Bowhunter Arrows Astonishing 321+ Inch Freak Whitetail Buck

Bowhunter Brian Butcher arrowed an astonishing nontypical buck in October 2019 that has 67 scorable points netting 321+ inches on the Boone & Crockett scoring system.

Bowhunter Arrows Astonishing 321+ Inch Freak Whitetail Buck

Bowhunter Brian Butcher, middle, killed this massive nontypical buck while hunting in Kansas in October 2018. The buck scores 321 inches B&C. (Photo: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism)

The first "cactus buck" I ever saw was more than 20 years ago when I wrote a newspaper story about a hunter who killed the weirdest whitetail buck I'd ever seen.

A friend hosted a television show and got the news about the buck, and we visited with the hunter for more than an hour. Weird isn't perhaps the correct term. Freak? Ugly? Weirdly freaky ugly? It was as if the guy had taken about 10 cans of tan Play-Doh, created two giant lumps and then began carving it away to get the end result of dried velvet-covered antler globs.

I thought about that deer when I saw the press release from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism about the staggering nontypical buck killed last autumn by bowhunter Brian Butcher. His wasn't coated in velvet, the blood-rich covering that fuels antler growth in summer. When antlers have stopped growing, bucks somehow realize this transformation has taken place. The velvet begins cracking, peeling and shedding, and bucks rake their antlers on shrubs or limbs to remove (and eat) the still nutrient-rich velvet.

In the case of the buck I saw 20 years ago, it had not shed the velvet layer due to a condition known as cryptorchidism. It's when a buck's testes don't descend into his scrotum and his hormones are all screwed up. This QDMA story has good info about this condition.

Sometimes, a buck injures its testicles possibly in a fight or due to environmental conditions. It may have impaled itself jumping over a fence or hit something like a post. Or maybe in a fight with predators. For whatever reason, the signals that fuel antler growth go haywire. The result usually is a nontypical rack.

What Butcher saw in Kansas last October had to be mind-blowing.

Here's his story from the Kansas DWPT:

Kansas bowhunter Brian Butcher, 38, harvested a whitetail buck in Chase County last October he knew was something special. It wasn’t until the buck’s rack was measured by Boone and Crockett Club certified measurers on January 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, Butcher's deer 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,” Butcher said. “But when I looked at him with binoculars, I realized it was all antlers.”

Butcher released his arrow when the giant buck was 25 yards from his treestand. The shot was true. After waiting only 5-10 minutes, Butcher tracked the deer to where it fell about 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.”

B&C Scoring Requirements

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, scoring 333 7/8 inches and 328 2/8 inches, respectively.

The biggest non-typical whitetail killed by a hunter was taken by bowhunter Luke Brewster in Illinois in 2018. It 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


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