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Long-lost Non-typical Whitetail is New Jersey's New State Record

After hanging over a couch for more than 70 years, New Jersey’s biggest whitetail ever recorded finally gets its day in the book.

Norman with his 1947 non-typical whitetail, which now proudly sits atop the records for New Jersey after more than 70 years.
By PJ DelHomme

Back in 1947, Norman Taylor was hunting the Pinelands of western New Jersey—a place of thick forests, rivers and cranberry bogs between Philadelphia and the Atlantic Ocean. This particular hunting spot was adjacent to Fort Dix in Burlington Country. It’s the kind of country where a whitetail buck could grow old and big if it was careful enough. Taylor, a World War II veteran, was hunting with his buddies from the Earlin Gun Club of Browns Mills, and he carried with him his Winchester pump shotgun.




With that shotgun, Taylor killed what one local outdoor writer at the time called the “deer of the century”—at least for that neck of the woods. Field-dressed, the buck weighed 179 pounds. 

Half a century ago, it was scored by Boone and Crockett, but it was never entered into the record book. Then the buck fell into obscurity for decades until a big buck detective named Nelson Roque started putting the feelers out on social media. 

In the early 1990s, Roque’s quest to unearth this buck started in a local library where he was doing some research on a few other big bucks of the Garden State. He made a photocopy of the buck, and the image stuck with him for years. When Roque started a Facebook page called Jersey’s Big Bucks, he put the call out for anyone with any info on the mystery buck. At the same time, a fellow big buck lover, RJ Krajcsovics, worked for the cable company and served as president of the United Bowhunters of New Jersey. He was organizing a local archery event and wanted the big buck there. The only problem was that no one knew where it was. 

Again thanks to social media, Roque found out about RJ’s desire to get the buck to the event. Thanks to some online sleuthing, Roque discovered the shoulder mount lived only a mile and a half away from RJ. Prior to the event, RJ knocked on the door of the big buck’s supposed home three separate times. On the final try, the door was answered by Caroline Taylor, Norman’s 91-year-old widow. RJ and Caroline talked for quite a while, said Roque. The buck was right there in the living room, taking a prominent spot over the couch. 

Caroline (and the buck) attended the two-day archery event in 2017 where they were the center of attention. They even set Caroline up with a recliner. “She really enjoyed herself,” says Roque. He asked her if the buck had ever been scored, and she had no idea what he meant. 

Realizing it wasn't in the records and wanting to see it recognized, Roque contacted Boone and Crockett Official Measurer Jason Pierson who taped the buck in March 2021. Finally, after more than 70 years, the Pinelands buck would have its day in the book. Taylor’s buck eclipsed the runner-up, which measured 203-3/8 points in 2020. 

New Jersey isn’t exactly known as a powerhouse for giant whitetails. According to Big Game Records LIVE, there are only six non-typical and 10 typical whitetail deer from New Jersey that make the minimum. But don’t tell that to Caroline. Roque says that throughout the entire scoring process, she never left that deer’s side. Today, it still hangs in her home right over the couch. 

PJ DelHomme is a writer for Crazy Canyon Media in Missoula, Montana. He regularly contributes content to the Boone and Crockett Club as well as national and regional publications.


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-Theodore Roosevelt