There are many reasons to go on big whitetail deer hunts. The fresh air on your face in the midst of the dense trees or open fields, the thrill of the chase, or the use of cunning and skill to bring down your prize. But the best reason for some is the huge trophy you’ll take home when it’s all said and done. And for that reason, you’ll want to find the best ranch with the biggest and best deer on their property. So to prove that we’re not kidding around about monster whitetails at X Factor, here are the largest whitetail deer ever taken on our grounds.
Joe Anthony & the SCI World Record Buck
This past hunting season brought huge news in the world of big whitetail deer hunts. One of our favorite returning hunters, Joe Anthony, gave us a call to tell us that he wanted to break his own SCI archery world record for biggest whitetail buck on our property and asked if we had any in mind for him. With bucks in our preserve measuring over 500” we said, “Heck yeah we do!” and quickly booked him for an early January hunt.
Joe arrived at the ranch during a bitter cold snap bringing temps down to below freezing. But he was up early bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for his epic day of hunting. Snow was on the ground and the skies were grey. The crunch of the snow underfoot was the only sound as we trekked up to the ladder stand to start watch. Armed with his compound bow and infinite patience, it took hours of waiting, bared to the elements, before the perfect buck presented himself. The thrill of the hunt was upon us as Joe waited for that perfect, broadsided shot.
The sound of the bow releasing and the whir of the arrow cut through the quiet where the shot found its mark and the massive animal was down. Immediately we knew this guy would come in over 500” but it was up to the master scorer and official review of the SCI to know for sure.
So, after months of waiting, the official measurement of 516 ⅛” was accepted and officially recognized by the SCI as the new Non Typical Archery Buck World Record.
So what are Joe Anthony’s plans next year? Well, he’s already booked his next hunt with us to try to break that record, yet again.
Brian Bailey and his Crossbow Record
Brian Bailey owns a chain of pizza restaurants in New Mexico but his true passion seems to lie in hunting world records. He called X Factor and was looking for a record-breaking monster whitetail deer for a compound bow hunt.
After assuring him we had the perfect buck in mind for him, he made the trip up from sunny New Mexico to the rolling hills of our Ohio ranch to catch himself a world-record buck. Except he forgot his bow. So we, of course, obliged him with a bow to use from our own stores. Brian Gantz (one of our awesome guides) delved into his own personal weapons trove bringing several bows and arrows to choose from.
After looking into the record books they discovered that a better world record could actually be had with a crossbow – a weapon that Bailey had never actually shot before. So after Gantz headed all the way out to his own home to get the crossbow for him (we’re all about service at X Factor), he showed Bailey how to fire it a few times and they were off on the hunt.
It took two outings to finally bring down the monster buck but Bailey was finally successful and he did, in fact, break the SCI world record for largest deer taken with a crossbow at 390”.
Bill’s Biggest Buck
One of our biggest-ever kills came from one of our favorite hunters, Bill Backman, who at 86-years-old came back to the ranch with his son looking for a monster whitetail to take home. And man, did he ever.
Backman visited us in the fall looking to hunt a world-class whitetail deer. But old age had crept up on him to the point where he was no longer to walk. Luckily, at X Factor, we can accommodate many different abilities. So we implemented a ramp system up to a tree blind for him.
Once he and his son arrived on the property, we welcomed them the X-Factor way and guided them out to the blind to start the hunt. The leaves were on the ground and the weather was mild as they waited in the blind. Finally, a massive 600”+ buck appeared and Backman made short work of him with his high-powered rifle. When he made it back to the lodge, no one could believe the huge rack on this monster. It surely went down in our record books as one of the largest deer ever taken at X Factor.
As one of our most revered and well-respected hunters, owner Russ Bellar personally commissioned a rock with his name and photo to sit on the property. That rock still exists on our ranch today.
Sadly, Bill passed away in 2017. Knowing how much Bill loved hunting and how special the rock was that Russ created for Bill, Bill’s son requested to take the rock home with him after his next visit. Russ, of course, said yes.
So why stalk any old deer when you could finally take part in one of our trophy deer hunts? With 20 years of selective breeding working in your favor, you could live to tell about the time you tangled with a 500-600 inch whitetail deer – and bring home the rack to prove it.