Simplicity, elegance, symmetry and balance — these words have been used by thousands of hunters over the years to describe the incredibly powerful attraction to bowhunting.
Similarly, these words could also be used to describe the artistic perfection of a beautiful typical whitetail rack. Tall white tines, stacked in line like a picket fence, stretching wide and swollen fat like coke cans at the bases. A giant typical whitetail buck truly is a sight to behold.
With that in mind, we're bringing the two together. It's no easy feat to kill a record-book buck with a bow, but the chances of killing a truly remarkable typical buck are even more rare.
We've compiled the stories and photos of the 10 highest scoring typical whitetail bucks in the Pope and Young record books. You're sure to enjoy these bucks, not only for their size and symmetry, but also for the incredible stories that led to their place in the books. Enjoy.
8. Barry Peterson
Summer scouting during June and July of 1995 alerted Barry Peterson to the fact that a true giant was in the vicinity of his hunting grounds. Using the information garnered from those scouting efforts, Peterson put a plan in place and was on stand the first morning of the bow season with high hopes.
Only a few hours later the giant typical from that summer approached and a well-placed arrow put what would later be recognized as the 8th largest typical whitetail in the Pope & Young record books on the ground. On top of that, this ended up being the largest bow-killed typical buck in 1995.
With a score of 195 7/8 inches, this was truly a buck of a lifetime.
5. Curt Van Lith
For Minnesota hunter Curt Van Lith, patience was the driving virtue from 1983 to 1986, as he chased a single, enormous whitetail. Luckily it all finally paid off during the 1986 archery season, as he put his tag on one of the largest typical bow kills of all time.
With a score of 197 6/8 inches, this deer is tied for the No. 4 spot on the list of typical whitetails in the Pope & Young record books. This 11-point buck with nearly 30-inch beams is truly a sight to behold.
6. Don McGarvey
The No. 6 entry on the list of top Pope & Young typical whitetails is home to the Don McGarvey buck, taken in 1991 in Edmonton, Alberta. Where this buck was taken might be just as notable as the deer itself. McGarvey's hunt took place in the infamous 'œEdmonton Bow Zone,' a 1,600-square-mile tract of land in Alberta open only to bowhunters, and well known for its giant Canadian whitetails.
Nicknamed 'œThe Thistle Buck' by Don, this deer was killed on Sep. 20 and is especially notable because of its unbelievable 29-inch spread.
2. Hubert Collins
In 2003, word of a potential new world record Pope & Young typical whitetail killed in Saskatchewan spread like wildfire, and it seemed the long-standing record set in 1965 might finally be toppled. But in the end, Hubert Collins' buck fell just short of the record with an incredible typical score of 203 3/8 inches.
Interestingly, when Hubert went out on this hunt he was only hoping to kill a doe. He brought home a lot more than that, however, as this buck sported a massive 6x6 frame and a 19 3/8-inch inside spread. Not the world record, but no slouch either.
9. Kent Anderson
Killed in Rock Island, Illinois, the No. 9 Pope & Young typical whitetail is a trophy of incredible proportions. Kent Anderson's 1999 bow-killed buck sported 17 points, which is especially impressive considering it was a typical. On top of that, this buck's rack featured tremendously long main beams, measuring in around 29 and 27 inches.
In the end, this buck scored 195 2/8 inches, a monster whitetail no matter how you look at it.
1. Mel Johnson
Without a doubt the Mel Johnson buck is one of the most iconic whitetails in deer hunting lore, and for good reason. With nearly a 24-inch spread and 13 scorable points, Johnson's buck scores an unbelievable 204 4/8 inches as a typical.
Maybe even more impressive, though, the deer is the way this buck was harvested. Johnson didn't kill his record holder while perched in a $3,000 box blind or while using a super high-speed compound bow and laser rangefinder. Not even close. Mel Johnson killed this giant from the ground in 1965, nestled into some brush alongside an Illinois soybean field, and he did it with nothing but an old recurve bow. Johnson's feat stands as a truly incredible achievement — and a remarkable whitetail.
4. Lloyd Goad
Lloyd Goad's 1962 bow kill ranks as one of the most legendary whitetails ever taken in Iowa. Given the deer coming out of the state, that's saying something. Goad's buck netted a tremendous 197 6/8 inches, with a nearly perfect 7x7 frame.
At the time of harvest, this was the No. 1 typical bow kill in the world, but Mel Johnson's 1965 buck soon overtook the top spot. Nevertheless, this is truly an impressive whitetail, especially given that it was taken with a recurve bow and wooden arrows.
7. Justin Metzner
Ohio has become known as one of the absolute best states for producing trophy whitetails, and with two entries in this list of the Top 10 P&Y typicals, the numbers tend to prove it. In 2006, Justin Metzner was fortunate enough to kill one of these Ohio monsters in Adams County, where another well-known deer, the Amish Schmucker buck, had been taken as well.
It was Oct. 21 and Justin woke up at 3:00 a.m. to drive the three hours down to his hunting property. That early wake-up was well worth it though, as later that day he was standing over a giant 196 6/8-inch whitetail.
10. Robert Miller
The year was 1977 and Robert Miller was hunting in Jones County, Iowa, when he killed the deer of a lifetime. Located in the eastern part of the Hawkeye State, Jones County is no stranger to big bucks, but there have been few as impressive as the deer that Miller killed there back in the 70s.
Scoring a phenomenal 194 2/8 inches, this massive typical whitetail is still ranked as Iowa's all-time No. 2 bow-killed typical whitetail.
3. Tim Reed
Tim Reed's 2004 buck ranks as the third highest scoring typical whitetail ever killed with a bow. Maybe just as impressive as its score is the fact that this deer was killed on public ground. Hunting in Muskingum County, Ohio, Reed killed this giant on Nov. 10.
With a score of 198 3/8 inches, this buck is not only the third largest typical whitetail killed with a bow, but also one of the largest typical deer ever killed in Ohio. The enormous 7x7 frame is the most defining characteristic of this buck, but the two matching G2's over 14 inches certainly are incredible as well.
Mark Kenyon runs Wired To Hunt, one of the top deer hunting resources online, featuring daily deer hunting news, stories and strategies for the whitetail addict.