Daylan Howard's Kentucky Big Buck

Daylan Howard's Kentucky Big Buck

Hunter: Daylan Howard

State/County: Kentucky/Hardin County

Score: Estimated 130 inches

Gear: .30-06




Patience is a virtue, and nobody knows it better than Daylan Howard.

This impressive Kentucky buck was bagged by Howard this year after a nine-month wait. In late February, as Howard and his father were at the farm they lease, they spotted a group of deer coming out from the woods.  But one deer in particular caught their attention. He was quite obviously what they called "the king of those woods," and Howard set out on a mission to harvest the buck this season.


From the end of late spring through summer, Howard remained determined to nab his coveted buck. Howard eagerly watched night after night as the buck he named "Chocolate Face" strolled through the soybean field on the farm and was caught several times on the trail camera they placed.


Howard could hardly bare the anticipation of the upcoming season. He watched excitedly as his sister bagged her first deer, but he had yet to see "Chocolate Face" — or any deer for that matter — during his hunts. Rather than become discouraged, Howard remained positive.

Finally, as October ended, while Howard and his father were in their treestand when they noticed a deer enter the opening.  "It's him! It's him!" his father exclaimed. Howard readied his .30-06, visibly shaking as buck fever was getting the better of him. Moments later, Howard held his breath, squeezed the trigger and bagged his buck.

Howard may have waited nearly a year, but it was all worth it after he killed the buck of a lifetime.

Kyle Heuerman

Any serious whitetail hunter knows that it'™s not often that we get a second chance on the buck of a lifetime, or even a first chance for that matter. But luck was on the side of Kyle Heuerman and his girlfriend Jennifer Weaver when they put an arrow through this 196-inch Illinois brute.

Read the full story.

Joe Franz

We estimate he was 7 1/2 years old. That'™s based on photos from 2010, when he clearly wasn'™t over 3 1/2. When I got him he weighed over 300 pounds on the hoof, as suspected. Official B&C measurer Glen Salow came up with a 'œgreen' gross score of 258 7/8 inches. After the 60-day drying period, he again taped the rack. This time he got a gross non-typical score of 261 3/8, with a net of 230 7/8. The gross score evidently makes this the highest-scoring wild whitetail ever harvested on professional video.

Read the full story.

Jon Massie

Jon'™s no stranger to free-ranging whitetails across the central plains, having guided a number of clients to trophies and harvesting many big ones himself. In fact, going into 2013 he'™d shot two net Boone & Crocketts: one a non-typical scoring over 200, the other a typical from public land. With such success behind him, Jon felt all of his hunting dreams already had come true. At least, he did until a buck he'™d never seen showed up on one of his trail cameras.

Read the full story.

Tom Boyer

Knowing I couldn'™t even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o'™clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn'™t figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering 'œfire in the hole' while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view.

Read the full story.

Teddy\'s Buck

With a whopping 40 inches of non-typical growth, he has a gross Boone & Crockett score of 215 3/8. The rack'™s 21 6/8-inch inside spread certainly helps to show off its unique character. He was just a special deer, and very much a result of patience in both management and hunting.

Read the full story.

Ryan Sullivan

Ryan Sullivan was only 19 when, during the 2013 season, he arrowed an Arkansas buck of gigantic proportions. Like many of his fellow Arkansans, Ryan is a deer and duck fanatic. For several years, however, he gave up most of his duck season to lock horns with the world-class buck.

Read the full story.

Junior Key

Junior'™s outstanding whitetail is the biggest ever recorded from Monroe County, and he ranks as one of the Bluegrass State'™s top bucks from the 2013-14 season. This great non-typical also is the latest member of Kentucky'™s all-time Top 30 list.

Read the full story.

Mikell Fries

At 16 yards, Mikell took aim at the giant and released his arrow. In an instant, the shaft had passed through him. The deer instantly whirled and ran out of sight . . . but then, within seconds the archer heard him crash to the ground. 'œI remained in the stand for several minutes to gather my thoughts and calm down,' Mikell says. 'œI'™m sure the entire encounter only took a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity.'

Read the full story.

Bill Robinson

Three double-digit tines of 10 2/8 to 13 5/8 inches, plus 7 1/8- and 9 3/8-inch brows and a 21 3/8-inch inside spread, add plenty to this regal crown. Put everything together and you have a gross 9-point frame score of 193 6/8. That'™s as big as it sounds.

Typical asymmetry and 11 6/8 inches of abnormal points total 25 1/8 inches of deductions, so as a typical, the deer nets 'œonly' 168 5/8. But the 8×5 rack'™s total gross score of 205 4/8 is much more reflective of its stunning size. Regardless of score, the Robinson buck is clearly a marvel of nature.

Read the full story.

Nick Drake

The action was fast and furious right from the get-go. At daybreak a doe busted through the cedar thicket with an eight-point suitor following close behind. The doe, however, wanted nothing to do with her pursuer and jumped into a nearby pond in an attempt to flee the buck. This, however, wasn'™t the last of the action. Nick continued to watch several bucks harass does throughout the morning, but chose not to take a shot at them.

Read the full story.

Recommended for You

Many people have the mistaken notion that mature bucks have one area where they spend their days; Scouting

Scouting Deer Bedding Areas: Locating, Creating and Observing

Bernie Barringer - June 28, 2016

Many people have the mistaken notion that mature bucks have one area where they spend their...

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer Heart Recipe is a good one to add to your after-the-hunt rituals. Venison Recipes

Braai'ed (Grilled) Deer Heart Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Whether you cook it around a smoldering campfire or over a charcoal grill, this Braai'ed Deer...

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer. Land Management

No Matter the Season, Deer Orchard Work Brings Big Benefits to Whitetails

Lynn Burkhead - June 27, 2019

Improve the nutritional benefits that your land offers local deer.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

Dr. James Kroll provides tips for hunting whitetails with a handgun.

September Black Hills Whitetail Hunt

September Black Hills Whitetail Hunt

Gordon Whittington is hunting Eastern Wyoming with his crossbow where he encounters a fast moving situation.

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

Deer Dog: Puppy Pitfalls

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore explores the pitfalls of puppy training.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Here's how to crack the summer code. Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's fertile United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

See More Stories

More Deer of the Day

Unlike most other hunting stories that begin in the woods, mine starts in my basement with a few Deer of the Day

Georgia Double

Adam Woods - October 04, 2016

Unlike most other hunting stories that begin in the woods, mine starts in my basement with a...

When you're hunting a free-ranging mature buck, it's extremely unusual to have a solid timeline Deer of the Day

Adam Crumrin Buck: 213-Inch Illinois "Elvis"

Ron Willmore - May 17, 2016

When you're hunting a free-ranging mature buck, it's extremely unusual to have a solid...

The unlikely events that led me to a 200-inch Ohio whitetail in 2014 actually began back in 2012, Deer of the Day

Zach Singler's 203-Inch 'Out of Nowhere' Buck

Zach Singler - July 19, 2016

The unlikely events that led me to a 200-inch Ohio whitetail in 2014 actually began back in...

See More Deer of the Day

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×