Too often whitetail deer hunting success depends largely upon the hunting area selected. This is unfortunate, for not every hunter can afford to travel to areas where the hunting opportunity is best. If he could, there would be no need for this book, which is designed to improve the hunter’s chances of success in the less favorable covers as well as others.
The highest success ratio, which often ranges up to fifty percent, is found in Texas. This, of course, does not necessarily mean that Texas has more deer to the acre than New Jersey, but it does indicate that there are more deer per hunter or that they are more readily bagged.
Main occasionally turns in a score that hovers around forty percent, and in some of the lake states, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, one hunter out of every three may get his deer in good years.
The general average, however, is much lower, even though many states have some sections which provide exceptional hunting. The most prevalent average, in what might be termed “good” deer states, is one in ten.
During the past few years the general success ratio, taking in all the states where deer hunting is permitted, has shown a slight increase. This is an indication that deer are more plentiful but is partly the result of liberalized hunting regulations.
The excuse that there just are not enough deer to go around—that too many hunters are competing for the available supply is hardly in keeping with the facts.
Rarely does the annual kill exceed twenty percent of the total deer herd of any large area, and in most of the major hunting states the kill averages around nine percent. Actually, the range is from five to thirteen percent in the majority of all the deer hunting states.
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Most of our game birds and animals yield a far greater kill in proportion to their numbers than the whitetail, which is not surprising when you consider the overall picture. What many sportsmen cannot seem to realize is that the deer herd in most areas would be vastly improved if a greater harvest were taken.
It has been established, quite definitely, that it is biologically sound to harvest from twenty to twenty-five percent of any regional herd, and the herd actually would benefit through this reduction.
The low success ratio can be attributed to a number of definite but unrelated factors. Among these are unsound restrictive regulations, coupled with two characteristics of the average individual deer hunter. First, he is not sufficiently versed in hunting skill. Secondly, he is not a sufficiently good marksman.
Here are the areas for hunting whitetail deer with success:
The percentage of “good” deer hunters, as determined by consistent success, is very small. Despite their interest in and devotion to the sport, the majority do not have the time, training or aptitude to develop into capable woodsmen and skilled marksmen.
Unquestionably a large percentage of the unsuccessful hunters fail because they have not been instructed on what to do and what not to do.