“More hunters pursue whitetails than any other species, and whitetail hunters contribute more financially than any other type of hunter. Collectively speaking, whitetails are the foundation of the entire hunting industry,” stated the Quality Deer Management Association in their recent whitetail report.
Every year, the QDMA produces an annual report on whitetail trends. The 60-page report lists information on harvests, species’ range, sex ratio and other popular management topics in the United States and Canada. I have listed below a few facts from the report that I found interesting.
The 2011-12 deer season is closed or nearing so for states/provinces across the whitetail’s range, and biologists will be crunching data in the coming months to assess the outcome of this past season. For the 2012 Whitetail Report, QDMA compared harvest data from the three most recent seasons available: 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.
More bucks were harvested in 2010 than in 2009, according to the data from 35 states compiled in the 2012 Whitetail Report. In general, of the 35 states they received data from for the past two seasons, 54 percent of them shot more antlered bucks in 2010 than in 2009.
Antlered Buck Harvest
n Buck harvest for all the regions of the United States in 2010 was 2,776,867. Canada’s total harvest for six provinces (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan) was 116,147.
n The top five states for the 2010 antlered buck harvest were Texas with 357,378 bucks, Michigan (212,341), Georgia (155,255), Wisconsin (148,378) and Alabama (129,000).
n The top five states for 2010 buck harvest per square mile were Texas at 5.8 bucks per square mile, South Carolina (4.8), Wisconsin (4.4), Indiana (4.3) and Georgia (4.1).
In the Northeast, hunters shot 479,188 antlered bucks. This was 3 percent fewer than in 2009, but nine of 13 states actually shot more bucks in 2010. The lower total buck harvest was largely due to West Virginia shooting 27 percent fewer bucks in 2010. The largest mast crop on record and extreme rain in parts of the state during the first two days of the season significantly reduced West Virginia hunters’ success.
Virginia also shot 12 percent fewer bucks while Pennsylvania (plus-13 percent), Delaware (plus-15 percent) and Rhode Island (plus-28 percent) all enjoyed banner years. Numerically, Pennsylvania shot the most bucks (122,930), followed by New York (106,960) and Virginia (95,831). The Northeast averaged shooting 2.1 bucks per square mile and ranged from 0.4 buck in Maine to 3.8 per square mile in Maryland and New Jersey.