Trophy whitetail entries from 2011 hunting seasons are beginning to pour into Boone and Crockett Club headquarters.
But while the sporting world waits to see which states are hot – or not – producers of giant bucks, North America’s overall robust trend in whitetail entries is a story for all conservationists to celebrate.
B&C historical records show that trophy whitetails are up 400 percent in the last 30 years.
“It’s worth remembering where America’s favorite big-game species stood not so long ago–at the brink of extinction,” said Ben Wallace, Club president. “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.”
The Boone and Crockett system of scoring big-game trophies originated in 1906 as a means of recording details on species thought to be disappearing. Over time, these records evolved as an effective way to track the success or failure of conservation efforts.
As North America’s whitetail herd has grown, numbers of big bucks also have risen.
For the period 1980-1985, hunters entered 617 trophy whitetails into Boone and Crockett records.
For the period 2005-2010, the total jumped to 3,090, an increase of 400 percent.
Wisconsin leads the latest B&C rankings for most entries. Here are the top 10 states and Canadian provinces:
B&C Trophy Whitetail Production, 2005-2010
(Typical and non-typical trophies combined)
1. Wisconsin, 383 entries (1980-1985 rank 3rd, 40 entries)
2. Illinois, 299 entries (1980-1985 rank 6th, 30 entries)
3. Iowa, 224 entries (1980-1985 rank 2nd, 59 entries)
4. Ohio, 215 entries (1980-1985 rank 14th, 16 entries)
5. Missouri, 214 entries (1980-1985 rank 9th (tie), 25 entries)
6. Kentucky, 199 entries (1980-1985 rank 9th (tie), 25 entries)
7. Indiana, 195 entries (1980-1985 rank 16th, 14 entries)
8. Kansas, 181 entries (1980-1985 rank 4th, 35 entries)
9. Minnesota, 172 entries (1980-1985 rank 1st, 76 entries)
10. Saskatchewan, 147 entries (1980-1985 rank 7th (tie), 27 entries)
Read the full report here: click this link