These 10 states are practicing quality deer management and we should thank them.
Whitetail populations are in flux across the nation. Some states have been seeing declines in overall populations, record book entries, and overall harvest numbers. However these states have been doing well with deer herds in a time of disease, increased predators, and ultimately over harvesting.
Minnesota has one of the highest whitetail populations in the northern part of the United States, and it’s not a coincidence. The wolf population could hinder their efforts, but for now it’s apparent the population is a on a steady incline.
Texas is one of the premier states for hunting, but their 4-million whitetail population is the product of a sustainable management program.
Arkansas has high deer density and not a lot of natural predators compared to other states. Arkansas harvest numbers haven’t seen a drastic dip like other states have experienced at the turn of 2010.
Although Iowa felt a hit from EHD in the years of 2012 and 2013, they have been seeing a steady climb back to the golden years around 2003-2005. It usually takes two to three years to draw an out-of-state tag and this could possibly help keep their big bucks on their hoofs rather than truck beds.
Nebraska is a bit of sleeper state when it comes to deer management. In the Midwest, they had the lowest number of antler-less deer harvest. What does that mean? More does mean more deer in the near future.
In the 2016 QDMA whitetail report ranked state’s biggest issues with deer populations. Indiana was the only state with no reported issues. Their neighboring state, Illinois’ number one issue was CWD. So if Indiana can stay disease free, things should stay good. Stay careful, Hoosier State.
Missouri is s strong state for whitetail. Their populations have remained somewhat steady, but the structure of their population has changed a bit. Missouri hunters are now focusing on more mature deer, which is one form of strong deer management.
Kansas has big bucks and many acres of public land. From 2005 to 2010, they ranked third for record book entires. If that doesn’t speak for itself, than I don’t know what does.
Mississippi is known for big southern bucks and strong deer management practices. The Magnolia state ranks first for 3 1/2-old and older bucks harvested. Although it’s not the best state for shooting a 200-inch buck, it’s great for a solid mature whitetail.
The Bluegrass State hasn’t always been known for deer management and strong populations, but Kentucky is doing many things right. Many record book bucks have been harvested in the pat few years along with strong harvest numbers, while maintaining quality population numbers.
So here they are – the 10 states that are doing their best in regard to deer management.