Possible New World Record Mule Deer

Potential New World Record Mule Deer

Patience is a particular virtue of bowhunting. It was an ample supply of patience that resulted in the harvest of a potential new World’s Record typical Mule deer.

Having observed this buck on many occasions, and knowing the buck’s home range was particularly thick cover—“as thick as dog hair”—Arizona veteran bowhunter John McClendon knew his best chance would be to carefully hunt the buck over a waterhole. He patiently waited out several days of raining, and then the drying, for the perfect opportunity to hunt that water. The result—a perfect 25-yard shot at the buck of anyone’s dreams!
The current World’s Record typical mule deer is: 205 0/8 • Hermosillo, Mexico • 2009 • George Harms

John McClendon with, what could very well be a new World Record Mule deer.
Mr. McClendon’s mule deer, from Mohave County, Arizona, has an initial entry score of 207 5/8. The final score is yet subject to Panel Judging verification, which may change the final accepted score for a variety of reasons, including unusual shrinkage, initial mis-measurement, etc.
This mule deer is entered into the current, ongoing 29th Recording Period—the biennium representing entries accepted into the P&Y Records Program from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014.
At the close of every two-year biennial recording period, numerical awards and honorable mentions are awarded to the most outstanding animals in each species category that have been entered during that recording period. New world’s records are verified and proclaimed, and awards are presented to these outstanding animals during the Pope and Young Club’s biennial convention and awards banquet.
Prior to the actual convention and banquet, outstanding trophies are requested to be sent to a designated site for panel judging. Panel Judging is a process of verification of the final scores of antlers, horns and skulls of the highest ranking North American big game specimen entered during that two-year recording period. A hand-picked team of highly knowledgeable and experienced certified measurers gather for the actual scoring. Congratulations to Mr. McClendon on this incredible animal!
Look to see this outstanding North American big game specimen, plus roughly a hundred more of the biggest and best over the last two years, on display at the Pope and Young Club’s National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, April 15-18, 2015.
The Pope & Young Club is a non-profit North American conservation and bowhunting organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of our bowhunting heritage, hunting ethics and wildlife conservation. The Club also maintains the universally recognized repository for the records and statistics on North American big game animals harvested with a bow and arrow.

Buck to Doe Secret

Pennsylvania was the test balloon for using antler restrictions as a tool for managing the deer herd. The restrictions required 3 or 4 points to a side depending on region. The very idea that the Pa. Game Commission was going to restrict a hunter from shooting an 80# spike buck was met with resistance.So much resistance, that PA deer biologist, Gary Alt had to speak to tens of thousands of hunters at statewide meetings to explain the strategy of quality deer management. The new strategy was narrowly adopted in 2002.
Prior to 2002 over 90% of all bucks taken by hunters were yearlings (1.5-year-old buck). The statewide harvest of mature bucks was a disappointing 5%. It was rare to see a 2.5 year old or older buck. Most of my friends were mounting the odd 10-point yearling with string bean antlers. Today the herd dynamics has changed and there are many quality bucks to hunt in the Keystone state. My son Cory took a 170 B&C two miles from the house and there have been four others taken recently that were in the 150+ category.

Buck taken by Cory Nolan the Monday after Thanksgiving, chasing a doe.
Pa has the genetics and surely has the quality habitat for great whitetails but if you put them in freezer-wrap when they are teenagers… you lose. On the other hand allowing bucks to mature helps a herd in many ways. The buck to doe ratio is the foundation of the win. The term means just what it says; it compares how many bucks to does are in the herd.
Pennsylvania once had a terrible buck to doe ratio. It hovered around 6 to 1. That is a lot of does. Add to that, most Pa. bucks were walking around with their first set of antlers and you have the junk herd we hosted. The real problem with the bad ratio is that many of the does were not being bred during the brief November rut. A large percentage of the does were getting bred in December or in January. Whitetail fawns are dropped 201 days after breeding. This means late born fawns were showing up in June, July and August. Doe conception dates were spread across 100 days.

The common Pennsylvania trophy pre 2002.
Studies have shown that late born fawns have a low survival rate and late born bucks are most often spikes when 1.5 years old due to nutritional deficiencies. That was evident in our deer herd. In combination with the antler restrictions in 2002, Pennsylvania increased the doe harvest dramatically. Prior to 2002, we had an estimated 1,000,000 deer in the state. Habitat damage was evident across vast areas. However, with the reduction of doe numbers and the increase of mature bucks, good things began to happen.
With antler restrictions, many bucks were not available for harvest when they were 1.5 years old as their antlers may be under the minimum size. The bucks that made it through got to be 2.5 years old and now had their own established and familiar home-range. Now they were not as easy to shoot as a dumb yearling buck and many of them evaded hunters and got even older. Now we have quality bucks statewide.

Most states above the Mason-Dixon Line have the habitat and genetics to grow quality bucks; if we let them grow.
A study done by Auburn University recently conducted some interesting whitetail research that relates to the scenario I just described. In a 430-acre pen they determined the buck to doe ratio. In 2008 and 2009 the ratio was 1 to 2, that is one buck to two does. Researchers logged in conception dates of fawns.
Next, they managed the herd so there were not only more bucks but also more mature bucks in the area. The buck to doe ratio in 2010-2012 was one and a half bucks to one doe or 1.5 to 1. They found that most does were synchronous and bred sooner, meaning they were bred during the first rut. The result was fewer late born fawns and the compression of births helped to lessen the impact of coyote predation. Now that you understand the buck to doe ratio secret explain it to your state DNR and fix your deer herd.

Why you should thank the hunter that shot the albino buck


Why you should thank the hunter that shot the albino buck

Legendary Albino Buck Harvested by Bowhunter

By Josh Gowan

The top story in the outdoors this past week has been well-documented and dramatically over-reported on, so staying true to journalistic form, I’d be remiss if I didn’t beat it into the ground a bit more!

Here’s the headline: “The majestic White Stag from Narnia was bludgeoned to death by a heartless murderer in the name of fame, fortune, and evil, and now the good townsfolk are arming themselves with pitchforks and torches and aiming to lynch the accused.” That might had well been the headline anyway, but at the end of the day, the only thing that happened was a deer hunter killed a deer, and a pretty nice one at that.

Jerry Kinnaman from Cape Girardeau, MO took the big, mature, white buck that has caused a lot of uproar and nonsensical dramatics among our community. It was a great kill for a lifelong hunter, and one he should be proud of and able to enjoy, rather than have to get bashed by people who know little and have done less to help this deer, let alone the rest of his species.

First and foremost, Jerry passed on this deer before, because his neighbor had asked him to, and it wasn’t until his neighbor’s property was becoming overrun with people attempting to see and photograph the deer that he told Jerry to please harvest the buck. As Jerry told him, it’s not that easy, and it was 3 years later before he had the chance to shoot the buck, who at 7 ½ years old had a very small chance at making it through the winter.

Secondly, albinism is not a gift from God, and as far as nature is concerned it would much more closely resemble a curse. Deer are brown for a reason, and white deer very rarely make it in the wild. Many states, like Missouri, encourage the shooting and harvesting of white deer so that their traits are not passed down causing an unhealthy balance in the herd. That’s THE HERD, encompassing all the deer in the state, not just the pretty ones.

White fawns are very rare, but white 2-year-olds are much rarer, as predators pick them off easily due to their lack of camouflage. This buck living as long as he has has produced many fawns that didn’t make it to their 6th month, but hey, that’s just nature being nature, not blood thirsty humans shooting them for sport, right? Not quite.

The problem with that line of thinking, or lack thereof, is that if weren’t for hunters, there would be no white deer, brown deer, or any other deer. In 1925 our state’s deer herd was estimated to be around 400 due to the European settlers wiping out anything and everything they could eat, wear, or turn into a dollar. In 1937 the first Conservation Commission was formed by concerned hunters, and deer season was closed for five years, while they stocked deer from northern states. The state began training conservation agents, and by 1944 the state’s herd was estimated at 15,000 and Missouri held a 2-day, bucks-only season that 7,557 hunters bought licenses for and took 583 deer.

Today the deer herd in the state of Missouri is estimated at over 1.5 million, and our conservation agency is touted as one of the top in the nation. In 2013 alone, 4,487 hunters donated 227,358 pounds of venison to the Share the Harvest program to feed the needy, and the opportunities for youth to enjoy the outdoors through our conservation departments numerous programs are the envy of other states, and continue to grow. Hunters and fishermen alone supported the MDC up until the late 1970’s, when Missouri passed the Design for Conservation Tax, allotting 1/8 of 1 percent of the state’s sales tax to go to the conservation department. This money, along with the licenses and tags bought by hunters and fishermen, along with the deep appreciation of land management and the conservation of fish and game by outdoorsmen and women, is the reason that majestic white buck was there in the first place.

Hunters and fishermen, WE are the ones who put in the work, who pay the bills, who manage the land, and who undoubtedly have a much deeper connection and appreciation of deer, ALL DEER, not just the pretty ones, than anyone else.

So in closing, if you truly loved that white buck, rather than curse and demean Jerry Kinnaman, go shake his hand, and thank him for doing his part for conservation, and hope that we outdoorsmen and women remain the vast majority, so that the rest of you will have plenty of beautiful animals and picturesque landscapes to enjoy for years to come.

Hunter becomes the hunted after shooting famous albino deer

Hunter becomes the hunted after shooting famous albino deer

Jerry Kinnaman was up early, hunting in southeast Missouri, when he saw it. It had been a chilly night — the ground was crunchy — but on Tuesday morning, Kinnaman spotted the albino buck about 85 yards in the distance.
Kinnaman bagged the buck — which was called “arguably Cape Girardeau’s most notorious deer” by the Southeast Missourian. It was a legal kill, but a controversial one.
“This is a buck of a lifetime,” he told the newspaper.
“Not my biggest buck but at 7 1/2 years old he might be the oldest,” Kinnaman wrote on Facebook. “Let the bashing begin!”
And it did. Kinnaman said in an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday that it has gotten so bad, he has received death threats over the deer.
“People are all tough on the computer,” he said, “but it’s easy for them to say that because they know they’re not going to get in trouble for it.”
The deer was something of a celebrity in Cape Girardeau. Kinnaman said that some locals felt a connection to it and would notice the animal on drives through the city.
“I was the same way as anybody else about this deer, so I understand the relationship some of these people have,” he said.
Here’s the thing, though: The deer wasn’t doing well, Kinnaman said. He said there was “not an ounce of fat on him,” and Kinnaman’s taxidermist noted that the deer’s teeth were in poor condition. The animal would have died this year, Kinnaman said, whether he harvested it or not.
“They never even thought about how hard it would be for this deer to survive once he got to a certain age,” he said.
For what it’s worth, Kinnaman contacted a local conservation department office and was told that he hadn’t broken any regulations. After his taxidermist is finished, Kinnaman said he might donate the mount to a local nature center, so Cape Girardeau residents can continue to see the deer.
“There’s a lot of rumors I shot this deer for a reward,” he said. “I’m, like, ‘no.’ ”
The kill — and subsequent backlash — follows a similar incident in Michigan, in which an 11-year-old boy bagged an albino buck. Gavin Dingman was crossbow hunting with his father, Mick Dingman, when he shot the deer in October.
“I’ve had people tell me, ‘You should have taken the shot. You don’t let an 11-year-old take a shot at a deer like that,’ ” Mick Dingman told the Daily Press & Argus. “To me, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter if it’s a spike or a doe or a trophy deer. If you have confidence in them, it shouldn’t matter what they are shooting at.”

Missouri Bow Hunter Takes Rare Albino Buck

It’s rare to see a mature buck, much less a mature albino, while in the deerstand.  Legendary bow hunter, Jerry Kinnaman, has done just that. This amazing buck is approximately 7.5 years old.  This Southeast Missouri buck is known to some as Whitey, Casper, Ghost, and The Goat.

After years of practice, preparation, and patience, Jerry’s plan finally came together on a cold December morning.  As he sat quietly 24 feet in the canopy the elusive buck crept underneath.  Jerry heard a small crunch as the buck stepped through the icy leaves. Without moving a muscle he slowly gazed to his left and spotted the buck creeping between the brush. Jerry’s heart pounded. He could see his breath as it hit the bitter cold air. He slowly stood up as the buck passed behind a small tree, then as the buck passed a thick bush Jerry realized it would be his last chance to raise his trusty bow before this buck disappeared into the distance.  Jerry held his bow and focused on his target.  He said to himself, “Aim small, miss small” he quickly went through his shooting checklist.  Grip-check, anchor-check, pin-check.  He slowed his breathing and gently released the string.  The arrow was true and the shot deadly.  It pierced his heart and the great animal was down within 30 yards.

Jerry lowered his head.  He had finally been given this wonderful opportunity. All of his practice and patience was worth it.  He passed the test. He overcame the challenge.  He hung is bow and crossed his frozen fingers.  He said a prayer and thanked the Lord for blessing him with this hunt.  He looked up and smiled like a little kid.  He was filled with excitement and pride.

Shooting albino deer is somewhat controversial. Most hunters look at an albino as a rare opportunity and a trophy.  Some believe they should be left alone because they are rare, yet evolution says that this is not a favorable trait.

How rare is an albino deer?
In a December 2013 report published by USA TODAY, Wisconsin naturalist John Bates, co-author of “White Deer: Ghosts of the Forest,” said albino deer are born once in about 20,000 births. Some biologists claim only one in 100,000 deer is born albino, the report said.   It is even more rare they they make it to this age. Truly amazing.