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Top Trophy Whitetail States for 2023

Boone and Crockett’s Big Buck State Showdown 


In 2020, we published Records of North American Whitetail Deer, Sixth Edition. This 700-page whitetail encyclopedia featured 17,000 trophy listings. In addition, we ranked the top 53 states and provinces according to the number of whitetail records listed. Those stats compiled whitetail trophy entries from 1950-2019. Things have changed in just the past three years. States have fallen behind, while others have gained ground. 

As record entries pour in from states and provinces, we want to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information in the whitetail world. Using the Boone and Crockett Club’s County Search Tool, we compiled the following breakdown of the most recent record-book entries from 2020-2022.

FIRST ROUND: If I were a betting man, I would bet we’ll see more big bucks from Texas. Maverick County borders Mexico and hunters there entered 11 record-book whitetails from 2020-2022. Bordering Maverick to the east, Zavala County is home to the current state record typical whitetail taken in 2021 by Alberto Bailleres (top). At bottom is an award-winning typical taken by Erick W. Organ in Dodge County, Minnesota. This buck received a First Award at the 31st Big Game Awards Program, however Minnesota dropped out of the previous top 4 states.

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR: Three of the four states are on the rise! Shown here is Lear C. McCoy with his Ohio whitetail scoring 190-3/8 points.


The Ohio State men’s basketball team had what we call a building year. Their season is over. On the other hand, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is a number three seed going into the NCAA tournament. And the whitetail entries appear to be taking a lesson from the ladies.  The Buckeye State also ranks number three for the number of trophy whitetail entries from 2020-2022. Washington County has the most entries, with six. It sits on the Ohio River, which borders West Virginia. Even so, Ohio hunters have a shot at a book buck just about anywhere. Most of the most recent entries are scattered throughout the state, with one or two trophies per county making up nearly half of the overall entries. 


Let’s just say that this season, you have a better chance at tagging a record-book whitetail than the Wildcats have at winning the championship. My apologies to Kentucky fans, but the good news is that your trophy whitetail deer hunting is coming around. With 91 whitetail entries from 2020-2022, Kentucky is slowly creeping up in the rankings. Joby Gossett’s typical whitetail from 2022 is the state’s number two typical. Taken in Pulaski County, this buck may have been a surprise, but it shouldn’t have been. The county has produced the most entries (six) for Kentucky between 2020-2022. It sits nearly smack in the middle of the state and encompasses parts of the Daniel Boone National Forest. With a name like that, how can you not have big bucks? 

INTO THE FINALS: Dustin Huff harvested the second largest typical whitetail of all-time during Indiana's 2021 season. Indiana moved up from the 10th spot to second in the last three years.


A close look at the standings reveals that Indiana is coming on more than strong in the number two spot. The state has struggled to break into the top 10 for decades, but not anymore. In fact, Indiana has been a sleeper state until recently. Hunters there may not appreciate word getting around about their big deer. Still, after Dustin Huff came along in 2021 and arrowed the second-largest typical whitetail in the records, the cat is officially out of the bag. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, it’s worth reading. Indiana’s ascension isn’t by accident. Managers there have worked to create this big-buck success story. Want to know how? Read all about it in “Indiana’s Big Buck Whitetail Revival.” 


The Badgers at the University of Wisconsin didn’t make the cut for March Madness this year, but they’ve still got some of the best trophy whitetail hunting in the world, according to our records. After seven decades, Wisconsin continues to reign supreme for the number of Boone and Crockett whitetail entries. The state has 125 entries, with 81 typical and 44 non-typical deer entering the book between 2020-2022. Historically, Buffalo County has been the epicenter of record-book bucks. Now, we see Polk County entering the race for the top county. Between 2020-2022, Polk nudged out Buffalo County with ten entries to Buffalo’s seven. Both counties border rivers, making you wonder if there’s something in the water.  

WINNER! Wisconsin maintains its ranking as the top whitetail state dating back to the 1950s. Charles R. Bocook harvested this award-winning whitetail in Columbia County, Wisconsin. With a final B&C score of 192-6/8 points, it was recognized with a Second Award at B&C's 31st Big Game Awards Program.

 RANK 2020-2022 NUMBER OF ENTRIES 2020-2022 RANK 1950-2019
1. Wisconsin  125 entries 1
2. Indiana ↑ 112 entries 10
3. Ohio ↑ 107 entries 5
4.  Kentucky ↑ 91 entries 6
5. Iowa ↓  83 entries 3
6. Illinois ↓  77 entries 2
7. Minnesota ↓ 66 entries 4
8. Texas ↑ 58 entries 11
9. Kansas ↓ 56 entries 8
10. Missouri ↓ 49 entries 7
11. Saskatchewan ↓ 42 entries 9
12. Alberta 19 entries
13. Michigan ↑ 15 entries 14
14. Nebraska ↓ 14 entries 13
15. Pennsylvania ↑ 14 entries
16. South Dakota ↑ 14 entries

Want to access Boone and Crockett’s extensive record system? Subscribe to Big Game Records LIVE, and you can use the County Search Tool, as well as numerous other subscriber-only tools. 


The Importance of Records in Big Game Management

When you enter your trophy into the Boone and Crockett system, you aren’t just honoring the animal and its habitat. You are participating in a data collection system that started in the 1920s and was refined by Club members in 1950. Today, there are nearly 60,000 trophy records. By establishing a records database more than 70 years ago, the Boone and Crockett Club established a scientific baseline from which researchers can use to study wildlife management. If you’re still  on the fence about entering your trophy, we encourage you to read Why Should I Bother to Enter My Trophy. To the best of our ability, we ensure that the trophies entered into the records were taken in accordance with the tenets of fair chase ethics. Despite what some may think, the Boone and Crockett records are not about a name or a score in a book—because in the end, there’s so much more to the score.


Whitetail Products

Records of North American Whitetail Deer, Sixth Edition

The sixth edition of our most popular record book -- Records of North American Whitetail Deer! This greatly expanded sixth edition features over 17,000 trophy listings for whitetail and Coues’ whitetail deer dating back to the late 1800s up through December 31, 2019. Along with the state and provincial listings, readers will also enjoy the hunting stories of 37 of the top whitetail deer taken in the 21st Century.


Regular Price: $60

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Whitetail Distribution Map

Released in 2012. The Boone and Crockett Club maintains the records of native, free-ranging North American big game as a vital conservation record in assessing the success of wildlife management programs. The data used to produce this map includes entries of whitetail deer accepted by the Club from 1830 through 2011.


Regular Price: $14.95


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-Theodore Roosevelt