While records indicate that the odds of a deer hunter bagging a record-book buck are increasing every year, the current odds of such a happening still are one hunter in 20,000.
Despite these low odds, encountering a trophy whitetail remains at the heart of many deer hunters hopes and dreams.
Even though trophy is a relative term for individual hunters, the Boone and Crockett Club has established minimum-antler scores for whitetails to be recognized as trophy or record-book bucks.
The Club recently released Records of North American Whitetail Deer, the most complete book of trophy records and information on Americas favorite big-game animal, and this book is the ideal one for the deer hunter who dreams of taking a record-book buck.
Records of North American Whitetails lists the continents 12,254 whitetail trophies ranked according to their all-time Boone and Crockett scores.
More than just a listing of trophies by state and province, the book also has state and provincial maps indicating where trophy bucks have been taken. Too, the book has chapters on best locations for encountering a trophy buck in the years ahead, adaptable management strategies, insights into genetics and breeding behavior, modern market hunting, and 30 colorful pages of record bucks taken in recent years.
Two of my favorite sections of the book are the six pages on New Yorks record whitetails and the removable United States map that shows a county-by-county distribution of Boone and Crockett record bucks.
N.Y. Boone and Crockett Bucks
Of the 12,254 record-book bucks, New York State accounts for 101 of them, seventy-five in the typical category and 26 in the non-typical category. In essence, New York has produced one out of every 123 recorded Boone and Crockett bucks.
New Yorks top-producing counties are Monroe, Ontario, and Steuben in the western part of the state, and Suffolk on Long Island. Each one of those counties has six entries in the record book. On the local level, St. Lawrence County has produced four record-book bucks, Jefferson has produced three, Lewis has produced two, and Franklin has produced one.
The Empire States largest typical buck was taken by Roosevelt Luckey in 1939. That 14-point buck was shot in Allegany County, and it had a Boone and Crockett score of 198 3/8. St. Lawrence County has two bucks listed in the states top ten. Craig Morrill harvested a 10-point in 1995, and that deer ranks number seven with a 179 3/8 Boone and Crockett score. Tim Lucas shot a 12-point in 1997, and that deer ranks number ten with a 177 4/8 Boone and Crockett score.
Homer Boylan holds the record for New Yorks largest non-typical buck. Like Luckey, Boylan also shot his buck in 1939 in Allegany County. The Boylan buck had 16 points and a Boone and Crockett score of 244 2/8. St. Lawrence County boasts of the states second-largest non-typical buck, a 15-point taken by Ken Locey in 1992. The Locey buck carried a 225 2/8 Boone and Crockett score.
North American Perspective
The top-producing states (number of record book bucks) are Wisconsin (1,232), Illinois (1,173), Iowa (1,037), and Minnesota (931). Amazingly, these four states account for 36 percent of North Americas record-book bucks. Rounding out the top-ten-producing states are Kentucky (685), Missouri (654), Ohio (642), Kansas (586), Texas (553), and Indiana (463).
Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba rank as the top-producing provinces in Canada. Saskatchewan has 720 record bucks, Alberta has 479 bucks in the record books, and Manitoba accounts for 130 record bucks. Too, Saskatchewan boasts of the largest typical whitetail ever, a 14-point shot by Milo Hanson in 1993. Taken near Biggar, that buck had a 213 5/8 Boone and Crockett score.
Saskatchewan has also produced the number six, eight, and nine biggest typical bucks of all time while Alberta produced the number five biggest typical buck of all time.
The two largest non-typical bucks of all time came from Missouri and Ohio, and, ironically, neither buck was shot by a hunter as both sets of antlers were picked up. The Missouri buck scored 333 7/8 Boone and Crockett, and it was found in St. Louis County in 1981. The Ohio buck scored 328 2/8 Boone and Crockett, and it was found in Portage County in 1940.
Records of North American Whitetail Deer is a 582-page, hardcover book that retails for $34.95. The book is available in stores or by contacting the Boone and Crockett Club at www.boone-crockett.org or at 888-840-4868.
Today: Regular deer season closes in Southern Zone.
Monday: Late bowhunting and muzzleloader seasons open in Southern Zone.
Saturday: Canada Goose season closes in Northeast Goose Hunting Area.
Saturday: Muskie season closes on the St. Lawrence River.
Sunday: Duck season closes in Northeast Zone.
Dec. 21: First day of winter.