Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
WICHITA – Kansas bowhunter, Brian Butcher, 38, harvested a whitetail buck in Chase County last October that he knew was something special. It wasn't until the buck's rack was measured by Boone and Crockett Club certified measurers on Friday, Jan. 3 that Butcher confirmed just how special the deer was. Butcher's whitetail earned an unofficial net non-typical score of 321 3/8 inches.
If accepted and verified by the Boone and Crockett Club – an internationally recognized non-profit conservation organization that maintains native North American big game records – the deer Butcher harvested would rank fourth in the world for non-typical whitetail deer. As for the Kansas record books, Butcher's buck will be the largest non-typical whitetail ever taken, surpassing the current state record for a non-typical whitetail harvested with archery equipment by 57 2/8 inches.
"When I first saw it, I thought it had some branches or grass tangled up in its antlers," said Butcher. "But when I looked at him with binoculars, I realized it was all antlers."
Butcher released his arrow when the giant buck was just 25 yards from his treestand and the shot was true. After waiting only 5-10 minutes, Butcher tracked the deer to a spot 50 yards away.
"I had the most opposite feeling of 'ground shrinkage' possible," Butcher said of the big whitetail with 67 scorable points. "I was in complete shock."
After sharing photos of the buck with friend Brian Crowe, the duo got together and attempted to score the deer.
"We added it up five times because it didn't make sense," Butcher laughed. "We had it at 341 inches gross, and 316 inches net."
According to Boone and Crockett guidelines, the rack could not be officially measured until it had dried for at least 60 days. On January 3, Boone and Crockett measurers Marc Murrell, Newton, and Ken Witt, Burleson, Tex., took on what would become a nearly five-hour-long task of scoring the deer. Murrell and Witt came up with a pending net non-typical score of 321 3/8 inches.
The score sheet and entry materials on Butcher's buck have been mailed to the Boone and Crockett Club headquarters for verification and acceptance. Because of its high ranking, the rack will be scored again by a panel of measurers at the Boone and Crockett Club's next awards ceremony in 2022.
If it stands, Butcher's buck will rank fourth in the world of non-typical whitetails. Boone and Crockett's top two non-typical whitetails were found dead in Missouri and Ohio and scored 333 7/8 inches and 328 2/8 inches, respectively.
The largest hunter-harvested non-typical whitetail was taken by bowhunter Luke Brewster in Illinois in 2018 and scored 327 7/8 inches.
The current Kansas state record firearm non-typical whitetail was taken in 1987 by Joseph Waters in Shawnee County and scored 280 4/8 inches. The current Kansas state record archery non-typical whitetail was shot by Dale Larson in 1998 in Pottawatomie County and scored 264 1/8 inches.
For more on Kansas big game records, visit ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/What-to-Hunt.
For more on the Boone and Crockett Club, visit www.boone-crockett.org/.