Hall of Fame Baseball Player Jim Thome Arrows 226 2/8-inch Illinois Buck

Slugger Jim Thome experienced many highs during his baseball career, including hitting 612 home runs and being inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame (first ballot!), but tagging this 2021 buck might rival his finest baseball accomplishments.

Hall of Fame Baseball Player Jim Thome Arrows 226 2/8-inch Illinois Buck

Friends and hunting buddies light up Jim Thome’s monster buck from Illinois for photos.

On Nov. 19, 2021, baseball great Jim Thome was hunting his land in western Illinois and killed one of the biggest bow bucks of all time.

As the accompanying photos show, Thome’s buck has incredible tine length, including 13-inch G3s. Through in person encounters and scouting cam pics, Thome and his hunting buddies estimate the buck’s age at 7.5. 

Thome says his hunting buddy Mike Matheny, who is the current Kansas City Royals manager, had a close encounter with the buck in 2018 and passed on him. They figured the buck was 4.5 years old at the time.

FB post from Drury Outdoors: A walk off GRAND SLAM made by Jim Thome on a 226 2/8-inch Illinois giant!!! This buck was passed as a four-year-old by Mike Matheny in 2018, and from there is where the quest for this special whitetail began. Thousands of Reconyx pictures, food plot architecture, hundreds of hours of work, and multiple encounters over a three-year period all culminated in one special evening on the Grand Slam Field. With Zach Playle behind the camera, these two guys had one incredible hunt to remember — and later joined for the recovery and celebration was Terry, Forrest and Mike. Congratulations buddy, we couldn’t be more pumped for you!!!!
FB post from Drury Outdoors: A walk off GRAND SLAM made by Jim Thome on a 226 2/8-inch Illinois giant!!! This buck was passed as a four-year-old by Mike Matheny in 2018, and from there is where the quest for this special whitetail began. Thousands of Reconyx pictures, food plot architecture, hundreds of hours of work, and multiple encounters over a three-year period all culminated in one special evening on the Grand Slam Field. With Zach Playle behind the camera, these two guys had one incredible hunt to remember — and later joined for the recovery and celebration was Terry, Forrest and Mike. Congratulations buddy, we couldn’t be more pumped for you!!!!

Hiding in an elevated blind on a food plot named The Grand Slam Field, Thome arrowed the monster buck at 50 yards. The unofficial gross typical score of the buck is 226 2/8 inches, but several abnormal points and stickers, plus a deep fork on one G2 will certainly knock the net typical score down. Thome hasn’t yet stated the buck’s unofficial net typical score. Some experienced deer hunters have posted online that they believe it could net score more than 200 inches.

Jim Thome with friend Terry Drury.
Jim Thome with friend Terry Drury.

While this 2021 is certainly a buck of a lifetime, Thome shot another Illinois whitetail in 2015 that was almost as big (below).

MLB Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome killed another world class Illinois whitetail in 2015. The symmetrical 6x6 had a gross score of 196 7/8 inches, and a net score of 193 2/8 inches. Shot distance was 34 yards as the buck fed on one of Thome’s food plot.
MLB Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome killed another world class Illinois whitetail in 2015. The symmetrical 6x6 had a gross score of 196 7/8 inches, and a net score of 193 2/8 inches. Shot distance was 34 yards as the buck fed on one of Thome’s food plot.

Photos from Drury Outdoors Facebook.

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