Listening to Steven Rinella on Joe Rogan’s podcast they got to talking about scoring bucks, and then the controversy surrounding the Rompola buck that would be the world’s biggest typical whitetail. I had never heard about this before, and it sent me down a rabbit hole about the buck and the controversy. I could care less what deer is considered the biggest, but love a good story especially one that never dies about mythic sized bucks. I was going to post some links, but will let you guys chase the rabbit down the hole as you see fit.
To summarize it Mitch Rompola was a very well established and renowned big buck hunter with a few different state, age and bow records in Missouri and Michigan. He (supposedly) shot the world record in Traverse County in 1998, an 18 year Conservation Officer came and saw the buck after it was shot, and it was subsequently scored by 3 different veteran Boone and Crockett (and other organizations) authorized scorers. All 4 of these guys swore to it’s legitimacy then, and since. However, people questioned it as Traverse County is not a very renowned big buck county, the buck is weird looking for a few reasons (spread at the bases, and droopy ears), Rompola withdrew from the public eye after it’s notoriety spread online, he turned down a bunch of money to have it x-ray’d/verified, along with the money to be made from touring the world’s largest buck, and the Milo Hanson estate (current biggest buck holder) got him to sign off on not presenting it as the worlds largest.
IMHO, I put the most value in the people who actually laid hands on it, and 4 people with a TON of experience handling deer, specifically big bucks, signed off and that is good enough for me. And if it was faked, the only feasible way I can see is it was a farmed deer that was presented as fair chase. I don’t believe 4 veteran deer scorers and a CO would not be able to tell a manufactured or altered rack. We may never know unless Rompola or his future estate decides to bring it out for a x-ray, but a pretty crazy buck regardless and even crazier story since. What are your thoughts?