Published by archerchick on 12 Apr 2012
Bowhunting The Midwest
Published by archerchick on 12 Apr 2012
Bowhunting The Midwest
Published by archerchick on 12 Apr 2012
Published by archerchick on 11 Apr 2012
All Rights Reserved
Published by KurtD on 25 Mar 2012
There are some hunting destinations around the world that any, if not all hunters would do just about anything to experience at least once in their life. Africa, Alaska, across the wilds of Canada and pretty much every top hunting destination in North America have provided me many dream hunts so far. I’ve been so lucky it is inexplicable, but I shall continue to pursue, wrangle, manipulate, beg, borrow and almost steal to continue my good blessings.
I moved to Texas nine years ago for a series of coincidental reasons, but at the top of the list is the incredible quality hunting all across the mighty Lone Star State.
From the deer and exotic infested Hill Country to the world’s best kept muledeer secret of West Texas, to those maximum quality managed deer heavens around Albany, to the pig and Auodad dreams, waterfowling, varmints and beyond, there is no doubt that my favorite hunting is celebrated in South Texas where the deer are big and ubiquitous, the land is beautiful and endless, and the people are the best on earth.
I return to the famed Kenedy Ranch each winter to plunge headfirst into the dynamic tradition of deer hunting there, and can honestly say it is like no place on earth. The terrain is diverse, the land loaded with populations of wildlife that seem to defy the truism of carrying capacity. The huge, delicious, ultra wary Indian Nilgai antelope provides some of the most challenging hunting found anywhere. Javelina, feral hogs, Rio Grande turkeys and whitetails are everywhere.
And because the land is private and vast, these dense populations of game animals are minimally pressured and are more relaxed than any game I have ever encountered, except for Mexican critters. But only a fool would subject themselves to the evil dangers and corruption of the world’s most vile government, and actually help finance the slaughter of innocents in Mexico. No thanks.
So BloodBrother and bowhunting/VidCamDude Bobby Bohannon and I returned to the fabled Kenedy with our BloodBrother Greg Curran and gang for another fantasy hunt.
Bobby and I prepared for venison liftoff. Unfortunately, bowhunting 101 was violated and we were directed to a brand new elevated box blind with too many windows that the deer had not become comfortable with, and all the bucks avoided it like the plague. Our first morning we were able to stealth into a big fat cactus donkey and I arrowed a pretty old she deer for Spirit of the Wild TV.
Having been boogered by some damn fine bucks that morning, we hurried to relocate our double ladderstand setup in the perfect cover for an afternoon ambush. They would never know what hit them.
We weren’t in our new killer stand very long when a sounder of eight hogs grunted their way into our grove. When a huge black sow got broadside, I managed to miss the quartering shot at thirty yards. But for what I may lack in accuracy, I more than make up for in tactics, and within two seconds, I zipped a perfect arrow into a fat brown boar.
Bobby is the best tracker I know, and he found where the coyotes dragged off my pig and he recovered what was left of the hams and straps at dark.
Two sets, two kills. This is fun.
At dawn the next morning, we were somewhat surprised to see a sounder of good looking hogs moving our way and got ready for pork. One giant, very tusky red boar was the only pig in the group that kept out of range, but after a long wait, he finally made the mistake of looking the other way, broadside, and I sent the prettiest arrow you ever did see smack dab into that pumpy crease.
With an instantaneous vicious snort, loud grunt and hyper squeal, the old warrior exploded through the scrub and tumbled porkchops over ham steaks in a swirling cloud of grey dust a short fifty yards yonder.
Big goofy grins on TV are a beautiful thing, and I couldn’t help myself as I ran to the fallen beast for TV recovery!
We hustled back into our tree, and like only South Texas can, it wasn’t long before deer could be seen skulking our way through the mesquite and live oak. Several does cautiously milled about snapping up kernels of corn, but were strangely fidgety for the area. As they moved off, three bucks appeared and took no time in stepping into the shooting zone. One real handsome eight point posed for a bowhunter education poster, and I obliged by giving it to him.
He tipped over right there with a severed central nerve, and I finished him instantly with another arrow.
More glowing celebration took place with Bobby and I feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. Ace bowhunter and guide Kris Helms fetched us a short time later, and we took care of the animals, had a good lunch and commenced to enjoy a live pigeon shoot into the afternoon.
Things didn’t go as planned on the afternoon set, with my most important arrow of the season skimming low on a monster mature 150 class 10 pointer that brought painful consternation to our otherwise joyous hunt.
On our last morning with only an hour before departure from camp, we hit a distant thick area, corned the road, and settled in for a last ditch effort to try my brand new Ted Nugent Hunting Ammo.
Does filtered out of the forests, and then one heck of a dandy 10 point buck emerged from a few hundred yards. Bobby settled the vidcam and I anchored my GA Precision .270 on a solid rest as the bruiser followed the does closer and closer by the minute. At just under 200 yards, the big buck stood facing us and I told Bobby I was going to take him.
The 140 grain Nuge bullet slammed him dead center so hard, it throttled him straight up and back, flipping him up, over and upside down with only one or two kicks before he was still.
As we prepared to celebrate, a big doe darted out from the edge just beyond the buck, and Booby captured it on tape as my 2nd round found her heart, making a quick, perfect strapper double.
My new signature ammo proved itself, and we had pulled off a triple double. Two doe, two bucks and two hogs at the mighty Kenedy Ranch 2012. All is good in Tedland.
Published by KurtD on 15 Feb 2012
THINK DEER by Ted Nugent
You can’t really close your eyes and read this, so instead, concentrate as you read and pump images of deer into your brain. Envision all those stunning beasts you have been so blessed to encounter over so many hunting seasons, and burn that beautiful picture deep into your cranium. Imprint it on your psyche, make it an actual element of your being. Now, doesn’t that feel good.
I am typing this little ditty in my Ranch King deer blind on a cold December afternoon, and I have eight whitetails in front of me right now, all within twenty yards. I sit spellbound.
An old matriarch doe is crazy alert, two doe fawns and a very handsome button buck with huge pronounced nubbins could care less as they nibble away. There is a yearling doe, a yearling three point buck, and a fat stud of a three year old eight point beast. They own me.
My heart is racing rather predictably, and I only keep typing because I am trying to convince myself to not shoot the handsome eight pointer.
Steady Uncle Ted. Steady as she goes.
For all the right reasons, I should kill that old doe as part of my Texas Parks and Wildlife Managed Land Deer Permit plan. We figure eight more does gotta go off our ground, and she’s an old gal that would be perfect to take out to better the herd. We shall see.
I really love hunting, ambushing and killing deer, love watching and videoing them, love being a natural part of their world, love grilling and eating them, really love sharing their sacred flesh with the regional Hunters for the Hungry program and the families of the US Military, but what turns me on the most is the intelligent, stewardship system by which we manage deer and all wild game for healthy, thriving populations and properly balanced conditions. By doing so, I can forever enjoy and celebrate all those other ways that I love deer.
I just looked up again from my laptop, and now there are ten deer. Another shooter doe and a scrawny spike horn buck arrived, and they are all bulking up on feed in the cold weather. They constantly look around and flinch at every bird, every breeze, and for many unknown reasons. What an amazing creature. I would propose that for millions and millions of us, our lives would be dramatically less enjoyable without deer. I know it has always been a powerful force of joy, inspiration and awe for me and my family.
The two big does just stood up on hind legs and went into that flurry of cartwheeling punches with their front hooves. That is some violent behavior right there, and any one of those cloven hooved blows could kill you outright. I am sure that while we are all conveniently tucked away in our cushy homes throughout the year, whitetail deer are knocking the living bejesus out of each other, including killing each other at a much higher rate that anyone really understands.
The button buck is way out of his league haranguing the old girl, as the rut is up and down for the last couple of months. I am real tempted to kill the puny spike and forkhorn, but at only one and a half years of age, their first set of antlers in no way provides a meaningful indicator of their genetic potential. Have you ever noticed that once we decide to not shoot a particular animal, that they pose perfectly broadside with their leg forward for the longest periods of time?
I just gulped a deep breath of freezing air, for a dynamo buckaroo just arrived on scene to take any deer hunter’s breath away. This majestic stag has ten perfectly defined points on his tall, wide, sweeping rack, and represents the kind of monster buck I would never have dreamed of coming in contact with growing up in the Midwest deer woods.
This incredible beast has no idea that a blood thirsty venison addict is only fifteen yards away in this dark blind, with a bow and arrow and razor sharp broadhead and the tags to go with them.
He noses the does and the other bucks give him lots of room, and with all the commotion, you couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to get to full draw on such a great deer. But I just gaze, video it all and type away, for though this buck’s antlers are very impressive and highly desirable, I can tell by his trim neck, brisket and body that he is only two and a half years old, the very definition of a quality deer management specimen to let walk.
I am so proud of myself. I am learning, and his presence literally increases my excitement just knowing such quality bucks are around. It wasn’t that many years ago that I would have killed him in an instant, but like so many other hunters these days, I know I can get all the venison I need by killing the right deer and letting the right deer grow to their potential.
Shooting light is gone now, all the deer have moved off, so I put away my vidcam, attach my quiver back on my bow and get ready to shut down my laptop, absolutely thrilled beyond words that I am a deer hunter. I head home with my soul filled with allthings deer.
Tomorrow in another day, and tomorrow is another deer. I will now fill my belly with some scrumptious backstraps and keep the spirit of the deer alive in everything I do.
Published by KurtD on 15 Feb 2012
TEXAS TEN by Ted Nugent
I never really stop hunting. It is indeed a cherished, time honored lifestyle for me. A wonderful, totally alive, day by day celebratory outdoor lifestyle of great, deeply appreciated, heartfelt gratification. Self-sufficiency. Rugged individualism. Hands-on conservation. Private land ownership. Property rights. Privacy rights. Experimenting in “self-government”. We the people resource ownership and stewardship. The right to keep and bear arms. Live free of die. Don’t tread on me. Surely the ultimate American Dream the way I see it. Independent. Free. Self evident truth, God given right’s. Pursuit of happiness guaranteed. Perfect. You can’t do this in France.
The supremely enjoyable daily routines of checking my trapline, killing varmints, choosing and planting foodplots, running irrigation, positioning new deerstands, constructing groundblinds, upgrading old ones, checking fences and gates, filling waterholes and feeders, trimming shooting lanes, practicing with rifles, handguns, shotguns and bows, arranging and upgrading targets and ranges, training dogs and introducing new people to the joys of shooting, watching and studying wildlife and constantly strategizing ambush zones for my hunting clients, and more, are all chores and enjoyable outdoor activities that I really look forward to each day. Rocking my brains out nearly 100 concerts per year pretty much keeps me busy throughout the summer any way you cut it, so these wonderful activities which I live for in between rockouts do indeed keep me bright eyed and bushy tailed in a constant, energized way. When the actual official hunting season shows up in the fall of the year, my state of mind doesn’t need too much adjusting back to my natural predator mode and spirit. In fact, with the amazing year round hunting opportunities for exotic wildlife in my new adopted homestate of Texas, there are not any “No Hunting” days in my life. How cool is that? Godbless Texas, Godbless America and Godbless the beasts all!
Back in my ancestral homegrounds of Michigan, the seasonal changes are palpable. The air tastes different. Dramatic change is tangible. The planets do indeed realign and there is a mystically altered pulse in the wind. Ya gotta love that. Meanwhile, in the great Republic of Texas, one must routinely check the calendar so see if summer will ever end. Texas is hot. Usually hotter. For an old dyed-in-the-wool Michiganiac, it is a bit of a psychological adjustment to deal with all this blazing sunshine and brutal heat. But as a guitarplayer-cum-U.S. Marine, I can improvise, adapt and overcome with the best of them. And I do. There is no Plan B. It is time.
So it was, as the blistering fireball in the LoneStar sky grilled my inner being, nonetheless, the calendar read October and my spirit insisted on liftoff. All that dedicated boot time on my hunting grounds had kept me abreast of whitetail activity, and this day I chose a tall ladderstand nestled deep, and hidden within the green embrace of a tall pine tree overlooking a winding, rocky creek course amongst the thorny screen of greenbriar, assorted impenetrable tangles and relentless juniper. A line of huge, towering pecan and live oak trees made up the forest before and behind me, and with the gentle southwest breeze, my confidence ran high. It is always a roll of the hunter’s dice, but we had a full on backstrap mojo going on this day. I could feel it. You never know, but we always hope.
After a long wait, the eye-candy parade of beautiful, sleek, healthy does and fawns ghosted from the shadows as the sun dipped lower. Some of the whitetails were red, some brown, others slate grey. A few of the fawns still showed remnant spots, confirming that the breeding does indeed continue well into winter. Momentarily, a small forked horn, a spike and a fat, muscular, slick six joined the group. My elevated ambush hideout gave me a perfect viewing position to watch the group of 20 plus deer carryon undisturbed, and again provided me the greatest joy that is being a hunter. To be on the inside of their natural world has a powerful healing and calming effect on me, and I studied each animal in detail through my Yukon binoculars. Mutual grooming, prancing, kicking, nipping, licking, head butting, sparring, browsing and constantly examining their surroundings with an uncanny alertness entertained me completely. I love every minute of such encounters and it represents a prime allure to the great outdoors lifestyle. The critters never let you down and there is never a dull moment.
Early season bucks tend to hang out in bachelor groups, and the slight glint of bone through the scrub materialized into antlers as five stud boys emerged from the tangle down below. The first two were handsome 2-3 year old eight pointers, followed by a 3-4 year old 9, then another young eight. It was the arrival of massive, tall, wide, light colored antlers that got me. With a dandy set of impressive antlers towering over his distinctive, Roman nosed face, one hog of a mature buck strode up the creek embankment and waddled into view. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Texas whitetails are small, for this old granddaddy of a buck was every bit as fat, muscular and heavy as a Kansas or Michigan brute up North. I could tell by the deep chest and brisket, and the fat belly that I had before me a 7+ year old trophy. Now the slight trembling began.
Slowly lifting my binocular, I examined this fine buck carefully and realized that I knew this old boy. I had encountered him in this same grove late last season. His distinctive white legs and exaggerated white facial markings clearly identified him as my old buddy. My bow was already at half mast, Scott release locked onto my bowstring, and my mind made up.
The does and fawns and younger bucks backed away as the old boy strode toward the small piles of Wildlife Innovations Buck bran I had put out as an attractant, and now my inner predator ballet was going into the gutpile pirouette hyper two step. I dance divinely.
A slight screen of leaves on a young cedar elm separated my arrow from his vitals, so I had no clear shot. It doesn’t take much interference to deflect a speeding arrow, so I held tight. As goes bowhunting, the big boy kept his forward shoulder toward my position for a long while, and life around me ceased to exist. It was just his ribcage and my broadhead that existed, nothing else.
With a graceful swing of his long neck and head, he took a step to his right, bringing his bulky chest clear of any obstruction, and the mushy 55# CP Oneida bow flexed back smoothly on its own. I zeroed in dead on the crease behind his left foreleg, and the next thing I knew, big white feathers were dangling out of his armpit as he and all the other deer exploded at once. Angling forward as he had turned, the zebra colored GoldTip shaft had surely sliced through his ribs and into the life pumping heart of the old beast, his sagging hindquarters telling of his imminent demise. Big Jim swung the SpiritWild vidcam from the now departed buck’s vaportrail, onto my now smiling, giddy face for the whole word to share, and I was one happy American bowhunter to say the least.
We captured on tape all the glory and joy of this wonderful, perfect hunting connection, then filmed the short, quick bloodtrail and recovery to the heartshot monster. Everytime we collect these wildlife gifts, a Nuge party erupts in the forests and wildgrounds of the world, knowing and celebrating the thrills of being so intimately functional as a beneficial, positive participant in this natural tooth, fang and claw world. Every exacting nuance and detail of the pre-event, anticipation, encounter, shot preparation and intense action is relived and articulated as clearly as possible, so that the viewer of our Spirit of the Wild TV shows and videos better understands the depth of spirit, form and function of the real world that we are living and documenting. Life and death is it. It is perfect. Shame on those who pretend otherwise. Rejoice to be a player.
Published by huntermt on 30 Jan 2012
I have been waiting for a reality based hunting show to come out on on of the networks for a long time, I want something I can be involved in and go online and vote for hunts I liked and recommend thing I want to see. I recently stumbled upon Outlanders on the Outdoor channel and although the hunt I watched didn’t appeal to me, the idea behind the newish series is what I wanted. They take everyday hunters and build an eposide around their choice hunt. In the hunters everyday honey hole. Next season you can enter in a drawing to have this be you, they opened up like 10 spots. I love this! I cant wait to see me and my buddies on tv.
Published by ScentBlockMLB93 on 19 Jan 2012
December 3, 2011
The night before I had a very difficult time falling asleep due to wondering if there was going to be a huge amount of hunters around me using muzzleloaders when I only had my bow (Bear Charge.) Well when the alarm went off early in the morning I woke up with a strange feeling of energy with only getting about 3 hours of sleep. I then had to drive about 30 minutes to this small gas station/check in station to meet my brother so we could go through the gate. He is a memeber of Izaac Walton’s. A small club with a pond, woods and has many other activities. Well after sitting there for about 30 minutes I called him and it turns out that his truck won’t start. I didn’t want to go back home after driving that far and I knew this would be a good morning because we had just got about 4 inches of snow two days earlier. Well this private ground borders state ground so I parked on a bridge right next to some powerlines. I had to walk about a mile up and down some ridges until I reached one of our stands we placed back in the summer. I finally got set up in the stand about 5 minutes before daylight. This stand was placed midway up a ridge overlooking a bending creek. Well when it became daylight a few minutes later I didn’t see anything. I heard 3-4 gunshots a little ways off across the salamonie and then there was 4 does running across a ridge to my left about 50 yards away. All of them stopped about 5 yards away from one of my stands on that ridge that I hunted in gun season. I was getting mad as they started to just stay within 20 yards of my stand on that ridge. I kept thinking to myself “why didn’t I sit there this morning”! Then when they all stepped into the clearing I noticed that they were all shooters. Then the biggest doe started to make her way down the ridge quartering towards me and stopped at about 40 yards. Soon as I stand up and go to draw back a squirrel broke the limb it was sitting on and spooked the deer. Well they took off behind me and stopped around 110 yards away. So I sat back down and I got a text from my brother and was asking me if I had seen anything. Soon as I told him about the 4 does and put my phone back in my jacket I notice something in the corner of my eye and it was a big doe about 8 yards away. I grabbed my bow but couldn’t draw back because her head was turned sideways towards me and I kept thinking “turn your head, turn your head!” Well soon as she turned her head I drew back and put my pin right on the pump station and slowly went to release then she started to walk away and couldn’t get a shot. At this point I was ready to throw in the towel and give up on deer hunting in general because that was a for sure gimmee. Then I got out my grunt call and grunted a few times and about 5 minutes later there was 9 does coming down the ridge right in front of me. I started thinking I might be able to get my first deer after all. It was one big mature doe with 8 yearlings/ small does. Well they were just grazing and slowly moving around on this ridge then out of nowhere the mature doe started running down the hill towards me. She stopped at 38 yards standing towards me then she turned broadside and started walking along the creek. I drew back and waited on her to stop and I couldn’t figure out how far she was then when she stopped behind a tree I studied the distance from the stand to her and I figured around 40 yards. She stepped out from the tree and I put my 40 pin right on the lungs, exhaled and released. I heard the arrow smack something but thought I missed, when she took off running and then I noticed the blood pouring out of her. I felt the biggest adrenaline rush of life and just thanked god for letting me harvest this doe, more importantly my first deer and it was with my bow. I sat down and called my brother and he rushed out to the stand looking like he was going to war, he had his muzzleloader, glock, and his gut knife on his belt. I climbed down and we started to walk over towards where she was at when I shot. I looked and looked for my arrow and was having a hard time finding it. Then I saw part of the viens in the leaves and when I pulled it out it was soaked in blood. My brother asked me where I hit her and I told him a little bit back farther than the heart and a little high. He sniffed the arrow and he said that he didn’t smell guts. We started to track the blood trail and it was quite a easy one thanks to the NAP HellRazor. We came up on her in the creek and she was deader than a doorknob. He looked at me and said you just shot a swamp donkey of a doe. She only ran 40 yards from where I shot her. After gutting her I just sat there thinking this is what I have been waiting for all this time and it was the best feeling that I have ever felt. That is when I knew I had bow hunting whitetails in my blood for the rest of my life.
Published by admin on 12 Dec 2011
CHECK CHECK DOUBLE CHECK CHECK AGAIN
by Ted Nugent
Alright, I better write this while I’m still seething. I am so angry my blood boils, my eyes are bloodshot, I twitch, turning beet red, lips pursed so tight it hurts, fuming, seeing red, snarling, forehead furrowed deeply with a full body scowl to scare the devil himself. Did I mention that I am really, really angry?
The first word in this piece is alright. Well, nothing is all right, I assure you. Anything but.
Being that I fancy myself Mr. Cocked Locked and absolutely ready to ROCK, Captain Detail, Mr. Smarty Pants Know it all master of allthings shoot, hunt, ambush sniper world, it is with great pain, humility and consternation that I am compelled to share with you how Mr. Murphy can sneak into our psyche no matter how dialed in, prepared or attentive we may otherwise dedicate ourselves to be.
Personally, at this point in time, I suck.
Okay, in the real world of meaningful priorities like God, family, health, country and freedom, my painful evening on deerstand last night doesn’t really qualify as all that upsetting. We miss. Get over it. Yet here I am, head hung and forlorn like little Teddy just lost his favorite puppy dog.
Here’s how it unraveled; Throttling onward nonstop with much gusto for my truly inspiring 2011-2012 hunting season, I had a wonderful meeting with my SpiritWild Ranch hunters as the rain poured down on our little chunk of Texas hunting heaven. Everyone was excited to be at our special camp with the barometer and temperature plunging, making for some optimal critter encounter conditions.
Master guide Paul Wilson organized the guys to head out for their killer blinds, and I decided to return to my Ranch King portable tucked into a nice jungle of cedars and tangled blowdowns on the edge of the big hay field.
With rain pelting my snug little coop, I smacked away on my laptop writing more invigorating celebrations of our beloved hunting lifestyle, not really expecting shooter beasts to arrive in the pouring rain.
Next thing I know, a highly desirable, elusive “Alberta” whitetail 10 point is smack dab in front of me eating corn at the Hang Em High feeder before it even went off. YIKES!
I’ve never had a shot at this particular buck that looks like he belongs in the forests of Alberta, Canada, and I was about to implode with excitement at the opportunity before me.
I carefully turned on the SpiritWild vidcam, silently set down my laptop, reached for my bow, then zoomed in on the trophy beast.
He was joined by his girlfriend, then out of nowhere, a spotted axis doe poked her head out of the scrub into my little clearing.
Axis! Axis deer are so incredibly elusive on SpiritWild Ranch that we are lucky to get a quick glimpse at them but few times each year. I knew that if a doe was here, the herd must be close behind.
One by one, the majestic Chital deer emerged, including monster stag after monster stag, right there in front of me, within 20 yards. I captured all their antics as they jockeyed for position until the biggest baddest buck went broadside.
Like a million times before, I picked a spot, gracefully drew back my arrow, and let er rip for a gimme trophy of a lifetime.
And ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the embarrassing NumbNut of The Year Award goes to, (drumroll) Teeeeeddddd Nuuuuuugent!!
My orange Lumenok told no lie as it zinged six inches under the huge stags brisket. At about 18 yards ya all!
I’m here to tell you I was supremely aghast. With my Robin Hood sniper arrow routine going so beautifully all season, how can this possibly be?
As the sickness in my stomach began to subside, I nocked an arrow in the garage, took aim at the Big Green target at 15 yards and sent two arrows touching each other, SIX INCHES LOW!
I cradle and protect my bow with tender loving care each and every day. How the sights could have gotten that far off from one day to the next will forever be a mystery. But since I have written and raved about it so many times over the years, I may want to obey my own rules of bowhunting and take a “feel” shot before each hunt, and I think I shall.
It’s not only an archery thing, but as we all know, each year somebody at many camps somewhere will experience the heartbreak of a bad shot for inexplicable reasons. Inexplicable that is until we admit that we all know things can go wrong, so we really oughtta plan on them and do everything in our power to keep them from happening.
Under most conditions, there will be an opportunity to take that pre-hunt test shot with both bow and or gun so we can be certain everything is tight, sighted in and in order before that long awaited moment of truth on the beast.
Mr. Murphy is a predator, an indiscriminate, soulless, uncaring predator, and as his prey, we best be aware that he is ubiquitous, so check, check and double check, then check again to keep the punk at bay.
I’m on my way to my stand now, and I just took a shot to be sure I am ready. ZI am ready, and vow to always be ready forevermore.
Published by archerchick on 11 Dec 2011
ave you ever wondered which state
H harbors the most trophy whitetail
bucks? Your days of wondering may
be over, if trophy distribution statistics of
Pope and Young whitetail entries can be considered
an accurate indication of where those
big bucks can be found and are being taken.
It may not be a shock to you that the top 10
states for trophy whitetail bucks (with typical
antlers) are all located in the Upper Midwest.
The states among the top 10 go no farther east
than Ohio, no farther west than Nebraska or
South Dakota, and no farther south than Kansas.
The state farthest north is Minnesota.
And Minnesota just happens to be the top
According to the statistics, which include
animals taken up to the 13th recording period
that ended in 1982, Minnesota has had 210
whitetail deer that have exceeded the minimum
score of 125 in the typical category.
Minnesota’s top entry scored 181-6/8. far
short of the 204-4/8 all-time record that M J`
Johnson took in Peoria County, Illinois. in
1965. Minnesota’s top entry ranks just eighth
on the all·time list, but more than half of Minnesota
deer on the Pope & Young record
books exceed the 140 mark.
The states that round out the top 10 for
total number of typical whitetail entries with
Pope & Young are: Wisconsin 177, Iowa 173,
Illinois 147, Kansas 124, Ohio 119, Indiana
94, South Dakota 83, Michigan 71, Nebraska
Altogether, the top 10 states account for
1,248 of the 1,627 typical whitetail deer that
were entered with Pope & Young through
1982. It means that a whopping 77 percent of
Pope and Young typical trophy whitetails have
been taken in those 10 states alone.
And if you turn to trophy Whitetail deer
with non-typical antlers, you get close to the
same results, Minnesota again is the leader,
with 34 entries above the 150 minimum mark.
Iowa pulls in second with 18, Illinois is third
with 13, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Ohio tie for
fourth with nine, Nebraska is seventh with
seven, and South Dakota,Montana, and
Michigan tie for eighth with five. The only
difference between the typical top 10 and he
non—typical top 10 states is Montana is
included in the non-typical category instead of
Indiana. (And Indiana ties for 11th place with
Kentucky with four. Montana. by the way,
does rank 11th among states for typical
So we’ve pointed out the top 10 states as
far as sheer number of whitetail deer entered
with Pope & Young. Minnesota. for now, is in
the lead. But where have the top 10 all time
deer been taken?
As stated before, M.J. Johnson leads the
typical antler whitetail pack with a 204-4/8
entry that he shot in Peoria County in 1965
Two of the top 10 all—time official entries are
Meanwhile, Iowa has three entries in the
top 10 — the second and third place entries
and the fifth place entry. Right there are three
typical whitetails that reach above the 190
Nebraska has two in the top 10 (Sixth and
ninth) and Colorado (fourth). Kansas (seventh),
sigh ». and Minnesota (eighth) each have one.
See the accompanying chart for localities,
renters, and dates.)
As far as the non-typical whitetail all-time
top 10 list, Del Austin holds the record with a
279-7/8 deer he shot in Nebraska’s Hall
county in 1962. It is Nebraska’s only top 10
entry. Illinois leads all states with three top 10
enties (third, fifth, and eighth).
Iowa has two in the top 10 (seventh and
ninth, while Kansas (second), Wisconsin
(fourth), and Minnesota (10th) each have one.
So what do all these statistics prove?
It definitely proves Minnesota has had the
most trophy whitetail deer make the Pope &
Young record books.
And it definitely proves the Upper Mid-
west is a hotspot for bowhunting whitetail
deer. The statistics bear out the fact that the
most Pope & Young entries are from states in
But it cannot be considered a totally accu-
rate way to judge where the most trophy
whietails are or where they’ve been taken.
“Mlinnesota is one of the best states, but
there are may be areas as good or better than
Minnesota,” says David H. Boland, Pope &
Young member who has been figuring out trophy
distribution statistics since 1978. “The
interest in entering with Pope & Young may
not be as high. Not all archers enter deer —
due to the lack of measurers, economics, or
lack of interest or time .”
It does cost $25 to get an entry made with
Pope & Young and there is a process to go
through and though there are more than 500
official Pope & Young measurers in North
America, they are not always conveniently located
“In Minnesota there are a fair amount of
measurers who are quite interested and want
to get animals entered.” Boland said. “It
proves you have to have the interest .” Boland,
by the way, lives in Minnesota.
Boland estimates that only 1/3 of record
book heads are measured. And without a
higher percentage of heads entered, “you
don’t have a totally accurate representation of
where the trophies are,” Boland says.
And, in Minnesota, about all a bowhunter
can go after are whitetail deer and black bear.
“‘The amount of people who hunt deer figures
in ,” Boland says. “The more hunters, the
more entries .”
A combination of factors are necessary for
a deer to be trophy size and Minnesota, along
with all the other Upper Midwest states, has
“You have to have heredity,” Boland says.
“The father and mother have to have characteristics
that provide for offspring to be trophy
Good feed is also necessary, Boland says.
And deer simply need X amount of years
to grow racks to trophy size, which means
they must be able to survive hunters, weather,
and food shortages.
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