A hunter in Tennessee has landed a possible world record whitetail deer with a muzzleloader. It’s most definitely a state record deer, but the verdict is still out on the world record marks.

The official score won’t be finalized until a 60-day drying period. Right now, the deer shot by 26-year-old Stephen Tucker scored a 308 3/8 based on the Boone and Crocket official scoring method, while the world record scored a 307 5/8. The state record for Tennessee is just 244 3/8.

Tucker told The Tennessean that he had stalked the deer for two days before getting a fatal shot. He first saw it on Saturday but his muzzleloader miss-fired. He then saw it again but it was too far away.

“My thinking was the second time I saw him was as far away as he was and as big as he was, I wanted to make sure that I killed him. I didn’t want to cripple him,” he told the paper. “I said to myself, ‘If I cripple him, nobody will get to kill him.’ The last thing I wanted to do was be the guy who crippled a deer like that.”

After the 60-day drying period a panel of experts will jointly score the rack so the final results could come out differently. Regardless of the outcome, this 47-point non-typical whitetail buck is certainly a prized animal for any deer hunter. At just 3 1/2 years old, this deer has a tremendous amount of non-typical growth.

“I realize there’s only a possibility that it’s going to be a world record; all we’re worried about right now is that it’s the state record,” Tucker said. “If it is the world record, that would be great. But I’m not getting my hopes up on that.”

Photo credit: The Tennessean