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Tennessee Hunter Bags Record-Setting Buck

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Hunter Stephen Tucker with his record-setting whitetail.  (Photo: Tennesseean)

A Tennessee hunter has killed what is a definite state-record setting buck — and maybe even a world-record setting buck last week.

Stephen Tucker of Gallatin, Tennessee, shot a 47-point non-typical whitetail deer with a Boone and Crockett Club green score of 308 3/8 inches.

The score is not yet final as the rack has to dry out for 60 days before it is officially measured per the rules. However, Dale Grandstaff of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, who did the preliminary scoring, told the Tennessean that Tucker’s deer will break the state record.

“There’s no doubt it’s going to be the new state record; I mean, that’s an absolute,” Tennessee Wildlife said Grandstaff. “As far as the world record, (the rack) is about an inch over the world record.”

Grandstaff, along with a panel, will be doing the scoring after that 60-day waiting period.

“When we panel score it as a group we could come up with a similar score right at what it is now,” Grandstaff said.

“It may be an inch less than what I have it at. It may be an inch or two or three more. It just depends on how we as a group decide it needs to be scored,” he continued. “Right now it’s a green score because I just wanted to give (Tucker) an idea because I knew he would get a thousand phone calls once word gets out and they’re all going to say, ‘What did it score?'”

Tucker encountered the animal several times before he was able to shoot it with his muzzleloader. The first time, he had a clean shot but the powder charge did not go off. The second time, later that day, he didn’t get a clean look at it.

“I was just hoping I would see him again after I passed up the shot the second time I saw him,” Tucker said. “My thinking was the second time I saw him was as far away as he was and as big as he was, I wanted to make sure that I killed him. I didn’t want to cripple him. I said to myself, ‘If I cripple him, nobody will get to kill him.’ The last thing I wanted to do was be the guy who crippled a deer like that,” Tucker told the Tennessean.

Several days later, on Nov. 8, Tucker — on this third attempt, third time is a charm, right? — shot and killed the three and a half year-old-buck from about 40 yards. Given the enormity of the buck, Tucker wasted no time and contacted the TWRA.

“I realize there’s only a possibility that it’s going to be a world record; all we’re worried about right now is that it’s the state record,” Tucker said. “If it is the world record, that would be great. But I’m not getting my hopes up on that.”

To break the state record, Tucker has to beat out a score of 244 inches set by Dave Watchel in 2000. To set a new world record, he has to beat a score of 307 5/8 inches set by Tony Lovstuen who killed an Iowa deer in 2003.

Whether Tucker breaks the world record or not, Grandsaff said he should be proud of his accomplishment.

“A deer like this deer doesn’t come along very often,” Grandstaff said. “The field pictures don’t really do it justice. You would have had to actually see it to understand the amount of non-typical growth it has.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between a non-typical whitetail deer and a typical whitetail deer, basically, it has to do with the symmetry and configuration of the rack. To oversimplify it, a typical whitetail deer has a symmetrical rack with all the points facing upward whereas a non-typical deer may have an asymmetrical rack with the points facing in any direction.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • JJMares November 18, 2016, 11:23 am

    Man, what a beast! I hope it’s a record if that is what you want it to be otherwise, congratulations on bagging such an impressive animal. Makes me happy that you were patient enough to wait for a clean kill. So many others would have taken that shot when it wasn’t the best shot, likely wounding and losing an impressive animal. Been a hunter for well over thirty years and have never seen anything like that. Personally, I haven’t personally bagged a buck in over 5 years which is certainly not due to lack of effort but despite that, I look forward to every deer season and always happy to hear of a fellow hunters success. Congratulations again on a very successful hunt!

  • MagnunOpUS November 18, 2016, 9:19 am

    Nice job!
    I hope your prospective record stands.

    Either way, it’s meat for the family through the winter months.

    (Btw, please explain the comments made about the hat. Something to do with the logo?)

    • Doug November 18, 2016, 10:23 am

      Think it has something to do with under armor being anti2A or anti hunting. Can’t recall specifically but I do recall something within the last hear that got the hunting/ shooting community all riled up.

  • Norm Wwitsell November 18, 2016, 7:12 am

    GREAT JOB, STEPHEN!!!

  • DRAINO November 17, 2016, 8:30 am

    Yes, I agree he needs to take the hat off…!!!! Besides that, I have a raised eyebrow that you probably can’t see right now. I think a serious look needs to be taken at this rack. X-Rays, MRI, or any other exam that let’s you take a close look. It looks too much like a mule deer frame rack with odd points added on. I’ve killed and seen my share of both mule and whitetail deer. And to me, this just looks way too much like a mule deer frame to dismiss it as a coincidence. If you look at the pic online of the rack from a “straight ahead” angle, you will definitely see what I mean. I may be wrong. I’m going to figure that since it is possibly a new “world record” that it will be scrutinized and put through the ringer. But there is just something fishy about this rack in my mind. Don’t mean to rain on his parade, but I tend to live in the camp somewhere in between the “trust but verify” and “believe non of what you hear and only half of what you see” camps. Congrats if it’s real.

  • AK November 15, 2016, 7:36 pm

    He needs to take that f***ing hat off

    • Chuck Andreas November 18, 2016, 3:34 pm

      As far as I’m concerned Stephen Tucker or anyone else for that matter can wear any hat at all. It’s orange for hunting and that’s all that matters to keep from getting shot or shot at! Could care less about the logo. Chuck

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