Show Me The Bucks

Jess P. from New York writes to ask where to hunt big bucks. "If you had the opportunity to hunt really big bucks, exactly where would you go and what, in general, would you be looking for?"

Whoa — now there’s a loaded question if I ever heard one, but let me take a stab at it. If God said, you can hunt one place, how would you decide where to go? That’s the way I read this question. The other day I was on the Quality Deer Management Association web site ( and went to their Whitetail Report, 2009.(

Dr. Dave Samuel

That report is filled with interesting material on deer. Great stuff. In there is a report and color map showing the top counties in the country where the most Boone and Crockett bucks have been harvested. You will see that most of the best counties are: 1) In farm country; 2) Near large rivers; and, 3) In areas or states that have relatively low hunting pressure. 

In river bottoms you have great cover and some feed, but adjacent to those rivers you have farm fields full of corn and soybeans and other things deer love to eat. Add that to a lower hunting pressure and you have a recipe for big bucks. That’s why parts of Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, and other farm, Midwestern states are on that list. 

For a fine selection of Hunting gear, click here.

Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of‘s content at Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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