True Whitetail Trophies are Scarce

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA thought occurred to me the other day as I was doing some research for a future hunt that I probably will never go on (I do this a lot). While realizing how hard it seems to harvest a true and legitimate trophy animal, I thought about how many years some of my friends have hunted and how many Boone & Crockett animals they have harvested. The answers to those queries were somewhat shocking.

One particular friend I have is a whitetail outfitter in Kansas.  He has hunted for around 40 years. Half of that in the west and half of that in Kansas, guiding whitetail hunters. He has one ‘booner’ on his wall. He has a couple more bucks that were near the mark, but only one solid candidate. So in twenty years of hunting whitetails and having some of the best prime ground to hunt on, one single monster is his lone member of the B&C club. I don’t know about you, but that seems like it might be harder to kill a booner than the magazines and hunting shows represent. As a side note, my whitetail hunting friend has guided numerous hunters to a B&C legends.

Another hunting friend I have is a whitetail psycho who hunts at least four states every year. He has hunted for around 30 years and has not killed a legitimate 170-inch typical buck. I never really thought about it as he has a dozen of super nice bucks on the wall, but he has never killed a booner. Wow. Hunting prime states during the prime times with awesome gear and he still can’t put a booner on the wall? That’s a truer and more common result of trophy deer hunting than most people know.

However, I might add that using the BC scores to measure a trophy is of course a personal choice and not a standard that everyone should have or even hope for. This traveling hunter friend of mine could have possibly killed a few booners if he would give up his practice of not being able to pass up any buck in the 150-inch range. I don’t blame him though because 140-inch deer make me excited.  

Finally, I looked at my own trophy collection. I have been a serious hunter for around 25 years, give or take a few years at a time, and that includes chasing whitetails. I have zero booners on the wall. I have one buck that came up an inch short while being officially scored, but it doesn’t count. I have seen several big boys but never could connect an arrow or bullet with one. While sitting on a stand during one Kansas November, I was lucky enough to observe two booners within 100 yards of each other near my treestand. It doesn’t matter because they died from old age probably. 

So, as I contemplate the 70 years of whitetail hunting experience listed above that involve average guys hunting, there is only one thing that I can take away from all of that data: killing a monster whitetail is harder than it seems. Period.