Giant Whitetails!

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Dan Schmidt
 
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Giant Whitetails!

Postby Dan Schmidt » Thu May 21, 2009 9:06 am

Hi everyone, not sure if you have read my editorial from the new Summer 2009 Land Management issue, but here it is. Please check in with your own observations!

True Heavyweights
by Daniel E. Schmidt

There was a day not so long ago when deer hunters across North America were absolutely fascinated with big bucks.
No, not big racks - big bucks. Huge, giant, monstrous creatures. Or, as the old-timers called them, "real slobberknockers."

Antlers were adored, but they were almost secondary when it came to describing a buck's status. "What did he weigh?" was often the first question asked of a successful hunter. This infatuation hasn't died completely. A buck's hog-dressed weight is still a badge of honor for hunters in the Northeast, Upper Great Lakes and Canada.
Research has taught us that bucks reach peak weights when they're 5½ to 6½ years old. Does attain top weights when they are 4½ years old.

From what we can gather, the heaviest whitetail ever shot was killed by a bow-hunter, John Annett of Ontario, in 1977. The deer field dressed 431 pounds on government-certified scales. That would have given it an estimated live weight of more than 540 pounds. However, reports indicate the buck was butchered before Canadian authorities could inspect it.

Second place seemingly belongs to a 402-pound Minnesota buck killed by Carl Lenander Jr. in 1926. Conservation officials estimated the live weight at 511 pounds.

Third place would go to a Maine buck killed by Horace R. Hinckley in 1955. Hinckley reportedly spent three days searching for a scale large enough to properly weigh his buck. With a Maine Sealer of Weights witness present, the buck officially tipped the scales at 355 pounds, giving it a live weight of 451 pounds. Hinckley's buck had a 28-inch neck girth and a 56-inch chest girth.

Fourth place goes to a 321-pound buck killed in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, in 1938. We don't know the hunter's name, but the weight was verified. Fifth place would have to go to a buck killed in New York in 1946. That deer officially weighed 291 pounds dressed.

These rankings are open for debate. While researching this topic with my friend Keith McCaffery, retired deer research biologist, we found several mentions of heavier deer. However, none of those weights were verified. Included in that list are a 1907 Wisconsin buck that allegedly weighed 437 pounds dressed, and a 1924 Wisconsin buck that weighed 386 pounds.

What is the heaviest buck you've ever killed? Hit reply to this thread, and share your insights here!

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Goose
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby Goose » Thu May 21, 2009 10:14 am

Interesting stuff, as always.
What would be considered a large or above average doe here in WI ?
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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Dan Schmidt
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby Dan Schmidt » Thu May 21, 2009 10:23 am

Hi Jake,

I'd say above average here in WI would be anything over 120# dressed for an adult doe. I've shot more than 80 adult does here in Wisconsin, and have had only four that have exceeded 130#, the largest being 138#. I've heard of a few going over 140, but I haven't yet seen a bonafide 150-pounder (that was weighed on a certified scale, anyway).

Best,

Dan

Spurred
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby Spurred » Thu May 21, 2009 10:31 am

My heaviest buck tipped a certified scale to 236 field dressed. However, it didn't even win the big buck contest that year. The winner was 254 dressed! In my experience, it seems those truly heavy bucks get the weight from being really long.

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John1961
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby John1961 » Thu May 21, 2009 10:35 am

My biggest is 162 and I will be able to pick up the shoulder mount of him Monday or Tuesday. 
John
U.S. Army Retired and Proud American
Black Water Hunting Club
" BUY AMERICAN "

Bowtechian
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby Bowtechian » Thu May 21, 2009 2:52 pm

I've killed a couple does 140 lbs. plus here in south central PA. I try to judge does by how many steaks they are carrying. Not enough steaks, she gets a free pass. We don't get many tags here, so I try to make the ones I fill count.
Dave M.

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JPH
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby JPH » Thu May 21, 2009 2:54 pm

^ John1961, 162 pounds or 162 inches?

As for me, I can only track body weights back a few years. Since buying a scale in 2006, I have weighed all my deer field dressed. My heaviest buck was 210 lbs. and my biggest doe was 122 lbs. I have taken a few deer that I suspect would have beaten those marks, had I a scale at the time.

lonlon
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby lonlon » Thu May 21, 2009 3:40 pm

I saw a 302 pounder in Saskatchewan couple years back, 225 is biggest Wis buck dressed weight I've seen. The 300 + was a very long bodied deer, his feet hit the ground and then some when hanging from a rafter, the other 250 pound bucks didn't even come close. When you see that first 275 pound buck on the ground you can't believe your eyes, especially after looking at our typical 2.5 year old Wis buck at 150-165. I believe they are of the Dakota subspecies vs our Virginia ? Do you think they should be scored differently or at least get and a mark behind their measurements?

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John1961
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby John1961 » Thu May 21, 2009 11:29 pm

JPH,   he was 162 lb's dressed. rach was just over 21 inches inside. when I pick him up he will have been scored and aged. Sorry to confuse you JPH Image
John
U.S. Army Retired and Proud American
Black Water Hunting Club
" BUY AMERICAN "

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JPH
 
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RE: Giant Whitetails!

Postby JPH » Fri May 22, 2009 1:11 am

No problem John, I confuse easily. I assume that is him in your avatar photo and I am surprised he did not weigh more. Nice buck either way.

I think some of the posters are on to something when the look to length being the major factor in body weight. I have seen charts that use chest girth to estimate live weight but I doubt the accuracy. I shot a buck a couple of years ago that was built like a bulldog. On the hoof he looked like one of the biggest deer I had ever seen, but when I walked up on him I realized that he had a short body. The taxidermist had a hard time finding a form that would fit his neck, but he only field dressed at 185 lbs.

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