In a few days the August issue of Outdoor Life will hit news stands. Its cover shows a massive whitetail buck and our feature story details how to get ready for your best deer season ever. But before you jump into your next season, take a look back (way back) and reminisce about deer seasons of the past by clicking through this gallery of our 35 best whitetail covers of all time. They’re laid out in chronological order starting in 1910 and ending with our new August issue. The quotes on each slide come the feature story in each issue, but they don’t necessarily match the covers. Also, don’t forget to vote on your favorite cover (pick a slide number) for the chance to win a Browning pocket knife!
The Big Buck of Picacho
February 1910 “As I looked at him in all his majesty and then far out over that vast waste to the east, the Colorado desert, I thought what a fitting home for the king of deer. It seemed as if the mountain had lost its charm when the buck fell.”
There Stood Three Bucks
November 1936 “Then a twig snapped and above the bush I saw another pair of antlers with four points. Three bucks standing petrified!” Painting by W. H. Hinton
A Buck for the Old Man
November 1943 “I missed my chance, there in the rain that soon would turn to snow. One last glimpse of a white flag, and he was gone.” Painting by Joseph F. Kernan
Where Do They Die?
December 1944 “It’s the strangest thing, but no one even comes across bones of deer that died except in rare instances where the cause is evident–as where deer have died of starvation in the winter woods.” Painting by Ralph Crosby Smith
Bulletproof Buck
November 1948 “I squeezed off the second shot just as the infuriated buck left the ground. He collapsed like an accordion and came plummeting down the slope.” Painting by Bob Kuhn
Deer Overboard
December 1951 “It was last day of the 1950 deer season and so far the four hunters had been skunked. That afternoon they stopped into an inn for a cup of coffee before they made one last try. As they sipped it, the door swung open and a truck driver strode in. ‘Hey,’ he said, ‘Four deer just broke through the ice trying to cross Budd Lake.'” Painting by Charles Dye
Mule Deer vs Whitetails
October 1956 “I’ve hunted deer for close to 30 years…I can sum it up in a few words: the whitetail is a sharp operator, the mule deer is a dope.” Painting by John Floherty Jr.
Best Spots to Get Deer
October 1960 “I use the let-the-deer-find-me type of stillhunting. First I look for sign, such as pawing, horned bushes, and recently used beds. Once I find a likely spot, I stay with it until I am convinced nothing will show.” Painting by John R. McDermott
Best Hunts for This Fall
October 1961 “Deer are plentiful in this region and there is promise of good whitetail hunting almost everywhere in the immense Adirondack Forest Preserve.” Painting by Bill Johnson
Where I Want to Hunt
October 1962 “Out of the brush walked the biggest buck I’ve ever seen, a ridge-runner with a spread of king-size antlers that gleamed like polished walnut meats in the thin winter sunlight.” Painting by Denver Gillen
The Deer Wars
December 1963 “In too many cases, the deer hunter is his own worst enemy, standing in the way of healthier herds and more and better hunting because he cannot or will not give up outmoded traditions and beliefs, because he fears that killing antlerless deer means wiping out out the population, and because he refuses to accept new and progressive ideas based on proven facts.” Painting by Denver Gillen
45 Experts Tell Where to Hunt Deer
October 1966 “A majority of deer harvested in Arkansas (over 20,000 a year) are taken with the use of hounds. Now I have no quarrel with this method, and I enjoy the music, thrill, and anxiety of a good chase. But I’d rather hunt than stand.” Painting by Bob Kuhn
The Buck Picked Me
November 1967 “But I was thinking that there aren’t too many places these days where a person gets three or four chances to bag a buck. Steuben County is one of them, and present indications suggest that it will continue to provide this kind of deer hunting for many years to come.” Painting by William Reussweig
Watch the Buck Runways
October 1968 “She was browsing along the runway and moving slowly toward me. It took her 15 minutes to pass me and move into thickets to the south, and during that time a forkhorn buck passed her on the same runway. Not once did she have the slightest suspicion that there was a man anywhere in the vicinity.” Painting by William Reusswig
An Average Deer Hunt?
October 1970 “I waited until they came to an opening in the trees about 100 yards away from the field. One, two, three deer ran through the opening, and when the spike buck appeared I let him have it. He never moved again.” Painting by Tom Beecham
The Strange White Deer of New York
August 1971 “What is plainly visible to the naked eye, is easily recognizable at a distance, exists close to a major population center, and yet is known to almost no one? Answer: the white-deer herd at Seneca Army Depot in upstate New York.” Painting by David Blossom
The Big Secret
October 1971 “Any hunter needs every small advantage he can muster when the whitetail buck is the game.” Painting by Frank McCarthy
Where and How to Get Your Deer
November 1974 “The deer become spooked as soon as a crowd of hunters moves into the woods. There’s little chance of getting a shot while still-hunting. The trick is to take advantage of other hunters moving the deer through the area, and if you sit long enough in a good spot Jack will get his chance.” Painting by John McDermott
When Can Your Quarry See You?
October 1975 “If a deer does focus on you because of your shape and the light intensity of your clothing, all is not lost. Freeze. The slightly movement on your part will blow your chances.” Photos by Erwin A. Bauer
Deer ’78
October 1978 “Everyone talks and talks about “Old Charlie”-the trophy buck-in deer camp, but hardly anyone ever shoots him. My own downfall was a grouse that fussed about so much, I turned to watch. The buck came out, and that is when I said, ‘Good-bye, Charlie.'” Illustration by Dick Amundsen
A Weather Eye for Whitetails
August 1979 “Knowing how weather affects deer is often the key to good hunting. Trouble is, most people are dead wrong about what they ‘know.'” Cover by Dave Blossom
Deer of Devil’s Crotch
September 1979 “The finest deer stalking I ever witnessed was done by a man I never met, and he didn’t fire a shot.” Painting by Bob Kray
The All-Time No. 1 Whitetail
November 1979 “The buck was shot in 1914, but nobody knew by whom or where. Finally, after 65 years, the mystery is solved.” Illustration by Richard Amundsen
Design Your Own Deer Drive
November 1984 “Stand and stillhunting have their virtues, but if you want to move more deer, see more deer, and shoot more deer, organize a deer drive.” Illustration by Leon Parson
How to Read a Big Buck’s Mind
July 1985 “Deer react very quickly to danger, as every hunter knows; but there are chinks in their armor, as every hunter ought to know.” Photo by Leonard Lee Rue III
Secrets of Deer Experts
September 1985 “A whitetail may sometimes disbelieve its hearing and sometimes disbelieve its eyesight, but it will never disbelieve its nose.” Photo by Wyman Meinzer
Web-Footed Whitetails
December 1985 “The part that water plays in a whitetail’s life is debatable…but I have never found whitetails far from water.” Illustration by Clay McGaughy
Weather and Whitetails
September 1986 “Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor gloom of fog should stop the deer hunter from making his appointed rounds. The bucks are out there no matter what the weather, and you’re not going to fill your tag while sitting in camp.” Photo by Wyman Meinzer
Hunt with a Grunt
July 1987 “‘The whitetail is surprising vocal,’ Dr. Larry Marchinton said recently. ‘Dr. Tom Atkeson and I have identified 12 different vocalizations to date, and there may be even more.'” Photo by Wyman Meinzer
Cattails for Whitetails
December 1987 “There is probably no other type of habitat that provides better cover for a whitetail buck during the hunting season than a cattail marsh. Biologists have noticed the cattail’s importance to deer, too.” Illustration by Charles Denault
Sit Still for Whitetails
September 1988 “There is a big difference between sitting in one place for a couple of hours and sitting still.” Illustration by Leon Parson
Next Year’s Deer
December 1988 “Post-season is the best time to search out a buck’s bedding area. Backtrack right to him.” Illustration by Charles Denault
Deer of the Year ’99
May 1999 “Fifteen minutes was all the time Corey Reynard needed to bag his trophy whitetail.” Photo by Donald M. Jones
Downtown Deer
March 2006 “Many cities have developed special whitetail seasons in an effort to reduce the number of deer-auto collisions.” Photo by Ang Caggiano
Whitetail Prep Guide
August 2011 “My deadliest deer gear isn’t my rifle or my bow, but a ratty stub of a pencil and a pocket notebook I liberated from my insurance agent’s office.” Photo by Lance Krueger


Which cover was your favorite? Vote in the comments section for the chance to win this Browning Prism II pocket knife. We’ll randomly pick one lucky voter. All votes must be made before noon E.T. July 28.

Check out our best deer covers and vote for your favorite in the comments section for your chance to win a new pocket knife from Browning.