Trophy Whitetails Up 400 Percent Over 30 Years

Thanks to some solid deer management across the nation, B&C records show that trophy whitetails are up 400 percent of the past 30 years. And 2011 has potential to be a great year for the record book, as entries continue to pour into the Boone and Crockett Club headquarters.

Ben Wallace, president of the Boone and Crockett Club, says it wasn't too long ago when North America's favorite big-game species was at the brink of extinction. "In 1900, less than 500,000 whitetails remained. Habitat programs, research, science-based management, regulations and enforcement, all led and funded by hunters, brought the whitetail deer back to extraordinary levels. Today there are more than 32 million whitetails."

In 1906, the B&C system of scoring big-game trophies was originated 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. During this 30-year span, many states and provinces saw percentage gains much greater than the continental average. For example, trophy whitetail entries from Wisconsin have risen 857 percent. In Illinois, the increase is 896 percent. Ontario went from a single entry to a whopping 41, a 4,000 percent gain! Six states and provinces had zero entries in 1980-1985. For 2005-2010, they combined for 48.

The Boone and Crockett Club offers two ways to trace and detail historic conservation developments, not just with whitetails but many other species as well. A book, Records of North American Big Game, offers detailed tabular listings for trophies in 38 different categories of game. Each entry includes the all-time entry score, date harvested, location of kill, hunter and owner names, and selected measurements. At 768 pages, the book retails for $49.95.

A searchable online database, called Trophy Search, is another exceptional resource. By buying an annual subscription, users can sort B&C archival data in infinite ways to identify national as well as local trends. An annual subscription is $50.

The list below includes state-by-state rankings for whitetail entries during the period 2005-2010, plus comparative data from 1980-1985.

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)
11. Texas, 132 entries (1980-1985 rank 12th, 19 entries)
12. Alberta, 115 entries (1980-1985 rank 7th (tie), 27 entries)
13. Nebraska, 78 entries (1980-1985 rank 18th (tie), 12 entries)
14. Oklahoma, 48 entries (1980-1985 rank 22nd (tie), 7 entries)
15. Ontario, 41 entries (1980-1985 rank 42nd (tie), 1 entry)
16. Arkansas, 40 entries (1980-1985 rank 34th (tie), 3 entries)
17 (tie). Michigan, 39 entries (1980-1985 rank 17th, 13 entries)
17 (tie). Mississippi, 39 entries (1980-1985 rank 18th, 12 entries)
19. North Dakota, 31 entries (1980-1985 rank 31st (tie), 4 entries)
20. Pennsylvania, 26 entries (1980-1985 rank 45th (tie), 0 entries)
21. New York, 25 entries (1980-1985 rank 28th (tie), 5 entries)
22. South Dakota, 24 entries (1980-1985 rank 20th (tie), 8 entries)
23 (tie). Georgia, 23 entries (1980-1985 rank 5th, 31 entries)
23 (tie). Maryland, 23 entries (1980-1985 rank 28th (tie), 5 entries)
25 (tie). British Columbia, 19 entries (1980-1985 rank 24th (tie), 6 entries)
25 (tie). Maine, 19 entries (1980-1985 rank 11th, 20 entries)
27. Virginia, 17 entries (1980-1985 rank 22nd (tie), 7 entries)
28. Tennessee, 15 entries (1980-1985 rank 20th, 8 entries)
29. Colorado, 13 entries (1980-1985 rank 42nd (tie), 1 entry)
30. Idaho, 11 entries (1980-1985 rank 24th (tie), 6 entries)
31 (tie). Massachusetts, 8 entries (1980-1985 rank 45th (tie), 0 entries)
31 (tie). Quebec, 8 entries (1980-1985 rank 45th (tie), 0 entries)
33. Delaware, 7 entries (1980-1985 rank 42nd (tie), 1 entry)
34 (tie). Louisiana, 6 entries (1980-1985 rank 28th (tie), 5 entries)
34 (tie). Manitoba, 6 entries (1980-1985 rank 15th, 15 entries)
34 (tie). Washington, 6 entries (1980-1985 rank 31st (tie), 4 entries)
37 (tie). Montana, 5 entries (1980-1985 rank 13th, 17 entries)
37 (tie). Alabama, 5 entries (1980-1985 rank 34th (tie), 3 entries)
37 (tie). North Carolina, 5 entries (1980-1985 34th (tie), 3 entries)
40 (tie). Connecticut, 4 entries (1980-1985 rank 38th (tie), 2 entries)
40 (tie). New Hampshire, 4 entries (1980-1985 rank 38th (tie), 2 entries)
42 (tie). New Jersey, 3 entries (1980-1985 rank 45th (tie), 0 entries)
42 (tie). New Brunswick, 3 entries (1980-1985 rank 24th (tie), 6 entries)
42 (tie). West Virginia, 3 entries (1980-1985 rank 34th (tie), 3 entries)
45 (tie). Mexico, 2 entries (1980-1985 rank 24th (tie), 6 entries)
45 (tie). Wyoming, 2 entries (1980-1985 rank 38th (tie), 2 entries)
45 (tie). South Carolina, 2 entries (1980-1985 rank 45th (tie), 0 entries)
45 (tie). Nova Scotia, 2 entries (1980-1985 rank 31st (tie), 4 entries)
49 (tie). Oregon, 1 entry (1980-1985 rank 38th (tie), 2 entries)
49 (tie). Rhode Island, 1 entry (1980-1985 rank 45th (tie), 0 entries)