Top 5 Mature Buck Producing States

Molon Labe

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Interesting data driven results!
I'm guessing this has something to do with the less than optimal genetics in Mississippi and Louisiana?
Aged out 3yr olds in that 100" range...maybe they get the pass more often?
Or more importantly the 2yr old bucks might not have the bone on their head to get shot?

I would think that PA, MI and WI would be at the bottom...seems like those states have the largest orange armies.

Thanks for posting!

might want to adjust your wording on the worst states.
" Below are the low six, with North Carolina and Ohio tying for last place."

Wisconsin is firmly in last place with 16%...
The list has NC and OH on the bottom but they were both at 28%
 

hobbes

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I wouldn't even consider that list of top 5 "mature" buck states if wanting to hunt big whitetails. I would maybe hunt TX or OK but only if I was suddenly interested in paying $$$ to hunt. I wouldn't put 3 of them in a top 45 list.
How do they come up with ages in states that have tele-check?
 
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Panhandler80

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Numbers make sense. Much lower Hunter : screw acre ratio in “Top 5” and with the exception of a few areas in a couple states… it takes longer to develop even a moderate deer set of antlers. Plus so much private land hunting allows clubs / leases (the majority of harvested deer) to make rules and stick by them.
 

LostArra

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I wouldn't even consider your top 5 "mature" buck states if wanting to hunt big whitetails. I would maybe hunt TX or OK but only if I was suddenly interested in paying $$$ to hunt. I wouldn't put 3 of them in a top 45 list.
How do they come up with ages in states that have tele-check?

There is a fair amount of public land in Oklahoma with good deer populations but I agree 100% on the collection of data. My son inlaw and I killed mature bucks last season during bow season but the state has no idea other than we killed bucks that had 8 points.


The state has done a good job of promoting the idea of not shooting young bucks. They won't force you but less forkies are getting shot. The state promotes opportunity not quality otherwise they would get the rifle season out of the rut.
 

kgk_kcc

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Always interesting to see studies like this and wonder how accurately the available data really represents what hunters see/think. Another interesting thought to consider: states like TX and OK with lots of large ranches often have management operations in place where they "cull" some bucks before they hit 3.5+ which could skew some of the data. Awesome publication, surprising results.
 

Lowg08

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I would dare to say the NC data is a touch skewed. The deer density in the mountain area and harvest numbers put a hurt on the easternmost part of the state
 

LostArra

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Always interesting to see studies like this and wonder how accurately the available data really represents what hunters see/think. Another interesting thought to consider: states like TX and OK with lots of large ranches often have management operations in place where they "cull" some bucks before they hit 3.5+ which could skew some of the data. Awesome publication, surprising results.
I'm not sure I would call this a "study" but an observation. Oklahoma has become a recent "big buck" state due to effective promotion. The online check-in system is reporting far fewer button bucks and forkies being killed. This is due to hunter decisions since there are no point restrictions in the state while there are restrictions on many leased ranches. Deer age is not reported by hunters and jaws are not submitted except on QDM properties.

The word "cull" really trips my bs meter. Other than possibly high fence operations, usually small operations, culling is just an excuse to shoot something. It simply takes a mouth off the habitat dinner table which is fine but it does nothing for "trophy" potential or genetics on a free range herd.

Overall the OK wildlife dept does a good job but is usually hamstrung by the special interest legislators, usually large ranch owners or their representatives.Recently there have been bills introduced to prohibit the wildlife department from expanding public land by buying more land or leasing it for hunters.

The dept loses some credibility with me over their CWD stance which is "the disease is not in our state" while every bordering state has reported CWD and there is no testing available for hunters in OK. The department checks a hundred deer every year from the 100K killed and if those are negative then we don't have it. Interestingly two game farms (one elk and one whitetail) made the news due to CWD in their herds. The elk were all slaughtered. I don't know about the deer.
 

RellimMiller

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Aug 21, 2020
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That's so interesting. I was always told that the south doesn't produce big mature bucks. Apparently that's totally wrong!
 

Fartrell Cluggins

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Dec 20, 2019
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A mature 3-5 year old buck in the coastal regions of LA, MS, AL an FL may weigh 120-140 pounds and on't have a rack that will make anyone proud.
 

Elktaco

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Feb 22, 2016
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Pretty funny that Wisconsin has the lowest % of bucks over 3, but leads "All" states in BC bucks??!!
 

Pigskin

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Apr 1, 2020
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I’m not to sure about this article, Mississippi and Louisiana???
I can kinda see why Wisconsin might be in a lower bracket simply because all the CWD that’s went on up there over the last 20 years....
 

Auburnpack

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I would dare to say the NC data is a touch skewed. The deer density in the mountain area and harvest numbers put a hurt on the easternmost part of the state
I was thinking the same. Hard to compare the Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal P. Totally different areas when it comes to deer.
 

Chris B

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Dec 20, 2019
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Born and raised in northeast Oklahoma. I think there are less young deer being shot , with that said I don't hunt here . I spend all my time in Kansas.
 

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