Some staggering numbers have been connected to the potential world record whitetail deer killed last week in Sumner County, and the most amazing of all might be the value of its antlers.
Gallatin resident Stephen Tucker bagged the big buck with a massive 47-point non-typical rack on Nov. 7 and is likely in line for a huge payday.
“He pretty much won the lottery,” said Josh West of Wildlife Taxidermy in Madison. “He will have all kinds of opportunities to make a lot of money off endorsements, public appearances and things like that.”
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The rack itself could be worth more than $100,000, said Jared Steele, owner of Great Basin Antler Buyers in Utah, who is among the nation’s top antler buyers.
“It’s hard to put an exact number on it, but to the right buyer it could be worth a hundred grand,” Steele said. “Especially if it turns out to be a world record because there are people who collect stuff like that who are millionaires. To them it might be worth more than $100,000. You never know.”
Tucker, 26, hasn’t yet decided what he will do with the antlers. He stored them in a local bank and is awaiting a 60-day drying out period that must take place from the day he killed the deer with a muzzleloader for the official Boone and Crockett measurement to take place.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency District 21 captain Dale Grandstaff, an official Boone and Crockett scorer, measured the rack at 313 2/8 inches gross and 308 3/8 net.
The current state record buck killed by a hunter in 2000 grossed 256 points (244 3/8 net), and the world record killed by a hunter in 2003 had 38 points and scored 307 5/8 net.
Tucker said he has been flooded with inquiries since the story first appeared at Tennessean.com on Nov. 8 from people wanting to know what he intends to do with the rack.
"I don’t have any plans for it right now,” Tucker said Tuesday. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I'm just going to go with the flow. I just feel very blessed.”
If Tucker decides to allow vendors and wildlife organizations to pay him to display the rack, he probably will find that it actually increases in value.
“It’s going to hold its value for sure,” Steele said. “It would be like an investment. Once more people learn about it, more people will get interested and want to see it. People are going to want to display it on different shows, and all sorts of stuff will come from it.”
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 and on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.