Editors Blog

Stunning Statistics

I don’t know why, but I’m one of those guys who will wear out that Sunday sports page analyzing whether a guy has a legitimate shot at hitting 40 homers or passing for 4,000 yards “at his current pace.” I guess you could say I’m a “stataholic.”

The same goes for deer hunting statistics. I simply cannot get enough of them. Thankfully, today’s deer managers are doing a great job at compiling annual statistics. I recently ran across five new ones that I think are downright amazing. Perhaps you will, too.

1. The Perfect Season
Alabama hunters were the safest in the country last season. For the first time in 33 years, the state recorded no deer hunting related fatalities, including no deaths from accidental shootings or falls from tree stands. That’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that Alabama is home to more than 200,000 deer hunters.

2. City Slingers
Two limited-access hunting areas account for nearly one out of every 25 bow-kills in Minnesota annually.

Last year, 195 bow-hunters shot deer during the City of Duluth’s special bow season. Those hunters registered 564 deer (2.89 deer per person). The other hunting area, Fort Ripley in the north-central part of the state, accounted for 516 bow-kills. Amazingly, only 25,350 deer were taken by bow-hunters in the entire state last year.

3. A Three-Peat
Three all-time state records fell in Missouri in 2006. Hunters there notched new high marks for gun harvest (280,732), bow harvest (41,097) and overall harvest (321,829).

4. Dixieland Delight
Thanks to liberal daily bag limits, Alabama and Georgia rank as No. 1 and 2, respectively, on the list for the nation’s best bow-hunting success rates.

With 62,000 hunters taking about 55,000 deer per year, Alabama holds the top spot with an 88 percent success rate. The harvest success rates in other top bow-hunting states include: Georgia, 45 percent; Wisconsin, 41 percent; Pennsylvania, 40 percent; Illinois, 38 percent; Missouri, 25 percent; and Pennsylvania, 23 percent.

Vermont is the most challenging state in which to tag a whitetail while bow-hunting. On average, only 15 percent of that state’s archers fill a tag. Maine ranks a close second at 16 percent. Interestingly, Texas also ranks near the bottom, with just an 18 percent success rate.

5. Bow-Hunting Champs
Whoever said bow-hunting will never be a viable tool for managing whitetails has obviously overlooked archery-rich areas like Waupaca County, Wis.

Waupaca County archers killed a 5,499 deer — 1,343 bucks and 4,128 does in 2006. Even more impressive, however, is that total breaks down to a staggering harvest of 8.8 deer per square mile of habitat. That’s on par with county-wide gun-hunting harvests in many states!