GREAT OUTDOORS

Potential world-record nontypical buck taken in Tennessee

The buck has a green score of 308 3/8 inches.

The word in the woods is Stephen Tucker of Gallatin, Tennessee may just be the most famous (or blessed) whitetail hunter in the world after he reportedly leveled his muzzleloader and killed what could be the largest whitetail shot in the world — a 47-point monster (yeah, that’s “4” and “7”)—just days after his gun misfired and he passed on a questionable shot on the same animal.

Tucker, 26, told The Tennessean he saw a big buck (estimated to be 3 ½ years old) and tried to shoot it last Saturday, but the powder charge didn’t go off. The salt in his proverbial wound was he spied the same deer later that day, but he didn’t get what he felt was a clean and ethical shot.

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"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.

Two days later, on November 8, Tucker got got his third chance and made a 40-yard shot on the giant buck. When the smoke cleared, and the tape measures started calculating inches, Tucker realized he might have tagged something special, and he notified the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

"There's no doubt it's going to be the new state record; I mean, that's an absolute," TWRA District 21 captain and official Boone & Crockett Club scorer Dale Grandstaff told the paper. "As far as the world record, (the rack) is about an inch over the world record."

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Grandstaff scored the nontypical rack at 313 2/8-inches gross. The net score after deductions was 308 3/8, according to the Tennessean.

While Grandstaff’s thoughts are a little premature (Boone & Crockett requires a 6o-day drying period before calculating official antler scores), the green tabulation certainly bests the Tennessee record of just over 244, set by Dave Wachtel in 2000. Time will tell if it knocks out Tony Lovstuen’s world record Iowa deer that scored just over 307 5/8 inches (net) in 2003.

"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."