The Bizarre Stories of Two World-Class Non-Typical Whitetails

Two world-class non-typical whitetails were killed in September 2021, and although the two bucks look similar, the stories behind the giants are completely different.

The Bizarre Stories of Two World-Class Non-Typical Whitetails

These two world-class bucks look similar but they are not the same deer. And the story behind each one is simply amazing. (Left photo from Blake Keating Facebook; right photo from Patoka River Whitetails Facebook.)

Social media can be a blessing and a curse, and this is proven each fall when hunting seasons open across the country. Stories and pics of monster bucks, bulls and bruins begin showing up on our Facebook timelines in early September, and it’s often difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction (fake news).

For example, take the two different whitetail bucks shown in the photo above. Both were killed during the first two weeks of September 2021, and although the giants look similar, their stories are polar opposites. 

The one on the left was killed legally in Kansas by Blake Keating during an early muzzleloader season; preliminary scoring puts the rack in the 300-inch class. While Keating shot the whitetail during a fair-chase pursuit, it turns out that the buck had escaped from a nearby deer farm. To read all the details regarding this hunt and the massive buck, click here for a well-written article from regular Bowhunting World contributor Bernie Barringer. Trust me — It’s a bizarre story you don’t want to miss. 

The pic on the right was taken of a whitetail with even a more complicated and crazy story. The buck gained internet fame after Derek Settle reached out to Field & Stream to see if the website was interested in his story. (Click here to read a timeline of the events per Field & Stream.) Settle said he shot the buck with a crossbow in Kentucky, and it carried a non-typical rack pushing 290 inches.

I said earlier, however, that this Kentucky story is a polar opposite to the one from Kansas. And here’s where it gets complicated, because the Kentucky story really isn’t from that state, because the buck was actually killed at Patoka River Whitetails, which is a deer farm in Indiana. Shooting the buck on the deer farm in Indiana was legal; Derek Settle paid for a deer farm experience. The head-scratcher part is when Settle registered the buck with Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife and then tried to pass it off as a fair-chase kill. Again, I encourage you to read Barringer’s article for more details.

Is there a lesson to be learned from these two world-class bucks? I honestly don’t know. Nearly every day during fall I see pics on social media of whitetails that seem to be too big to be true. Some are the real deal (by that I mean free-ranging deer), and others are not (by that I mean deer farm animals). The challenge is trying to determine which is which.

Author’s note: The recent Facebook post below from Patoka River Whitetails explains their involvement in the bizarre Derek Settle buck story.

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