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B&C World's Record - Non-typical Whitetail Deer

World's Record Whitetail Deer - Non-Typical

The World's Record non-typical whitetail is a "picked up" trophy and is owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Missouri produces numerous world-class whitetail deer, but it wasn't until fall 1981 that the state acquired bragging rights to the world's record non-typical whitetail (Odocoileus virginianus). And it only did so because a hunter, David Beckman, had a keen eye and an interest in an animal he spotted on private land.

On that day, November 15, 1981, Beckman met conservation agent Michael Helland along a road in northern St. Louis County. Beckman had killed a deer and asked Helland to officially check and seal it, which would save the hunter from a drive to an official check station.

When Helland arrived the men talked for a few minutes after sealing the deer, and then Beckman drove away. Not long after, Beckman saw a dead buck with a very large rack lying inside a fence along the road. Knowing that the deer was on private property and that he would not be able to retrieve it, Beckman again reached out to Helland and told him of his discovery.


Agent Helland obtained permission  to recover the carcass. With the help of friends, he skinned the deer and removed the rack, which weighed more than 11 pounds. It was estimated that the deer weighed over 250 pounds. Examination of the teeth revealed that the monstrously large deer was only 5-1/2 years old. Cause of death could not be determined, but it did not appear to have been shot.

Fall and early winter are busy times for conservation agents. The rack was mostly ignored until after the first of the year when Helland took it to a taxidermist who recognized its outstanding trophy character. Helland arranged to have the antlers scored by Dean Murphy, a Boone and Crockett Club official measurer. With the help of Wayne Porath, deer biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, Murphy scored the trophy (for the 18th Awards Entry Period) at 325-7/8. Later, the rack was officially scored at 333-7/8, and became the new world’s record non-typical whitetail.

All persons involved in acquiring and scoring this rack agreed that a trophy of this stature should be held in public ownership and placed on display for everyone to enjoy. Accordingly, the Missouri Department of Conservation assumed possession of the marvelous antlers.


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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt