September 22, 2010
To many hunters, a huge 5x5 rack epitomizes what a trophy is all about. And if you like 10-pointers, you can't do better than the deer on this list.
The night before deer season opens, not every hunter dreams of the same buck. But good luck finding anyone in camp who doesn't love the idea of hanging a great 10-pointer on the game pole that first morning.
There are enough points on such a rack to be impressive, but not enough to detract from its shape or symmetry. In other words, a "big 10" is a thing of beauty. Even when one of these deer has an extra point or two (as is often the case), it usually only adds to the classy look.
Rifle hunter Daryl Blum's enormous Missouri 10-pointer, featured in the Oct. 2003 issue of North American Whitetail, took top scoring honors among all of North America's typical whitetails taken in 2002. That buck netted out at a whopping 198 6/8 Boone and Crockett points, which is sensational for a deer with only five typical tines (counting the beam tips) on each side. But as hard as it might be to fathom, in the course of history a few main-frame 5x5s actually have scored even higher.
In the minds of many whitetail enthusiasts, any discussion of monster 10-pointers must begin with the 206 1/8-inch James Jordan buck, which was shot in 1914 in Burnett County, Wisconsin. Not only is this former world-record typical exceptionally massive, with more than 50 total inches in his eight circumference measurements, he's amazingly balanced.
With a net score of 206 1/8 B&C, the James Jordan buck from Wisconsin is officially the top 10-pointer in history. Photo by Duncan Dobie.
There are only 3 2/8 total inches of side-to-side deductions on the rack, with no abnormal points present. It's not hard to imagine how this buck held the overall B&C typical mark for decades, until Milo Hanson's basic 6x6 from Saskatchewan came along in 1993. The Jordan buck is still No. 2 overall, and No. 1 in the hearts of many "old school" deer hunters.
Next on the list of giant 10-pointers, at least in terms of B&C entry score, is the 204 2/8-inch Robert Smith buck from Pendleton County, Kentucky. Shot with a rifle in 2001, this trophy has far less mass than the Jordan buck but makes up nearly all of the difference with exceptional tine length. The Smith buck hasn't yet been panel-measured by B&C, but once that occurs, there's reason to think the Kentucky record will be among the world's top 10 typicals.
The third-largest basic 5x5 typical, in terms of net score, is the 202 0/8-inch John Breen buck, which was shot in Beltrami County, Minnesota, in 1918. Many trophy aficianados consider this super whitetail to be the greatest "10-pointer" of all time, as his gross score exceeds that of the Jordan buck by a considerable margin. However, the presence of a number of abnormal points, along with some imbalance in the typical frame, really hurt the Breen buck's net score. Even so, at 202 0/8 the Minnesota monster was big enough to have held the B&C world record for a few years. Even after more than eight decades this rifle kill is the No. 1 Minnesota typical, and he ranks firmly among B&C's all-time top 10.
Rounding out the list of basic 5x5 whitetails that officially crack the magical 200-inch barrier is Iowa's Wayne Bills buck. At 201 4/8 net, he also hangs onto a spot among B&C's Top 10. And get this: He was the first deer Wayne ever shot! The year was 1974, and Wayne was participating in a deer drive with friends when the buck ran out. The rookie hunter swung his borrowed shotgun and downed the awesome deer on the run! The Bills buck remains the Iowa typical record and a Top 10 trophy in B&C.
Some giant bucks might have more points than the deer listed above, but no one can deny that these have style in spades. Good luck finding one of your own!