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Thread: Large deer

  1. #1
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Large deer

    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]
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  2. #2
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Large deer

    I responded, not sure exactly what I said but basically I said that it does indeed surprise me that there was a deer 400+ dressed out of any variety.

    I noted that it was far more likely back then, then it is today.
    I said something about how the guy doesn't show how big the biggest mule deer was in EACH state, and that he is leaving out some serious information.

    Then I concluded with something about how I agreed with the author of your article that Mule deer are generally bigger, which he stated. But you would be hard pressed to find one 400+

  3. #3
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Sep 2004

    Re: Large deer

    I prefer to hunt for the splittails with huge racks! LOL

  4. #4
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Large deer

    Del, when you are talking over 500 pounds live weight that is getting closing to a small elk size. The biggest body weight that I have taken was about 220lbs field dressed nice 10 pointer.

    In the area we hunt in, there is a section of woods that is separated by a road and a river. We do not stand hunt that part, and leave until we drive it on Sunday afternoon.
    I was one of the standers at the end of the patch of woods as it was being driven, Just after they started to drive it I could hear a deer running through the woods, it was coming straight for me. I finally saw the deer and it was a monster (it looked to be about 14 points and a very big body), it was coming straight from the direction of the drivers so I could not shoot at it right away.
    I watched that deer put it's head down and run over a tree (not lying), it hit head on about a 4 inch around tree that was 15 feet tall and broke it off! I waited for it to come out on an old logging trail maybe 25 yards from me, it was running flat out. I am following the deer through my open sites below my scope, as it is coming to the logging trail I see orange coming down the trail, so I can't shoot! The deer goes over the trail and before I can get the deer back in my sights he is going down through a thick swamp on the other side of the trail. I can see his butt as he is jumping through the brush and is going away fast, I got 1 shot at him. I walked over to where I shot at the deer but I could not find any blood or hair!

    I walked back to the trail and walked up to my 12 year old nephew that we had put in the camper (and told him to stay there) before we started the drive. He wanted to find out what we were doing, so he decided to walk down the logging trail to see where we were at. When I walked up to him he said "did you see that deer it was huge"!
    I love my nephew, but first I yelled at him for me almost killing him. And then I yelled at him for costing me the biggest deer I have ever seen, live or dead (and we have taken some big bucks)!

    To this day he still feels bad, but I have forgiven him (mostly). I am just glad that he had worn his orange jacket, and I that I spotted him before I shot!
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  5. #5
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Large deer

    I have taken a handfull of 200+ pound bucks up here. Nothing over 300 we're talking field dressed here.

    My dad has a 300+ pound deer he took with a bow in the high uintas.

    That sucks about your deer experience, but you have the story and you were smart enough to be a man about it and hold your finger. I know some guys that are so full of buck fever that they would unknowingly shoot their own nephew.

    I tend to steer clear of those types myself as I value my life, but sadly more and more responsibility is not a common trait among hunters.

  6. #6
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Large deer

    There has unfortunately been way to many people shot because they did not know what they were shooting at.

    2 from Minnesota come to mind

    1. A guy is driving his 4 wheeler in after sunset and a guy shot him off his 4 wheeler thinking he was a deer.

    2. An old guy shot a horse out form under a girl thinking it was a deer! He was her neighbor and shot her in the leg when he hit the horse and she was riding in her own pasture.

    I have shot over 30 deer and I have always known that it was a deer and I have passed up on many shots were I knew it was a deer but could not get a clean shot in the brush (including last year).

    But, I would love to have that big deers head mounted over my fire place!
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  7. #7
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Large deer

    I will tell you all a story, and I swear on my Sons Life, this story is true..

    Some years past, I used to sneek into a cemetery in Hartford,CT., to go night fishing....The large-mouth bass there where awesome in size and fight..

    Well one evening, my sister drops me off and I crawl under my secret spot in the property fence..

    I get to the place I want to fish, and there is about another 20 ft crawl thru thickets and such to hit the honey hole..

    half way there, I here this very loud grunt type noise.....It starteld me, at first I thought, what the hell is a bear doing around here..

    Then I hear the dead branches on the ground starting to crackle and break, so I decide to follow the sound..

    I follow the sound and all of a sudden I come into an old dirt road opening, and there in front of me is the largest dam Buck I've ever seen, even to this day..

    he actually turned his head, looked me square in the eyes, and just took his sweet time, walking down that dirt road..

    I swear, he had a hind quarter about a good 3 feet wide, and a rack that only God could grace him with...

    This Buck was HUGE......I'de say 350 if not more....

    One of the most exciting times of my life......


  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    Re: Large deer

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    I prefer to hunt for the splittails with huge racks! LOL
    They are definitely the most tender!

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #9
    vikesfan353's Avatar
    vikesfan353 is offline Starter
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Large deer

    Over the years our shack gang has shot some monsters! We hunt 7 miles off the north shore of Lake Superior on the Split Rock River. Our shack was built in 1946 by my grandpa and his 3 best friends we have had a scale(that I have tested, and is pretty accurate) since 1958! There have been many big deer shot out of our camp includung the 1976 state record(27 point typical that wieghed 309 pounds field dressed), but the biggest deer shot out of our camp was a doe. It was a whopping 328 pounds (field dressed) shot in 1961, by my gandpa! My biggest deer was a 10 point 248 pounder that I shot with my grandpas gun (the first day I carried it) in 1988.

    My grandpa's gun. Remington 30-06 model 740. When he passed he wanted his best friend to have it. Who shot a deer with it then passed it down to his son. He and his son then shot a deer each with it. It sat in his closet for 10 years then he decided it meant more to my dad then it meant to his closet. He gave it to my dad. My dad decided to carry it that year, and shot 4 deer with it. When my older bro was old enough to carry it my dad let him and he shot his first deer(6pt 150#) with it,(the first day he carried it). Then me. Then my younger bro who also shot a nice buck(7pt 175#) the first day he carried it. So we started passing the the gun around the shack. In all 10 people at the shack have shot a deer with the gun and only 1 guy has had to carry it twice! We are down to two 3rd generation hunter left to shot one with it and this year we will have our first 4th generation hunter coming to the shack!

    Talk about a blessed gun!
    Thanks Gramps!
    For every question an answer! For every answer a why?

  10. #10
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Large deer

    That's the same model I use. Mine was given to me by my Uncle who inherited it from my grandfather. Very good guns.

    I love the .30-.06 very versatile.

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