7 inches in some areas, and four tines up to 13- and 14-inches long, this buck has it all. In a sleeper area for whitetails, there is great potential for a buck like this.
For freaky, showstopping whitetails, look no further than Troy Wilson's 2001 Kentucky cactus buck. Hunting with a muzzleloader, this buck would have scored over 300 inches non-typical under the Boone & Crockett scoring system, with 44 scorable points, but velvet bucks are not eligible for the record book. With antlers growing everywhere, the mass had grown in such a way that it was nearly blinding the buck's right eye. By far, this is one of the coolest looking bucks — and definitely one of our favorites.
The title of the world's No. 1 hunter-taken buck belongs to Tony Lovstuen, who was 15 years old when he killed the buck in 2003 during the Iowa youth season. Lovstuen and his dad were hunting from a ground blind when the bruiser walked out, and after an ill-placed shot and a good night's sleep, they tracked the buck the next day and celebrated their success. With 38 scorable points and an inside spread of 22 4/8 inches, the No. 3 B&C buck was downed with a score of 307 5/8 inches.
Sometimes you don't even have to go looking for a monster whitetail to find one, which is exactly what happened to Jerry Bryant in 2001. Limited by his disabilities, Bryant was actually crossbow hunting that day trying to fill his turkey tag. After missing an opportunity on a gobbler, a doe came in through the clearing about 15 yards from Bryant's treestand and urinated.
Moments later this bruiser buck came through, following the same path as the doe and stopped 15 yards away. Since Bryant had his archery tag with him he took the shot and put a crossbow bolt right through the deer's heart. With 37 scorable points, unbelievable mass and unique points shooting off in all directions, the buck scored 304 3/8 inches (net) non-typical, making it the No. 5 buck ever.
The Illinois Roadkill Buck
Killed in Hancock County, Illinois, in 1965 by a truck, this buck is as large as it seems. And it has a little bit of everything you'd want out of a big whitetail. With a world-class inside spread of 29 inches, 31- and 29-inch mainbeams and extremely long tines, the only thing this buck doesn't have is a high net score. Though still making the B&C record book with a typical score of 176 5/8 inches as a basic eight-pointer, the deer still has 12-points on its rack. If scored as a typical 10-pointer, it's likely this buck would rank as one of the largest typical whitetails of all time.
Be sure to catch the special 10th anniversary episode of North American Whitetail TV on Oct. 8 at 8PM EP on The Sportsman Channel. Find The Sportsman Channel in your area now.