80-Year-Old Retired Nurse Shoots Buck from Kitchen Window, and More Deer Hunting News

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Using wolves to manage CWD, record harvests last season, and more March whitetail headlines

Check out our roundup of March whitetail headlines. Image by John Hafner

The Best Hunting Story of Last Season

Virginia Luce, 80, recently retired after working 25 years as a nurse. She and her 83-year-old husband live and hunt on their 80-acre Texas spread. “I do all my hunting from the house now,” she told the Dallas Morning News. “My kitchen is my deer stand.” Virginia was at her post making lunch last Nov. 8 when she peeked out the window and saw a big buck. She poked her rifle barrel through the window and touched the trigger of her .243. Click the link for the outcome.
 

The Best Big Buck Story of 2020

Dieter Herbert, a 27-year-old New York City carpenter, is addicted to hunting whitetails in the suburbs. On Halloween day 2020, hunting from the ground, Dieter arrowed a 227-pound buck that net-scored 191 3/8, the new state-record typical bow kill.

Can Wolves Help Curb the Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease?

Researchers are studying the “predator cleansing effect” in Yellowstone National Park. 

CWD Found in 4 New Iowa Counties

Woodbury, Winneshiek, Fayette, and Decatur counties bring the total Iowa positive county count to eight. 

Hunters Shooting More Mature Bucks than Ever

According to the National Deer Association’s 2021 Whitetail Report, hunters killed more mature bucks in the 2019-20 season than ever reported before. Out of a harvest of 2.9 million bucks, a record 39% of those deer were estimated to be 3 1/2 years of age or older.

“Hunters now shoot far more bucks that are at least 3 1/2 years old than 1 1/2 years,” said Kip Adams, the NDA’s chief conservation officer. “That’s a monumental shift in attitude from two decades ago.”
Also from the NDA’s 2021 report: You never would have thought it, but New Jersey is the No. 1 state in the nation in terms of the proportion of whitetails killed with a bow (68% of the harvest). Idaho is tops for deer killed with a rifle, with gun hunters accounting for 94% of the harvest.  

Click here to download your free copy of the NDA 2021 Whitetail Report.

New Marlin Lever Guns on the Horizon

If you’re a fan of Marlin lever-action deer rifles, be patient a while longer. Ruger, which purchased Marlin during the Remington Arms bankruptcy last fall, plans to roll out new Ruger-built Model 1985s and 336s in late 2021 or early 2022.

More Hunters Meant Higher Deer Harvests in 2020

Wildlife officials have spent years trying to stave off the decline of hunting in America. In 2020, they finally saw a glimmer of hope.

“I’ve been working on this issue for 15 years,” said Matt Dunfee, the director of special programs at the Wildlife Management Institute, a national conservation nonprofit that focuses on restoring wildlife populations. “All I needed was a pandemic.”

The challenge now is to keep these new hunters engaged and buying licenses into the future.

More new hunters during the 2020 seasons led to increased deer harvests across the country. 

In Maine, an unofficial total of 33,157 deer were tagged, the highest total in 18 years. 

Wisconsin hunters registered 190,646 deer during the nine-day gun season, up 16% from 2019. The number of bucks harvested was 86,082, compared with 76,078 last year.

Oklahoma and Arkansas both reported an increase in license sales and a record-breaking harvest. In Arkansas, hunters checked more deer than any season since 1938, with a reported 216,890 animals and counting.  

In Oklahoma, all-time record license sales led to a preliminary 2020 harvest exceeding 120,000 deer.
 

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