Not surprisingly perhaps, the Boone & Crockett Club, which keeps records of hunting trophies, released data recently showing that the number of trophy whitetail entries has increased more than 400 percent since the early 1980s.
And for the recent five-year period from 2005 to 2010, Wisconsin ranks first in Boone & Crockett trophy entries with 383 (including both typical and non-typical racks). Minnesota ranked ninth with 172 trophy entries.
“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.
During the past 30 years, 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.
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.
Here are the B & C trophy whitetail rankings for 2005-2010:
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)
For more information, go to the Boone & Crockett website at www.boone-crockett.org.