Best Viral Hunts and Record-Breaking Harvests of 2020

by Kayla Zadel

We’ve seen a lot of firsts this year, and when we say firsts, we’re talking about some of the biggest bucks we’ve seen to mountains goats and even elk.

States like Vermont, Maine, and Kentucky are reporting record high deer harvests and states like New York and Idaho are sharing that they’re seeing an all time high of hunting license sales.

To honor these viral hunts and record-breaking harvests, we’re rounding up some of the best of them all in one place.

A Buck So Big It Calls for a Home Remodel

A freezer full of meat and a home remodel, what more could a gal ask for? This 33-year-old nurse got all of that and more when she bagged the second-largest bull elk in Minnesota history.

Lacey Lupien and her husband are seriously remodeling their home to make room for the giant mount.

The Boone and Crocket Club certified Lupien’s prized bull elk had a 7-by-9 rack and a net score of 367 2/8 inches.

Lupien said she brought down the elk on Aug. 6. She received one of only 44 elk tags distributed through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources this year, Fox News said

She was hunting the elk near her home in Lancaster, Minnesota. Lupien had her eye on the animal for weeks. She shot once with a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle, but wasn’t sure if she made contact with bull elk.

“It was so exciting,” Lupien said.

Rookie Hunter Harvests 20-Point Buck

We’re starting off with this first-timer who some might say is an old-timer. John Frederico was 63-years-old when he harvested his first buck.

The Massachusettes man had seen the deer for two years wandering his land, but he decided this year was time to take the buck. His hunt went viral because of its size, 20-points, and also for Frederico’s beginners luck.

Click here to see photos of Frederico’s buck that dressed out at 54-pounds.

Young Hunter Donates Venison to Food Bank

This young boy is making our list not only because of the size of his deer but also for the size of his heart.

Will Marshall, a 10-year-old hunter from Petoskey, Michigan, harvested his first-ever deer earlier this year. He then decided to donate all 36-pounds of venison to the Manna Food Project.

“I just thought during COVID, how for some people it’s harder for them to get food. I thought if I donated the deer it would help them out, so I did,” Marshall said in regards to his donation.

Will was hunting with his father, Bill, on the first day of firearm season. Check out the 10-year-old hunter smiling from ear-to-ear here.

Hunter Harvests Famous Buck

Some bucks have become famous and even legendary over the years because of their ability to allude their prey. Take this one for example. The deer, famously named the School House Buck by Cyclone, West Virginia hunters, was finally taken after three years.

The deer had been know to hang around the schoolyard, hence it’s name, and didn’t seem to be afraid of people. One hunter, Doug Harvey, became a bit obsessed with the buck and even passed on killing 15 to 20 bucks because he wanted the School House Buck.

However, Harvey prevailed and got his “white whale” this year.

Legendary Buck Gets Taken Down by Local Hunter

Another buck that earned legendary status is that of one named Hightower. Shane Mayon of Berwick, Louisiana finally got the kill that he had been waiting two years for.

This giant buck measuring in at 10 points kept Mayon up at night, dreaming of the day he would finally win. The hunter’s patience paid off and he finally named the buck earlier this month.

“All I could say was, ‘I got him. I got him,’ and a few expletives, of course,” the hunter admits. “I called my wife and she laughed because I started sobbing like a baby, which I’ve never done before.”

It was for sure an emotional moment for Mayon. The culmination of getting to know this animal after three seasons of hunting had ended.

Hightower scored 171. He had a 24-inch spread and 27-inch main beams with 9½-inch G3s and 6½-inch bases. Mayon says it was a buck like none he’d ever encountered and likely won’t again.

“It was a different feeling,” Mayon said. “The work paid off; all the hours and hours of hunting and all the photos.”

Teen Hunter Goes Viral for ‘Grand Slam’

Sixteen-year-old Cassidy Rood achieved one of hunting’s greatest feats. The Benton, ME native completed her grand slam, which consists of tagging a bearmooseturkey, and deer within one year.

Get this, she did it in only six-months.

“It feels really good,” Rood said of her accomplishment. “To know that I did that, I just sat back and said, ‘Wow.’”

Nebraska Teen Breaks World Record

Paslie Werth harvested this massive 42-point buck on September 6 while rifle hunting with her dad just one day after the opening of the youth deer season.

She had to wait for the record to be certified after the mandatory 60-day drying period. Just earlier this month the results came in and Werth was awarded the title.

Werth is currently Kansas’ youngest non-typical whitetail record holder. Additionally, the 14-year-old has claimed the fifth-largest buck harvested by any method of any hunter in the entire state. 

Bow Hunter Goes Viral for Bagging Mountain Goat

Kaleb Baird, an Alaska man, set the World Record for harvesting the largest mountain goat. He did this while bow hunting in September of this year. Baird had never been mountain goat hunting before, but he’s experienced with a bow, hunting deer and birds.

The mountain goat’s measured 53-4.8 inches making it the largest mountain goat horn in North America. 

Official measurers confirmed the record of the horn and the bow hunter’s accomplishment. Baird always joked about setting a world record hunting, but now he can say that he actually did it.

Hunter Finds Rare Doe with Antlers

This Ohio man thought he was hunting a buck but think again. Michael LaLonde Jr. set a world record after he shot a velvet antlered doe in Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

He sent a photo of his kill to his friend and they told him to look again. Sure enough it was a doe he took this autumn.

According to Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records, at 191 0/8 inches, the doe he shot is the world’s largest. The doe has 22 scorable points: 15 on the right side and seven on the left side. 

Grandma’s Still Got It

How about this viral story coming out of Kennard, Texas? Virginia Luce was fixing lunch one afternoon for her and her husband when she saw a buck that she had to have.

She quickly grabbed her Remington .243, lined up the 11-point buck in her sights and took him down with just one shot.

Myrl, Virginia’s husband, had no idea his wife was hunting a deer from the kitchen. As he sat in a living room recliner watching television, he heard his wife’s rifle go off.

“She watches them all the time when she’s in the kitchen,” he said. “Right after the shot, she hollered, ‘Well, that was the big one, Daddy.’ That’s when I put my boots on, got on the tractor, and went to load him up. He didn’t go far. She doesn’t miss very often.”

Luce says she’s shot multiple bucks throughout her years of hunting. However, she said this particular 11-pointer is by far the largest and best kill of her hunting career.

Duck Commanders Go Deer Hunting

Reality star Willie Robertson showed off some of his harvests this year on social media, too. The “Duck Dynasty” character went bow hunting this fall in Texas.

Furthermore, some of the crew from Buck Commander scored some pretty nice hunts this year, too.

We want to see your impressive hunts from 2020. Feel free to share them on our Outsider Facebook page or by email at  [email protected].