Official Scorers Confirm New West Virginia Whitetail Record

Official Scorers Confirm New West Virginia Whitetail Record

Jody Dalton killed a massive whitetail with his bow in Wyoming County, West Virginia, on Nov. 6, 2020. He speculated it would beat the current state record of 188 ⅞ inches but needed to wait 60 days to get an official score. On Jan. 13, 2021, official scorers measured the buck at West Virginia Division of Natural Resources headquarters and declared it the new state record.

Biologist Todd Dowdy performed the panel score with two other certified Pope and Young judges. After a long deliberation, Dowdy announced to a captivated, socially-distanced crowd that Dalton’s buck grossed 195 inches and netted 191 2/8 inches. With just 3 6/8 inches of deductions, it was almost perfectly symmetrical. 

“It’s a unique experience,” Dowdy said. “When I first saw the buck I didn’t think he was as big as he was. The symmetry and the tine length and main beam length is what’s really impressive.”

West Virginia record whitetail
Jody Dalton and Stephen McDaniel hold the West Virginia record typical whitetail. Image via Stephen McDaniel’s Facebook.

Dalton didn’t know this buck intimately—he only had a sole trail cam picture of the whitetail from Oct. 26. It was that single photo that led him back to the area in November. “I knew he was in there,” Dalton said in an interview with West Virginia Outdoors. “It just so happened he came through at 10:00 chasing two does and he gave me a perfect, broadside, 30 yard shot.”

Amazingly, panelists estimate the buck was just 3 or 4 years old. According to the National Deer Association, whitetails don’t reach maximum antler growth until the age of 5 or 6.

Age be damned, this is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime buck. Congratulations on your record and freezer full of venison, Jody! 

Feature image via Chris Lawrence. 

Shop

MeatEater Hunter Series Acute Trauma Care Kit
Save this product
North American Rescue
$199.99
Lifesaving gear for severe injuries, gunshot wounds, broken bones, and major blood loss.
Hidden Canyon Hunter Knife
Save this product
Benchmade
$234.00
A perfect hunting companion, the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter is a premium fixed-blade knife designed for hunters everywhere.
Bino Harness PRO-M
Save this product
FHF Gear
$125.00
Made with high-quality, durable Cordura, the FHF Gear Bino Harness is designed to be quiet, lightweight, low profile, modular, and easily operated with one hand.
Diamondback HD Binoculars 10x42
Save this product
Vortex Optics
$249.99
Rock-solid optic that optically punches high above its class.
Get the latest in your inbox
Subscribe to our newsletters to receive regular emails with hand-picked content, gear recommendations, and special deals.
Our picks for the week's best content and gear
For the whitetail obsessed, with Mark Kenyon
Redefining our connection to food, with Danielle Prewett
Your one-stop for everything waterfowl, with Sean Weaver
Get out on the water with the MeatEater Fishing crew
Technical hunting apparel
Purpose-built accessories for hunting and fishing
Quality elk, turkey, waterfowl, and deer calls
Save this article