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Who's Got Game? Voters, Miranda say deer hunting best in Midwest

10/29/2007

Our readers are right on, says famed bow hunter Tom Miranda.

In ESPNOutdoors.com reader poll Who's Got Game?, we asked which region has the best deer hunting?

"Tough question as the best deer hunting is where you find it," says Miranda, host of "Advantage Adventures" and "Whitetail Country" as well as "Strategies in the Wild" on ESPN2.

"My own opinion is Midwest, as this is true corn-fed, river-bottom bucks," Miranda said. "Something about a big Midwest buck with that roman nose and huge neck in the rut."

Of 744 reader votes, the Midwest took a 57 percent share, or 424 votes. In second was the Southeast with 15 percent (111 votes) with the Northeast close behind (14, 104). Trailing the field were the Southwest (8, 60) and the West (7, 52).

Miranda points to the difficulty of the hunt and the quality of the hunted.

"Hunting the small island woodlots surrounded by crops is like a chess game, and when you see a mega-Midwest buck, you know you've outsmarted one of the most crafty animals on the planet," he said. "Because of population and pressure, these deer go nocturnal and can live on the edge of town in the suburbs and never be seen.

"Mature Midwest bucks carry their mass and because of their food source are delicous eating, unlike some deer in certain other areas."

While almost the entire Midwestern states voted for themselves, the region also gathered the vote from California, New York, Florida and from outside the U.S.

Texas finally bucked up and voted for itself in the Southwest along with Nevada, while only Oregon, Montana and Wyoming had the vote going to the West. Maine hunters were avid for the Northeast as were Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware voters.

Which region has the best deer hunting?

Northeast 14 percent (104 votes) = 14 points

Midwest 57 percent (424 votes) = 57 points

Southeast 15 percent (111 votes) = 15 points

West 7 percent (52 votes) = 7 points

Southwest 8 percent (60 votes) = 8 points

Total points:

Northeast 161 points

Midwest 220 points

Southeast 333 points

West 101 points

Southwest 79 points