Best State for a Big Mule Deer?

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posted on November 14, 2011
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What’s the Best State for a Big Mule Deer?

This question came from a comment on a previous blog post on destinations for whitetails. These days, a true trophy mule deer is considered by many hunters to be North America’s most difficult game animal to take. So what state should a hunter set his or her sights on to find a monster?

The Record Book Research: If you want to find comprehensive records of trophy animals taken in North America, there’s only one place to turn—The Boone & Crockett Club. Fortunately for us, today’s “book” is a user-friendly online database that allows users (for a fee) to search B&C’s records through detailed queries. A few minutes on the Trophy Database Search gave me all of the information I could handle.

The Rankings: Since we’re looking for up-to-date information, I searched the database for both typical and non-typical mule deer entries made since the year 2000. In order to qualify for the B&C “book” a typical mule deer must score 180 points or better and a non-typical must score 215 points or better.

State

Typical Record

Number of Typical Entries

Non-Typical Record

Number of Non-Typical Entries

Total B&C Entries

1. Colorado

207 6/8

220

306 3/8

55

275

2. Wyoming

206 6/8

66

285 4/8

14

80

3. New Mexico

213 4/8

54

248 4/8

11

65

4. Utah

209 7/8

44

246 2/8

11

55

5. Idaho

201 4/8

41

257

10

51

6. Arizona*

203 3/8

25

272 1/8

14

39

7. Nevada *

192

30

248 4/8

9

39

8. Oregon

202 2/8

27

248 1/8

2

29

9. Montana

207 7/8

23

236 6/8

3

26

10. Kansas

199 4/8

6

237 2/8

11

17

*AZ & NV are tied for number of entries but AZ wins with bigger #1 records both typical and non-typical

The Undisputed Champion: Colorado wins hands-down in every category. Not only does Colorado boast the world’s No. 1 entry in the past decade with a 306 3/8” non-typical, it crushes every other state in number of B&C entries. Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and Idaho all compare favorably to one another to round out the top 5.

The Good News: Nearly every state that has a mule deer population is capable of producing a trophy animal. The state of Nebraska has only 4 entries over the past 10 years, yet a hunter there was able to take an impressive 230 6/8” non-typical.

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