Bill W. from Virginia notes that there seems to be more big bucks being taken than ever before and wonders why that is happening.
Bill, you are right. "The good old days" are now when it comes to harvesting bigger bucks. I think there are several reasons for this. First, the quality deer management philosophy is being accepted by more and more hunters. This management strategy creates more good bucks, because you are harvesting more does, and passing up small bucks. This is happening via state regulations, or individual hunt lease regulations self imposed by the hunters on that lease.
Dr. Dave Samuel
In addition, even where there are no antler restrictions, more and more hunters are passing up smaller bucks, and this increases the chances for them to take a big buck.
The top big buck state, relative to numbers harvested, in the bow season, is Wisconsin. There are two things to consider here. First, there are a number of good bucks there. But, there are also a ton of bowhunters living in Wisconsin. If you put that high number of bowhunters in Iowa, Illinois, etc., those states might take more big bucks. Regardless, the day of big bucks is now.
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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.