Mathews Inc.
Where are the largest bodied Whitetails
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
CAMPDAVID 04-Jan-24
caribou77 04-Jan-24
JohnMC 04-Jan-24
wildwilderness 04-Jan-24
Pop-r 04-Jan-24
Bou'bound 04-Jan-24
PushCoArcher 04-Jan-24
Squash 04-Jan-24
Bent arrow 04-Jan-24
Jaquomo 04-Jan-24
caribou77 04-Jan-24
Jaquomo 04-Jan-24
HUNT MAN 04-Jan-24
Mitch 04-Jan-24
casekiska 04-Jan-24
Groundhunter 04-Jan-24
Medicinemann 04-Jan-24
casekiska 04-Jan-24
Shug 04-Jan-24
Charlie Rehor 04-Jan-24
Bowfinatic 04-Jan-24
scentman 04-Jan-24
JB 04-Jan-24
FORESTBOWS 04-Jan-24
Mpdh 04-Jan-24
Sam 04-Jan-24
WhattheFOC 04-Jan-24
WI Shedhead 04-Jan-24
t-roy 04-Jan-24
WI Shedhead 04-Jan-24
WhattheFOC 04-Jan-24
JB 04-Jan-24
drycreek 04-Jan-24
PSUhoss 04-Jan-24
t-roy 04-Jan-24
PushCoArcher 04-Jan-24
Screwball 04-Jan-24
petedrummond 04-Jan-24
Duke 04-Jan-24
WhattheFOC 04-Jan-24
Lee 05-Jan-24
Shug 05-Jan-24
Timex? 05-Jan-24
xtroutx 05-Jan-24
DanaC 05-Jan-24
DanaC 05-Jan-24
WI Shedhead 05-Jan-24
midwest 05-Jan-24
grape 05-Jan-24
4406v 05-Jan-24
VogieMN 05-Jan-24
Iowa booner hunter 05-Jan-24
Live2Hunt 05-Jan-24
12yards 05-Jan-24
KHNC 05-Jan-24
APauls 05-Jan-24
12yards 05-Jan-24
deerslayer 05-Jan-24
midwest 05-Jan-24
Hawkeye 05-Jan-24
12yards 05-Jan-24
WhattheFOC 05-Jan-24
t-roy 05-Jan-24
SteveB 05-Jan-24
jjs 05-Jan-24
Grey Ghost 05-Jan-24
12yards 05-Jan-24
Rock 05-Jan-24
Zbone 06-Jan-24
Cheesehead Mike 07-Jan-24
MQQSE 07-Jan-24
Cheesehead Mike 07-Jan-24
Zbone 07-Jan-24
Cheesehead Mike 07-Jan-24
Cheesehead Mike 07-Jan-24
Nyati 07-Jan-24
Zbone 07-Jan-24
Zbone 11-Jan-24
Basil 11-Jan-24
Lloyd 11-Jan-24
TonyBear 11-Jan-24
From: CAMPDAVID
04-Jan-24
Now that I'm starting to get older...crossing things off my bucket list is becoming more and more important. One of my biggest goals in hunting has been to shoot a 300lb. Whitetail with my bow. Rack size means absolutely nothing to me. It's all about the deer's weight for me. I know 300lbs may be a stretch...but I would appreciate any and all advice from all of you as to where and possibly which outfitter would provide me with my best chance for me to coming close that goal. Looking not only for a state...but also which area specifically within that stat. Again, only interested in places in the lower 48.

Thank you in advance for everyone's input.

From: caribou77
04-Jan-24
Anywhere north will help. I’ve got one in Iowa that broke 300. Gotta have good food, good age and less pressure all help.

From: JohnMC
04-Jan-24
The lower 48 would that be all but Alaska and Maine?

04-Jan-24
Bergmann’s rule suggests that the farther north (colder environment) you go the larger (body) the specimens of a a given species.

Probably call outfitters along the border

From: Pop-r
04-Jan-24
I've seen some sure enough whoppers up in SD corn country while pheasant hunting. I'm not sure they'd go 300# but they weren't missing it much.

From: Bou'bound
04-Jan-24
Can anyone show a picture of a weighed live weight 300 pounder

From: PushCoArcher
04-Jan-24
I would be looking in Northern Maine. A big woods buck tracked in the snow would be awesome but probably not the highest odds hunt. Minnesota or Wisconsin maybe better if you're looking for a more traditional whitetail type hunt. Can't help with outfitter specifics sorry. Sounds like a good goal goodluck!

From: Squash
04-Jan-24

Squash's embedded Photo
Squash's embedded Photo
Northwest Ontario has them , photo from 2006, est live weight around 300lbs dressed weight 260+. DIY hunt was tracking a different buck when I shot this one grossed 163 6/8”

From: Bent arrow
04-Jan-24
Jobama says deer will start to shrink because of global warmin. Better get to huntin.

From: Jaquomo
04-Jan-24
Northern Maine. Talk to the folks at Chandler Lake Lodge.

From: caribou77
04-Jan-24

caribou77's embedded Photo
caribou77's embedded Photo
Bou this one was 270 live. No fat at all on this guy. He was shot 3 1/2 weeks later than my 300lb live, unfortunately I don’t have a good body pic of him. Best weights come just before pre rut.

From: Jaquomo
04-Jan-24
Northern Maine. Talk to the folks at Chandler Lake Lodge.

From: HUNT MAN
04-Jan-24
Alberta

From: Mitch
04-Jan-24

Mitch's embedded Photo
Mitch's embedded Photo
I’d try Maine or anywhere along the Canadian border that has good food and older age bucks. I think a legit 300 pound whitetail is probably as rare as a net B&C. I killed this buck in PA and it weighed 315 pounds live weight on a Cabela’s dial scale. We weren’t able to get a field dressed weight as the scale came apart when lowering the tractor bucket after weighing him.

From: casekiska
04-Jan-24

casekiska's embedded Photo
casekiska's embedded Photo
This WI buck, taken 10-31-2007, had a live weight of 280#. (Note: When I recovered him I knew he was big and took him back to camp before field dressing to weigh him on a scale that had been verified to be accurate.)

From: Groundhunter
04-Jan-24
Case, how.many hours to drag it...?

From: Medicinemann
04-Jan-24
300 pounds......I hope you're looking for a live weight.....300 pound gutted deer are gonna be hard to come by. I know that you looking for a buck in the lower 48, and was curious why Canada wasn't a consideration?

From: casekiska
04-Jan-24
Ground - PM sent.

From: Shug
04-Jan-24
Not 100% but I believe according to LL Rue the Dakota sub species has the largest body…

04-Jan-24
I’d bet a 250 pound buck would be very impressive. Rare but attainable in multiple states.

04-Jan-24

Bowfinatic 's embedded Photo
Bowfinatic 's embedded Photo
We have hunted illinois for 20yrs and have turned up only one that would go 300lbs. Happens to also score the most of any deer. Most of our mature bucks are in the 240-270lb range on weight

From: scentman
04-Jan-24
I believe the famous Horace Hinckley buck from Maine was close to 300 lbs. scentman

From: JB
04-Jan-24
Shot 2 in 50 years in northern MN that dressed out at 210. Not sure what that would be live weight but they were really big deer. 300 is a monster.

04-Jan-24
Im pretty sure we have killed a few 300# in Kansas.

From: Mpdh
04-Jan-24
I know someone who shot a buck in the early 90s that weighed 276 dressed. I only saw pics of it in his truck bed, but it was huge. It was killed in farm country, all private, no public access anywhere in SW Michigan.

From: Sam
04-Jan-24

Sam's embedded Photo
Sam's embedded Photo
412 lbs Thurston County Nebraska

From: WhattheFOC
04-Jan-24
We don’t normally weigh our deer, but a few years ago my buddy arrowed a buck that we nicknamed Jenny Craig. Dressed, it tipped the scale at 280. … using the 1.28 factor, that would be a live weight of about 350.

From: WI Shedhead
04-Jan-24
Saw a article where it states that you multiply the dressed weight by 1.28 and that will give you a fairly accurate live weight

From: t-roy
04-Jan-24

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Not the best pic, but this guy weighed 242 dressed. I didn’t weigh him before gutting him, but supposedly there’s a formula that is: dressed weight x 1.26 = live weight. 242 x 1.26 = 304.92lbs I killed another buck that dressed 245lbs, which would equate to approximately 309lbs. Those are the two biggest bodied bucks I’ve ever killed. I’ve got a couple of bucks on my farm right now, that I’d bet money would easily outweigh either of the two I killed. Makes a big difference when they are killed, too.

From: WI Shedhead
04-Jan-24

WI Shedhead's embedded Photo
WI Shedhead's embedded Photo
That being said this one was 240 dressed so around 307 live

From: WhattheFOC
04-Jan-24

WhattheFOC's embedded Photo
WhattheFOC's embedded Photo
412lbs?? Better get that scale calibrated. I’ve seen a deer that weighed 325-350 … 100 lbs heavier is hard to envision.

From: JB
04-Jan-24
The old timers told me that years where the flies and mosquitos are down are the years the deer are heaviest because they aren't shaking them off all the time. My 2 heaviest were during dry years when the bugs were down. My deer with the biggest body size weighed 25 pounds less and was covered in ticks. It was unbelievable how many ticks fell off when we were skinning him.

From: drycreek
04-Jan-24
WhattheFOC, that buck’s head and neck weigh as much as our whitetails ! ;-))

From: PSUhoss
04-Jan-24

PSUhoss's embedded Photo
PSUhoss's embedded Photo
A group of us have been making the annual pilgrimage to Illinois for 20 years and this is the biggest bodied deer we have taken. It weighed 308 on the scale prior to being gutted.

For context, that is a full-size Honda 4 wheeler under there. The neck and shoulders were very impressive.

From: t-roy
04-Jan-24

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
Fubar. He looks like a Shetland pony in person.
t-roy's embedded Photo
Fubar. He looks like a Shetland pony in person.
Fat Bastard and Fubar. Wouldn’t be surprised if either one would weigh 325-330 or more in early November.

From: PushCoArcher
04-Jan-24
PSU that poor 4wheeler. Is there another strap across? That bungie cord don't look like it'll cut it.

From: Screwball
04-Jan-24
Do not have a picture right handy, we harvested a #248 dressed weight North Central WI, 15 years ago. Weighed on a hanging and platform scale both.

From: petedrummond
04-Jan-24

petedrummond's embedded Photo
petedrummond's embedded Photo
We never weigh any deer but my buddy GENE shot this one with a shotgun this year in Perry County, Illinois

From: Duke
04-Jan-24
That is one cool deer, Peter!

Good luck with the 300 pound quest in the states. I’d say you are more likely to shoot a booner. Love the big bodied brutes.

From: WhattheFOC
04-Jan-24

WhattheFOC's embedded Photo
WhattheFOC's embedded Photo

From: Lee
05-Jan-24
Shot one that was 288 last season. Shot one that was considerably bigger bodied back in 2004 in Northern MO that I unfortunately didn’t have a scale to weigh him on. I’ve got a pic somewhere with the gambrel pulled all the way to the barn rafter and his front shoulder is on the ground. Hung a bunch of other ones off that same rafter and I can’t remember any of their noses even touching the ground. I’ll have to see if I can dig that pic up. Probably never shoot another that big. Sure wish I’d had a scale.

From: Shug
05-Jan-24

Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
This guy took the scale to 230 with his head still on the floor…

From: Timex?
05-Jan-24

Timex?'s embedded Photo
Timex?'s embedded Photo
Timex?'s embedded Photo
DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHERE THIS PIC CAME FROM. NOT MINE ????
Timex?'s embedded Photo
DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHERE THIS PIC CAME FROM. NOT MINE ????
This deer was an anomaly no doubt for va and hands down the biggest I've ever killed. Not a great pic for size comparison, but just compare the leg shank & shoulder to the 45 cal knight muzzeloader

From: xtroutx
05-Jan-24
I bet Casekiska knows where that picture is from.

From: DanaC
05-Jan-24

DanaC's Link
Big Bodied Bucks: The 10 Heaviest Whitetails of All Time

We talk a lot about the highest-scoring whitetails ever killed, but which bucks in history have weighed the most? We did our research, and here are the 10 heaviest whitetail bucks of all time that were fully documented.

From: DanaC
05-Jan-24

DanaC's embedded Photo
DanaC's embedded Photo
From the OP - "I know 300lbs may be a stretch...but I would appreciate any and all advice from all of you as to where..."

First, it IS a stretch, and I'd advise 'managing expectations.' Would you be unhappy with the deer that 'only' weighed 250? 'Targeting' 300 pounds is akin to 'all time B&C'. Good luck!

Second, you are looking at one of two subspecies, O.v. 'borealis' or 'dacotensis'. (Map #2 & 9) Unless you go to Canada, you're talking eastern Montana to Maine. Best bet is probably good agricultural areas in the Dakotas. Or Minnesota. Still long odds!

From: WI Shedhead
05-Jan-24
My dad killed a ne Iowa buck in 1988 that at the meat locker hanging hog dressed (no head hide or legs from knee down) weighed #265 and the extra parts weighed #30 so dressed #295. The guy owned the locker for 30 years and never seen one like that. Killed November 3 before he got running for foes had tons of fat on him. 24 1/2” 8 point 152”. Had a mane on him that ran from between his ears down to his shoulders

From: midwest
05-Jan-24

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Time of year will be important. The bucks will be at their biggest pre-rut.

I had to put this one on the scale many years ago. Don't remember the exact weight but it was in the 240's dressed.

From: grape
05-Jan-24
Northern Saskatchewan

From: 4406v
05-Jan-24

4406v's embedded Photo
4406v's embedded Photo
My friend shot this tank in Ohio it's one of the largest bodied whitetails I've ever seen

From: VogieMN
05-Jan-24

VogieMN's embedded Photo
VogieMN's embedded Photo
VogieMN's embedded Photo
VogieMN's embedded Photo
Unfortunately the scale we had was broken and hadn't purchased a new one so we never weighed this one but i've dragged and moved a bunch of deer and I could barely move this one. The only weight I have is we got about 60 pounds of meat off of the deer and I know my dad leaves a fair amount of meat on the bones so I'm sure if we got as much off as we could, we probably could have had another 10 pounds or so.

05-Jan-24
The 1.26 ratio is bs, the big ones I’ve shot over the years had 35 to 40 pounds of guts, add a little for blood and even a 250 pound field dressed deer won’t hit 300 live. The last buck I shot weighed 278 before field dressing and 237 after. I wish people would weigh before and after, but it is a hassle

From: Live2Hunt
05-Jan-24
I used to hunt elk in Idaho. One of the locals I met out there was big into deer, whitetail and mule. He said that Libby Montana had the biggest whitetails he knew of and 300# animals were common. This was from his mouth and experience, so you would have to check it out for any fact.

From: 12yards
05-Jan-24
I helped drag a buck out that weighed 247 dressed. Shot at Camp Ripley in central MN. Massive deer. Also helped weigh a buck that was shot in the same general area that weighed 250 something dressed. The issue is you have to get a buck that is at least probably 5 years old which are rare as hen's teeth. Also need to kill him prior to or early in the rut. He will burn off a lot of weight as the rut progresses. If you rule out the Canadian Prairie Provinces, that seriously reduces your chances. I'd focus on the midwest. I think I saw a 300 pounder in SD.

From: KHNC
05-Jan-24
November 13, 1999 i witnessed my buddy weighing a buck that was 304lbs on a certified scale in Joy, IL. Biggest one ive seen dead. Saw a sure enough gross booner in Wall , SD this past season that im sure will be all over 300lb live weight. Thats the area i would try to find a place to hunt on your quest. Those SD deer in that area are monsters , body wise.

From: APauls
05-Jan-24

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Pictures or trail camera pics I really had no idea how large the body was, so that can be deceiving. Could be because of the 30" beams and 24" inside spread made him look smaller.
APauls's embedded Photo
Pictures or trail camera pics I really had no idea how large the body was, so that can be deceiving. Could be because of the 30" beams and 24" inside spread made him look smaller.
APauls's embedded Photo
Laying down. That's a bod lol. I tried to drag him with a buddy and we said no way lol. Went for an ATV.
APauls's embedded Photo
Laying down. That's a bod lol. I tried to drag him with a buddy and we said no way lol. Went for an ATV.
APauls's embedded Photo
Compound bow for size.
APauls's embedded Photo
Compound bow for size.
I live in southern MB and while your goal of a 300lb buck is rare it's nowhere near B&C rare. I've killed a couple that were for sure over 300lbs. I've heard that Ontario bodies are huge as well. I've got lots of pictures and video of this guy. He was over 240 dressed which means even the most stingiest of formulas puts him well over 300.

I personally think your odds are good in Canada. Alberta through to Ontario. Sask and Ontario allow baiting so an outfitter would know his deer better.

But also since the rise in food plots and really good food programs in top deer states in the US I think the high nutrition so many of the deer get start to unlock fetal programming over generations and you are seeing huge deer coming out of midwest states. I've seen many pics of deer on Troy's farm that are obviously getting great nutrition year after year and you they have giant bodies. I wouldn't doubt that is due to his efforts and those in the area. So I think your goal could be reached in many places now where I would have looked to the Dakotas/MN/Canada 20 years ago.

As others have said - you're going to want to be hunting tail end of Oct when their body size is maxed.

From: 12yards
05-Jan-24

12yards's embedded Photo
12yards's embedded Photo
I thought this buck would go close to 300 live. He was huge. I had him at 35 yards but guessed him at 40 and sent an arrow over his back in 2022.

From: deerslayer
05-Jan-24
I would take a hard look at Saskatchewan.

From: midwest
05-Jan-24
As stated in the OP, he's only interested in the lower 48. If I was that consumed with wanting to kill a 300 lbs. buck, I'd be looking to Canada.

From: Hawkeye
05-Jan-24

Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
Hawkeye's embedded Photo
#275 on the hoof in Iowa. One of the few I’ve taken back to weigh as thought would be close. If look close you can see me in the tree at full draw. Dallen Lambson was kind enough to replicate the photo in print and it hangs in my office today. Always fun to see who picks up the archer in the tree.

From: 12yards
05-Jan-24
APauls, I'm sure t-roy helps his deer out, but in all honesty, IA is one giant food plot. I think even Troy would acknowledge that.

From: WhattheFOC
05-Jan-24
Forget about Saskatchewan. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

From: t-roy
05-Jan-24
Would totally agree with that, 12yards. Getting them to 5+ years old certainly helps, too.

From: SteveB
05-Jan-24
Make sure you do it before the end of Oct or the odds of #300 go way down. Rut MELTS weight off.

From: jjs
05-Jan-24
I have a book 'Big Bucks The Benoit Way', the family hunted the heavy weights from Maine and Ontario, they hunted large areas to track.

One of the last bucks my father shoot with his .45 ML in Iowa (my home st.) weighed out field dress on the farm's scale was 287#, he was 87 yrs young. He told me he knock a bigger one out when he hit it in the antlers and didn't reload his ML when going up to and the buck got up and ran off :(

From: Grey Ghost
05-Jan-24

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo

Grey Ghost's Link
FYI, the link above is to a chart that estimates a whitetail deer's weight by chest girth. Obviously, it's not perfectly accurate due to several variables, but it may get you in the ballpark.

The pic above demonstrates how body size can vary in the same location. We named the brute on the right Shaq for obvious reasons. He looked like an elk standing amongst his other mature buddies. We never saw him during the season, unfortunately.

Matt

From: 12yards
05-Jan-24
APauls, I spent a summer in Brandon MB playing baseball back in the mid 1980s. A teamate took me for a ride south of Brandon to some big Morraines that were tree covered. We glassed some big old velvet Whitetail bucks that were the biggest deer I'd seen at the time.....and may still be bigger than anything I've ever seen. You have some huge deer up there for sure and it's where I'd look for a 300 pounder.

From: Rock
05-Jan-24

Rock's Link
Was searching for and article I read decades ago about a 477 lb Doe shot in northern Minnesota. Found this listing of the 5 heaviest Deer.

From: Zbone
06-Jan-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo

Zbone's Link
Here is a similar article to Rock's link I had saved - Photo attached is likely the third heaviest and the heaviest field dressed @ 431 pounds on government-certified scales, Ontario 1977:

"REAL SLOBBERKNOCKERS: THE 4 HEAVIEST DEER OF ALL TIME"

Link:

https://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/content/blogs/dan-schmidt-deer-blog-whitetail-wisdom/deer-pictures-real-slobberknockers

07-Jan-24

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I shot this buck on October 21st 2000 in Bayfield County Wisconsin. He field dressed 255 pounds and was weighed on 2 different scales. I'm 5'11" and a chunky 200 pounds in this photo for reference. I would think he had to be over 300 pounds live weight. I hung him head down in my garage at home with a 10 foot ceiling. His hooves were touching the ceiling and his nose was just barely off the floor. He was pre rut and probably at his heaviest weight of the year.

I see in ZBONE's link that the 4th largest buck of all time was killed in Bayfield County Wisconsin. Maybe my buck was a descendant of that buck. Over the years I've killed about 10 bucks in Bayfield County that field dressed over 200 pounds but those days are long gone. In the past I was careful about not publicizing Bayfield County but it doesn't matter anymore because wolves have decimated the deer population and the odds of any bucks living long enough to reach a weight of 300 pounds is somewhere between slim and none. I'm guessing the same is true in northern Minnesota or anywhere wolves are unmanaged.

From: MQQSE
07-Jan-24

MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo
Here’s a northern MO October big boy. Still a ways from 300 though.

07-Jan-24
This is a buck I killed near Nestor Falls Ontario in 2005. He field dressed 233 pounds so he was probably pushing 300 pounds live weight. There were a few bucks hanging in the resort's buck shack that were considerably larger than mine, and one that absolutely dwarfed mine. I'm guessing that buck field dressed close to 300 pounds.

From: Zbone
07-Jan-24
That looks like a bat to me...8^)))

07-Jan-24

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo

07-Jan-24
I have no idea where that bat photo came from! Should be gone now.

From: Nyati
07-Jan-24
I’d go to Saskatchewan

From: Zbone
07-Jan-24
Yeah Nyati, me too, there are some real monsters up there...

Personally, if wanting to kill a whitetail just for huge size, I'd go to northern Saskatchewan or northern Alberta for the 300+ pounders... If staying in the lower 48, would be northern Minnesota or northern Wisconsin, or northern Maine... There are some real brute size bucks coming to that deer pantry in Maine link I posted over on the shed thread, and that location in Maine is only about 50 air miles from where that #3 Hinckley buck was killed...

From: Zbone
11-Jan-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Bownsville Maine, wonder it he'll go 300 pounds?

From: Basil
11-Jan-24
Norteast Minnesota had some huge, long bodied deer when I was growing up. Big buck contest winners would commonly field dress over 270, a 250 wouldn’t stand a chance. . I can remember 3 over 300. Lutsen area had some really big ones. Somewhere I read that the 2 largest bucks ever documented were 404. Record was broke in Ontario was 431 dressed. One was from Lutsen the other in Maine. Wolves have decimated that country. Only 8 deer were registered in an 80 mile long kill zone this year.

From: Lloyd
11-Jan-24

Lloyd's embedded Photo
Lloyd's embedded Photo

From: TonyBear
11-Jan-24

TonyBear's Link
Sorry if this is a repeat link.

https://www.northamericanwhitetail.com/editorial/big-bodied-bucks/486344

Some of the biggest I have personally seen were in Morrison Co. Minnesota. Hooves as big as my hand and longer than I could reach standing up when they were hanging on a winch.

Joshua Ray gets my #1 for this site since he shot it in OH with a recurve bow.

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