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