Richard Buker: 170-Inch Indiana Bruiser

Hunter: Richard Buker

State/County: Indiana/Vermillion County

Score: Estimated 170 inches, awaiting official score

Gear: Mathews Outback bow, Beeman ICS 340 arrows, Montec T3 broadhead, Nikon Action binoculars, Tru-Fire X-Caliper release, Trophy Taker rest, Montana Black Gold sight, Tree Spider harness.


For Rich Buker of Clinton, Ind., bowhunting isn't just about taking a trophy animal — it's about a lifestyle, tradition and countless hours of dedicated labor.


Buker — who's spent the last 20 years hunting on his family's property in Vermillion County — has devoted himself to improving a deer population that was once less than impressive. He's run trail cameras, planted and maintained food plots, hung stands, and tracked whitetails for years. And after an enormous amount of toil, Buker finally has the trophy buck to make it all worthwhile.


On Oct. 28, Buker crossed paths with a buck he'd been tracking on camera for nearly five years — a 170-inch monster that until now had eluded him. On a windy evening he thought about getting down from his stand and calling it a night. He'd even tied a drop line to his bow in preparation for the descent. But then the wind died and he decided to hang around for a bit longer. Funny the way it is.

It was a fateful decision, as he soon eyed a massive buck working the treeline and then headed across the field toward him. At 35 yards, he stopped the buck with a grunt, placed his shot perfectly behind the shoulder and squeezed off a shot. The biggest buck he'd shot in his life ran 75 yards and then dropped within sight.

When he made it to the buck, Buker said he "was jumping around thanking God for such a great buck. I immediately collected myself, pulled out my iPhone and snapped some pictures before I ever laid hands on the deer." He couldn't believe what lay before him, after all the toil and patience.


As it turns out, persistence wins the day.

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

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.

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer! Bowhunting

Best New 2019 Crossbow Accessories

Laden Force - July 02, 2019

Check out some of the most innovative products hitting shelves this summer!

Who says you can't be in two places at once? Other

Real-Time Intel: Moultrie Mobile

Gordon Whittington - July 22, 2019

Who says you can't be in two places at once?

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Deer Dog: Replicating Realistic Tracks

Deer Dog: Replicating Realistic Tracks

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore discusses the role scent plays when it comes to tracking and how to incorporate it into your training.

Deer Dog: Shed Conditioning

Deer Dog: Shed Conditioning

Jeremy Moore talks about the importance of your deer dog's physical conditioning.

Deer Factory: Northern Climate Warm-Season Food Plots

Deer Factory: Northern Climate Warm-Season Food Plots

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss warm-season food plots on this deer factory in Minnesota.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season. Bowhunting

The Best Arrows for Deer Hunting

Tony J. Peterson - June 10, 2019

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season.

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional requirements will not only increase your chances of harvesting a good buck, but also your enjoyment of whitetail hunting. Land Management

What Do Deer Eat?

Dr. James C. Kroll

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional...

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois non-typical bow-killed whitetail was announced today in the OSG booth at the 2019 ATA Show in Louisville. According to North American Whitetail editor Gordon Whittington and associate editor Haynes Shelton, the Brewster buck is the largest buck ever taken by a hunter anywhere in North America! Trophy Bucks

BREAKING NEWS: Brewster's 320-5/8-Inch Non-Typical Buck Pending World Record Announced

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2019

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois...

See More Stories

More Trophy Bucks

This world-class buck made an Indiana couple mighty happy - and taught their two sons a hard lesson about getting to the woods on time. Trophy Bucks

Answered Prayer: The World-Class Moffett Buck

Dean Weimer

This world-class buck made an Indiana couple mighty happy - and taught their two sons a hard...

This 30-inch archery buck lived in an area not known for giants - and was shot from the ground. Trophy Bucks

Texas Twister: The Chase for a 27-Point Buck

Chad Jones - November 05, 2019

This 30-inch archery buck lived in an area not known for giants - and was shot from the...

The Brewster buck has been confirmed as a new bowhunting world record and the largest deer ever taken by a hunter anywhere in North America! Trophy Bucks

Brewster Buck Gets Even Bigger: 327 7/8 Inches!

Gordon Whittington - March 07, 2019

The Brewster buck has been confirmed as a new bowhunting world record and the largest deer...

See More Trophy Bucks

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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