MISSOULA, Mont. -- Most elk hunters are happy if their bull scores 300 or better. Most deer hunters can't even picture a whitetail of 300-class proportions.
Since 1830, it's only happened five times.
Of the 13,000-plus whitetails currently honored in Boone and Crockett records, only five -- a scant .03 percent -- tape 300 inches or more.
Click the image for top five bucks of all-time
Remember, 300 inches equals 25 linear feet of antler points, beams, circumferences and spread. Odds of encountering such a colossal trophy in the wild, and taking it in fair chase, are infinitesimally low.
That's why a recent non-typical whitetail entry in B&C records is so special.
Indiana hunter Timothy Beck last autumn tagged a buck that scores an incredible 305-7/8. The buck was accepted for the Boone and Crockett records book earlier this year.
One of only five bucks ever recorded that scores 300 or better, it's also the fourth largest non-typical whitetail in history, the second largest ever taken by a hunter, a state record for Indiana, and the largest recorded anywhere in North America in nearly a decade.
"This is one of those deer that come along so rarely, it makes you pause and marvel at the wonders of nature and modern conservation," said Richard Hale, chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club's records committee.
Trophy specimens are a sign of quality habitat and healthy, balanced populations. Boone and Crockett originally began keeping trophy records as a way of detailing species once headed for extinction. Hunters led restoration efforts then -- and continue to lead and fund conservation programs today. Biologists now compare trophy records and contrast trends to help improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife polices.
Boone and Crockett Club has released historic photos of all five recorded whitetails that score above 300.