Ever wonder how the most consistently successful trophy whitetail hunters choose states and regions to pursue big bucks? More often than not, their starting point is the big-game record books compiled by the Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young clubs.
In the pages of those two volumes, the studious hunter can identify where the biggest and most numerous animals of each big game species were taken in recent years, right down to the specific county.
As a result, one can pinpoint trends and hot-spots, as well as the top states for heavy-horned bruisers.
Likewise, if you want to know just how great it is to be a whitetail hunter in the United States these days, look no further than “the book.”
Calling it “a story for all conservationists to celebrate,” B&C reported last week that its trophy whitetail entries have increased 400 percent during the past 30 years of record keeping. From 2005 to 2010, hunters entered 3,090 trophy whitetails into B&C, compare to 617 entries from 1980 to 1985.
For the most recent scoring period, Wisconsin led all states with 383 entries. The remainder of the Top 10 were Illinois, 299 entries; Iowa, 224 entries; Ohio, 215 entries; Missouri, 214 entries; Kentucky, 199 entries; Indiana, 195 entries; Kansas, 181 entries; Minnesota, 172 entries; and Saskatchewan, 147 entries.
“It’s worth remembering where America’s favorite big-game species stood not so long ago—at the brink of extinction,” said B&C President Ben Wallace. “In 1900, less than 500,000 whitetails remained. But habitat programs, research, science-based management, regulations and enforcement, all led and funded by hunters, brought this game animal back to extraordinary levels. Today there are more than 32 million whitetails!”