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Experts say hunt the Midwest for trophy bucks

10/13/2008

The two highest scoring Boone & Crockett typical whitetail bucks last season came from Kansas, but that's not the only reason Bill Jordan considers the Midwest as the premier whitetail hunting region in America.

"If I had to pick one particular place to hunt for trophies, it would be in the Midwest," said Jordan, the president and founder of Realtree Outdoors. "Not only for the deer hunting but because of the farm ground and the rolling hills — there's a lot of beautiful scenery, which is only surpassed by the quality of whitetails you can run into."

Mike Mitchener, wildlife section chief for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, said his state stood out because it knoww how to manage their deer. Kansas' firearm season isn't during the rut, which allows more deer to mature and get big.

"It's the old combination of genetics, food, and letting them get to an old age," Mitchener said. "We have good genetics in Kansas, we have plenty of food, and our season structure allows plenty of bucks to reach an older age."

Kip Adams, the Quality Deer Management Association's director of education and outreach, said genetics play a role, but the Midwest has seen so much success because it's a buck buffet.

"They have good soil and a tremendous amount of agriculture in the area, so there's a lot of food," Adams said. "You can grow big deer just about anywhere, but if you look at where you're greatest chance of killing a trophy buck is, the Midwest is where it's at."

ESPNOutdoors.com will be celebrating this year's deer season with "Deer Camp" — a two-week event, covering the big issues that are important to deer hunters and examining the state of the deer nation. We'll also be breaking down and rating deer hunting in all 50 states, with an analysis of what a hunter in that state has to look forward to this year.