Skip to main content Skip to main content

Mitch Vakoch's 1974 Minnesota Non-Typical Buck

Mitch Vakoch's 1974 Minnesota Non-Typical Buck

Some world-class bucks don’t get their due mainly because of when they were shot. The spectacular Mitch Vakoch non-typical from northwestern Minnesota is a classic example.

Mitch was just 17 when he tagged this massive buck near the small Norman County town of Ada in November 1974. The hunter got his shot after someone else’s gunshot missed the monster and sent him running. As it turned out, the giant fled straight toward Mitch, whose 12-gauge slug dropped him. It was the hunter’s first deer!

With 43 scorable points and mass galore, the tight-racked trophy easily broke the state record with a net score of 268 5/8 - and that was despite nearly 30 inches of deductions for asymmetry on the typical frame. A left-side shed that later turned up under a shop workbench in the area scored 137 5/8, showing this deer also had been world-class for at least one previous season.

Vakoch buck shed antler

The Vakoch buck was among the world’s top handful of known non-typicals at the time, ranking comfortably in the Top 10 for B&C. But through no fault of the hunter or the buck, there wasn’t nearly as much fanfare as such a trophy would receive today. There obviously was no Internet then, and even the first issue of North American Whitetail was years in the future. By the time the magazine was founded, new giants with fresh stories were coming along. So despite the Minnesota buck’s obvious size and high ranking, this bruiser never got the attention afforded some other monsters.


Geographically, the kill site is near the epicenter of the trophy whitetail zone stretching from Ohio westward into southern Canada’s vast prairie region. Unfortunately, heavy hunting pressure and an overall lack of cover combine to reduce the number of monster bucks in much of Minnesota. But one look at the Vakoch buck should convince anyone that the potential for massive antlers is there.


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

Recommended Articles

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.

Deer Herd Health and Antler Development with Mineral Supplementation

Deer Herd Health and Antler Development with Mineral Supplementation

Haynes Shelton and Dr. James Kroll talk about how to supply your deer herd with key minerals, and how to avoid the most common mistakes.

Brewster

Brewster's 320-Plus Mega Giant: Buck of the Century?

North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and Luke Brewster talk about the scoring process involved with his 320 5/8-inch pending world record non-typical buck from Illinois.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now