The author, a highly skilled and successful Minnesota bowhunter, had this to say —
“The whitetail deer is a tremendous game animal. It is a challenge, a supreme challenge. Lots of hunters would like to believe it is a mysterious animal. It’s not mysterious, there just are plenty of things we haven’t learned about it yet. Putting it into the mystery category does only one thing — takes the fault off our shoulders, mentally, when we don’t tag a deer. That makes us feel better, but it is the wrong conclusion.
“The whitetail comes the closest among North American big game to being “everyman’s” quarry. It is the most widespread species. It can — and does — live comfortably right under our noses, but we seldom see it. I know that if we ever got a chance to see all the deer that are in some areas, we’d be astonished, and if we could see all the good bucks there are everywhere, we’d be equally astonished.
“Not only is the whitetail the closest to being every hunter’s main animal, it also is the number one trophy in my book.
“If you have the money, are able to travel, get the right guide/outfitter, you can take any kind of trophy animal, excluding trophy whitetails. With whitetails, you have to pretty much do it yourself. Just try to tally the number of hours all U.S. whitetail hunters spend in the woods each fall and early winter, comparing that tally to the number of Pope & Young book heads, and the returns on your investment in time are small.
“This may surprise you, but I consider any whitetail a trophy. For the beginning hunter needing to fill a tag just to see what it’s all about, that is the truest. Far too many neophyte hunters mistakenly begin hunting with thoughts only of a big-racked buck. As a result, it takes them a long, long time to get their feet wet, and equally a long time to know what tagging an animal is really like. Their misguided goals slow down their learning curve greatly. As you spend more time in the woods and take more animals, you refine that to good antlers or trophy antlers. And you should always, always, always keep meat — venison — in mind. There’s nothing better.
“Then, too, you have to consider the fact that not every area of the country grows book heads. Some areas have so much hunting pressure that animals don’t get a chance to grow up, the soil doesn’t have the right mineral content, or the food is not good enough and/or abundant enough. In those areas, the trophy bucks simply are the biggest ones there. Many hunters need to settle for this because not everyone can be lucky enough to live in the best trophy areas or be able to get to them frequently enough.
“This works into the next category — if you want to get the buster trophies, you spend your time where they are. Simple as that. You adjust your hunting to fit your goals.
“The key, anywhere, is to try to put it all together to improve your odds. And that’s what we’re trying to do in this book — help you improve your odds,” he said.
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