Before the serve change over I was posting with Del about the size of whitetail deer. This is the last post I had done on it before the thread was lost!
The one from 1926 I knew about, the one from 1981 I did not know about. Both of the deer from Minnesota field dressed out at 402lbs, the estimated live weight for the 1926 deer has been put at 510lbs walking around. That is a big deer!
Del, here is an article about some of the weights of the largest deer from various areas!
The Minnesota rifle opener is this up coming weekend, maybe somebody from PP.O can better that 402lbs. I would hate to have to drag it a mile or two!!!
Whitetails can achieve giant body size
Most veteran deer and elk hunters know the antler game. For elk, true bliss is measured in six points to a side. For deer, it's five points to a side. Any more points than that is pure gravy.
In fact, when hunters compare their tales, it's always the antlers that are talked about. Rarely do they mention much about body size, except to say they were big, huge or monstrous and then start talking about the antlers again.
The truth of the matter is that deer can grow to tremendous size, in addition to having big racks.
I recently fielded a question about deer body size and went to the Internet and a number of books to see whether I could find the field-dressed body weight of the world's biggest whitetail.
I never did find one that I could say, for sure, was the record. If such a record for white-tailed deer is kept, I never hit the right Internet site or read the right book.
What I did find, however, surprised me.
In most hunting circles, if you say you got a deer that field-dressed 200 pounds or better, it's a real big one. If it goes 250 pounds, that's a monster. Yet those pale in comparison to the really, really big ones.
But before I get to that, you need to understand that whitetails, in general, are bigger in northern states than they are in southern states.
By the time you get to the Florida Keys, you're looking at truly tiny whitetails. And, as you'll see, Texas whitetails aren't very big.
The really big ones come from states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Maine. The genetics are there. Add in a good, healthy, abundant diet and you have the makings of some truly giant deer.
Scattered listings I found over the Internet and in deer books showed some almost-unbelievable whitetail weights.
Here's a smattering of what I found:
Montana's deer body-weight record whitetail weighed 275 pounds, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The record dressed mule deer was 340.
The heaviest 4.5-year-old-plus whitetail from Texas' Hill Country from 1954 through 1999 weighed just 141 pounds and was taken in 1994.
The heaviest Nebraska whitetail on record was 287 pounds field dressed (about 355 pounds live weight).
The biggest whitetail from New York state weighed 286 pounds field-dressed.
Georgia - which surprised me - had a record field-dressed buck of 355, but then I read further and found out this was the offspring of stock imported from Wisconsin by a hunt club there.
The world record for years weighed 354 pounds and was taken in upper Michigan.
Maine had a monster whitetail that field-dressed at 355 pounds.
There were old reports of a 386-pound dressed whitetail out of Wisconsin taken in 1924, but the weighing wasn't officially witnessed.
Another big Wisconsin buck was taken in 1941 and weighed 371 pounds, but it also wasn't officially witnessed.
The biggest whitetail of all that I found came out of Minnesota. A hunter there had a 402-pound field dressed whitetail taken in 1926. And, believe it or not, another hunter matched that 402-pounder in 1981.
When you head out into the field this fall, you'll quickly note that mule deer are generally heavier than whitetails. But even with saying that, you'd be hard-pressed to find one that could come close to those 402-pound monsters from Minnesota.
Mark Henckel is the outdoor editor of The Billings Gazette. His columns appear Thursdays and Sundays. He can be contacted at 657-1395 or at [email protected]