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15. White-tailed Deer---Iowa

map of showing that white-tailed deer live in most of the US and Cental America, Western Canada, and some of northern South America
The whitetail is easily the most recognized big game animal in North America. But it wasn’t always so. In 1900 there were only 500,000 deer in the country, but once game laws and hunting licenses were established, using hunter dollars to manage them brought numbers to over 30 million today. The whitetail is very adaptable and this is reflected in its feeding habits, browsing and grazing on many kinds of twigs, grasses, shrubs, fungi, nuts, and leaves. In many areas whitetail numbers have increased to the point where hunters have difficulty keeping them in check. They are also now commonly found in towns and cities where they spread Lyme disease, cause auto collisions, and eat gardens and shrubs, leading to much public outcry. Hunting deer in West Virginia is a huge job creator and brings over $230 million a year into the state’s economy.


Samuel with white-tailed deerThis 172 inch Boone and Crockett buck was harvested in Iowa in 1998. I retired in May of 1998 and this allowed me to hunt in November, a key time to bowhunt big whitetails, in Iowa. During my hunt there, I scouted around one morning and found a spot where a huge rub on a tree was along a trail that came from a bedding area in a clearcut. I put up a tree stand, knowing I could only hunt it with an East wind. East winds are not common in that area, but as luck or God would have it, the wind shifted in that direction that afternoon, so I went there to hunt. Just before dark this dandy buck came down that trail, but instead of coming my way, he moved off in another direction. When he stopped at 48 yards, I made a perfect shot and he fell within seconds. This was the biggest whitetail I’ve ever taken.