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Mel Johnson Buck-Will it be topped?
I was listening to a recent Meateater Podcast about the Huff Buck. This buck would have surpassed the Johnson Buck as the P&Y record if it weren't a crossbow kill. That's obviously a big IF, but this buck outscored the Johnson Buck by a considerable amount. So there was at least one unicorn out there roaming the woods. Thinking about this and all of the property owners who are growing huge deer, will we see this record broken anytime soon? The only thing that keeps me from saying YES emphatically is that it seems that whenever these huge whitetails get near or above 200" they almost certainly get there with some trash or non typical points. The Johnson buck was killed in 1965.....there has been a lot of deer hunting since then but it seems like that a few huge whitetails are shot nearly every year now.
I'll bet there's been a handful of big typicals killed that "needed one more year" in order to beat Mel's...
But I also wouldn't pass a lowly 190 class typical to find out what he does, or if I ever get another opportunity at him again!
All records are made to be broken. Someone will end up breaking that record. Hopefully with a recurve or longbow…
I bet there have been bigger typicals killed with a bow all ready. There’s a lot of hunters that don’t care to have the attention that comes with the title.
Personally, I agree with treeline that it will be broken but it’s hard for big typicals over 200 inches to not develop enough trash that allows them to remain typical or have enough typical inches to make up for the deductions!
Actually, I mentioned a theory that I thought of that once a whitetail produces that much antler growth to remain typical or produce enough of a typical rack to overcome the delta.
I don’t know if we will ever see a 230 inch typical whitetail because of this.
Obviously, there has already been typicals that scored higher than Mel’s so it will be just a matter of time.
I was in a house in NW Kansas around 5 years ago. The guy told me he doesn't even draw the bow unless the buck is at least 5.5 and 175"s. He had two typical on the wall that both to me were over 200"s. One looked quite a bit over 200"s. When I asked him he all he said was yeah they are well up there. Had no less than 10 bucks over 170-180"s. I believe Johnson's buck will eventually be broken but who knows when. Oh and when I asked to take a couple pictures of this guy's deer, he said absolutely not, he did not want to be bothered by the masses! Shawn
I remember Clark Gallups 16mm film, of a buck, swimming across the Mississippi River towards Mn,,,,a respected scorer, he said, it beat the Jordan buck.... never killed,,,, who knows, maybe it drowned..................................
I kind of hope it doesn't get broken.. I like the idea of a 1965 recurve killed buck being top dog. Before hunting properties, food plots bla bla bla.
You get the picture.
Kodiak's point feels good to me. Having the top bow buck be one which trad gear brought down - that's cool. I'm not a trad guy, but it's still cool to see that situation.
I'm sure it will ultimately be broken. I'd not be surprised at any time. I'd bet there are a couple wandering around out there today, perhaps never seen or some hunter has one on a trail cam but has never seen him in real life. Heck, a friend here just shot a buck that was 11.5, would have been very big anywhere and lived his whole life in a well hunted public land area. He had trail cam shots of him for 5 years and had never seen him in person, until he shot him last fall. In that case, he was all over that deer via cam... But other than the folks that know him, people would never have believed that deer lived in that area.
My suspicion is that there are world beaters hidden in plain sight. Maybe in a city park area or super urban area with really hard access. Or a private farm thats just really tricky to hunt and with unhuntable land adjacent as a sanctuary or something.
Who knows. But I'm sure the record will fall eventually... And suspecting that buck is out there, is kind of cool to ponder.
I think there are probably 1 or 2 bucks seen by bowsite members that'd have challenged it .....
I had my hands on a 213" buck a few years that was 6x5 and had it been a 6x6 would have grossed 220" ish
Several bucks have been like that too - one grown tine away or something from being Hanson type scored
https://www.bucksbullsbears.com/2020/03/23/the-biggest-typical-whitetail-ever-to-walk-the-earth/ "The General, the largest typical sheds of all time. Details of the transaction which caused those antlers to leave the farmhouse for the first time in 37 years are not known, but the gigantic buck would finally become known to serious whitetail collectors and big buck lovers.
The buck’s main beams are both over 32 inches and mass measurements are as high as 7-1/2. When mounted in a position that they look natural, they have an inside spread of nearly 24 inches. As it is, the buck scored 240 gross typical and nearly 219 net, more than five inches larger than the current Saskatchewan world record held by Milo Hanson. But the shrinking effects of a warm, dry Nebraska farmhouse have taken a large toll. No one, of course, knows exactly how much, but many antler collectors have some estimates."
Yes it will be beat at some point. Amazing deer, impressive to hold the top spot for so long. Not an easy thing to grow that big and be typical obviously. Really shows how hard it is.
I was lucky to visit BPS in Springfield and lay my hands on the original Johnson mount for a photo years ago. They had it down for remodeling. After 30 years of public land bow hunting, last year I was finally able to take something near that caliber at 195 4/8”. Not typical but nice to be in the neighborhood. Not easy on public.
I agree with what Link said above. There’s probably bigger ones on a few walls, but who needs the attention.
Currently The longest standing P&Y Record since 1965 (57 years). The beanfield buck. Shot by Mel when he was 31 years old from the ground with a recurve. As mentioned, most typical Whitetails grow abnormal points after 5.5 years making it very hard to NET above this record. Year over year It’s rare that any even come close.
I suppose the Typical archery whitetail record will be broken at some point but a 205” NET Typical is obviously the rarest of rare.
Yep the 57 years of data already prove it's a tough record to break. It takes extremely rare genetics to create such a monster, not just age and feed and habitat. And now, even were such a buck to exist, it's gotten less likely Mr. Johnson's record will fall, with the widespread infiltration of crossbows into archery seasons. So many "average guys" who might have otherwise joined the ranks of archery hunting, are instead packing a crossbow in the states where it's legal.
I like to think it’s possible.
As a side note, that huff buck is about as good looking of a buck as any one could ask for.
A 200, net typical is in another class! I think that there has been twenty to twenty five of them registered!
Jump five points and the group gets very small quick.
My only hope is that there is never whitetail buck killed that exceeds either B&C or P&Y with a bunch of junk on it!
I love the concept of symmetry and what it brings the typical whitetail category.
I’ve been bowhunting 40 years and have only seen 2 bucks over 200” killed. Both well over. Bucks of that caliber take your breath away for sure.
One was a Kansas whitetail that was killed on a stand I had the option of sitting that day, (what does the knight say in Raiders of the lost ark?) Yep, I chose poorly.
The other was a crusher muley bedded in a tough wide open spot. Since I was shooting my recurve it was determined by committee that I would NOT be the one trying to make a stalk on that buck. I will be bringing my compound on future deer hunts.
Have to agree with Link. There's alot of good hunters who do not enter the record books with their whitetails.
I have been fortunate enough in my bow hunting career to see and have encounters with 2 different 190s typical bucks. Just never sealed the deal on either one. The first buck in '89 ended up getting poached. I had 2 sides and 1 set off this buck. The set i have is when he had 16" G2s and 7 3/4 bases he scored 196 with a 19" spread. The 2nd buck was in '94 and 3 mile from the first buck. We filmed this buck for 3 yrs on a clover field we called the field of dreams. There would be 4 to 9 bucks an evening out there and 3 bucks 160s and the big one who was 193 on his last sheds. When he shed off that summer i had one encounter with him on Oct. 8th. I never seen him again. No word on where he went. He was almost identical to the '89 buck. Im positive he was a pup from the big boy. Then the EHD started showing up around here and never been the same since.
With modern day hunting pressure and surveillance tactics potential WRs have a greater chance of getting whacked at an earlier age IMO.
I give T-roy a 50% chance of doing it
I don’t believe there is a typical buck scoring over 200 NET hanging on anyone’s wall that isn’t known about. Gross 200 inch non typicals that are unknown, absolutely, quite few of them, but a net typical over 200, I highly doubt it. The difference between a net official score and some made up gross score is usually miles apart.
I too went into a farmers house who had some huge whitetails hanging on the wall, and he said with all honesty, “You don’t get these ones in daylight!” I think that’s the case with many hunters who don’t want the attention…
Ya I don’t doubt that at all! That’s some strong motivation to avoid notoriety. Lol.
Mike… you’re closer to the truth than many would like to believe. Not me mind you, but I’ve been told, that a 22 rifle and hand held spot light used at night while coon hunting, is deadly.
Agree with Mike. Even with those guys shooting at night there aren’t any surfacing. I like the innocence of that 65 bow kill. Mel didn’t know. We all thought something like that could come down the trail or across the bean field. Hope it sticks.
Genesis makes a good point. A buck like this would need to avoid hunters his whole life and then slip up ONLY at a time when he is fully mature with the largest set of antlers he can possibly grow. I guess he could grow even bigger next year but odds are if he grows even bigger he gets non typical points. If he slips up at 195" he is shot before he has the opportunity to become a world record.
He also has to get by guys like me when he scores 110". :)
I’ve heard the theory that the new world record gets shot every year … as an immature up and comer. Food for thought.
As many have said the WR might have to be immature so that it doesn't have the junk. I think people have estimated that the Hanson is 4.5 if I remember correctly? So most likely if it is a WR clean typical it might not be fully mature. It might NOT have to have the largest rack of it's life to break the WR.
My pet theory is that it will be tough, because our deer populations are too high. You ever notice some of the biggest animals are taken in small and growing populations?
Think of the deer herd when many of these deer existed. . . . small and growing herds. Mel Johnson, the Jordan buck, the Kansas King, Hole in the Horn, Missouri Monarch, etc. etc.
I don't know if it's some type of social pressure, or competition for food, but I firmly believe small and growing populations have better odds of growing freak animals, especially for animals like whitetails
This record has stood for so long, I really kind of hope it stands for another 60 years. It really is a testament to how hard it is to grow a large typical rack. Plus, Mel killed that deer on the ground with a recurve; you can't write a better world record story IMO. Takes a special mix of genetics, food and habitat to grow one like that. I hunted a monster typical for 4 years about 20 years ago. That deer had a 40 acre grown over mess that he rarely left. I knew exactly where he bedded and it was perfect for the buck and nearly impossible to hunt without him knowing it. As close to a 200" typical deer as I'll ever see and we never did find out what happened to him.
I honestly wouldn't rule it out that there could be a 200" typical rack laying in some hunter or farmers barn. Some people just don't want the attention. I know a guy like that. A few years ago he killed an absolute monster nontypical on public ground with a recurve while sitting on a bucket on the ground. He didn't even want to have it mounted but luckily his son talked him into it. Even though he didn't want it to, word got out about the deer(thanks to cell phone pics shared with the wrong person) and he got a call from North American Whitetail wanting to do a write up. Not only did he tell them no, he gave a little lecture about his feelings on their politics. I remember him making the comment at the time, "they don't even know what else is laying in my garage".
And, I'm with APauls, T-roy would be the odds on favorite to break the record in the next 10 years:)
I would say that’s a tough one to break. Genetics plays a big part-
Look at how much money and research has gone into raising monster deer on ranches- they still cannot consistently grow big clean Typical racks. So I would say as mentioned big bucks will grow trash.
I would hope the record is broken though when I kill it :)
Don't agree with Mike at all, just found one in Pennsylvania a short time ago!! Again I have seen two with my own eyes I believe would go over 200"s in NW Kansas. Most people have never seen a plane crash in person but they happen everyday!!
There's a typical buck in Kansas, shot by a rancher that would beat the Hanson buck but the owner refuses to enter it. It has been verified by one of our very own. My friend on the Cimarron on the Kansas/OK border reports he knows of another he saw 3 times that was killed by a neighbor that would go over 200" as a 6x6. It was killed in the late 90's and never entered.
Why is it that anyone is holding on to a world record buck for years when people are telling them it's a world record? I think it's obvious why.
I am sure there have been a buck or two that would challenge the Buck Mel Johnson killed, however, as Pope and Young would say None of them are records until officially scored and entered!
I do find it fascinating that the record has held so long, especially with all the advancements and millions more trying to break the record!
With a stickbow? I doubt it. Also i kind of agree with kodiak.
I am pretty confident there is one out there somewhere and I may have seen it, maybe two. They were side by side and I am sure over 200"s. This is in Kansas and the guy does not want the attention. Its not because he killed them illegally or anything like that. He and his family are multi-millionaires and own more land than 99.9 percent of people out there. His concern is people finding out the approximate location and than poaching the deer that reside on their property. Its already a huge problem. Now the average everyday Joe that kills one, I would think no doubt would get it out there and scored to see what kind of buck(no pun intended) he or she could make!! I don't know for sure I have ever seen a live whitetail typical over 200"s while hunting but I have seen a live mule deer over 200"s typical. Saw him 3 times, once walking down a dirt road at 4 am in the morning and I pulled up right alongside him. It will be broken someday, maybe not in any of our lifetimes but it would be nice!! Shawn
Both were killed by ranchers that own several thousand acres and have seen the scourge of leasing and pressure caused by knowing where good genetics reside. Just in my 41 years, I've seen Boone and Crockett bucks go from being recognized as "a good one" to full blown, TV shows, multi million dollar ranches being bought to kill a few big deer, and poaching on a massive scale that took wardens from half of Kansas to round them up. Some of our very own Bowsiters know exactly what I'm talking about because were charged in 'Operation Cimarron'. If I kill the buck I'm after this year, I'll probably enter it, but not a soul will have a clue where I shot it.
I doubt it will be topped. The Johnson buck has held the top spot for a long, long time. The biggest bucks are often taken from areas where deer populations are low and hunting has been closed for years resulting in some bucks dieing of old age. That situation does not exist today like it did 50-70 years ago. In this day of everyone being a trophy buck Hunter, bows that shoot accurately at long range, wireless scouting cameras, etc it is unlikely a buck with potential to break the record, but needing another year or two of growth, will escape detection and not be killed before growing big enough.
There was a deer from the 90’s from Michigan that would net higher then Mel Johnson’s buck but was never entered
I know of one that is close to the Johnson buck that isn't in a book. It was shot right next to a town that is a sleeper area that hopefully doesnt get any more publicized.
The guy who shot it was sitting on a bucket with a deer hide laying over a log in front of him using one of the old bear compounds, a trad color shield fletch carbon arrow ironically tipped with a rage.
He didn't care to get it mounted and let his friend have it. It has/had a chance at being a legit 200 net typical, but we will never know. It used to be hanging in a gun store that closed years ago.
I have a 172 inch 6x6 typical and his looks make believe next to a B&C caliber buck.
12 years ago a friend who owns land next to a large state park inside of a Midwest city was getting sporadic pics of a gigantic 190-200 typical. But he never saw it in daylight and we never heard about one getting hit or shot.
The record will be broken, all it takes is one good growing season and a good scoring panel(that Saskatchewan buck they down scored)
I asked about the buck to someone who knows. It was scored in the mid to high 190s which I think would have been or be the state record typical archery and also not entered officially in any book. This means it missed the Johnson score by 5-9 net inches and nobody has heard about it. This guy could have shot a world record and would have been just as happy to trap coons and make knife handles.
There was actually a possibility that I could have had a legitimate chance to have bowkilled a buck that would have challenged Mel’s giant, IF a couple of minor details had been different.
The Wayne Bills buck was killed in 1974, within 5-10 miles of where I lived, in Hamilton County. It nets 201 4/8” as a typical 10 point. It wasn’t officially scored until 1991, so some additional shrinkage most likely occurred. A portion of the left brow tine was also missing (rumored to have been shot off during the deer drive) on the day it was shot. It is one of the most impressive typicals of all time, IMO.
The minor details of why I never got the chance to bowkill this buck are… first, I didn’t bowhunt back in 1974, and second…..I never knew of this buck’s existence until several years after it was killed. All this speculation, rumors, second hand accounts, guesses as to what it scores, etc, are just that. While I can’t say with certainty that there isn’t a legitimate net typical rack larger than than Mel’s buck, hanging in some humble farmer/rancher/hermit’s dwelling or shed, until it’s officially scored, I’m gonna remain skeptical of it’s existence and/or the story behind how it was killed.
Except for the Rompola buck….I’m sure that one’s legit.
You guys suggesting that someone that kills a potential world record and keeps it under his hat is a poacher are ridiculous. I hunt spots I get permission on for free. What would happen the moment people found out I killed a buck over 190” on one of those places. Even if I killed one in the middle of 10000 acres that I owned why would I care to get my name in a book or publicize it unless I wanted to sell said ranch. There’s a lot of ethical hunters that don’t have the ego that many of you do.
My friend shot this one on his ranch in the late 90's, about the time he encountered that giant 6x6 who's description mirrored the Kansas King sheds found up river. He said the giant 6x6 made this 190" look small. His neighbor shot a bigger one than this and neither he nor his neighbor entered either.
Not sure why the above buck is in a Mel thread or is it the buck pic behind it that’s all the rave?Anyway,All these Mels thread start with objective comments and about mid way the STANDARD OF NET SCORE is tossed to the curb .
Nets are for fishing the freakin truth out of Mel threads.Love his buck !