Top States for Record Book Velvet Mule Deer

Aug 3, 2022 | Mule Deer Hunting | 0 comments

Some hunters think record keeping is an exercise for the egotistical and narcissistic outdoorsman. Clubs like the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young keep copious records of meticulously scored game animals harvested by hunters. Is this to stroke our own egos? No, it’s actually one of the many measuring sticks of conservation successes and failures.
BaseMap user Nick Mundt of Bone Collector with a large Mule Deer buck taken with his bow on the legendary Arizona-Strip unit.

All Records Matter

Record keeping isn’t only about the largest of the species. Yes, those record-breaking animals matter but what also matters are the smaller individuals. A 180-inch buck coming from an area where a record has never been entered before matters as much as a 230-incher from an area with multiple records. It tells a story, and over time the story becomes a cumulative conservation history.

The moral of the story is – hunters please enter your game animals into the record books regardless of whether it is going to break or be near record-breaking. All records matter in telling our conservation history as hunters. Even for an animal to reach a minimum for the record books a lot of conservation pieces need to fall in place – habitat, predation, and human interactions must all be just right for them to grow to a minimum size.

Pope & Young

Bow hunting for archery mule deer is about to kick off out West. The Pope & Young Club is the premier organization for preserving, promoting, and protecting bowhunting. For over 60 years, Pope & Young has collected and kept bowhunting records and promoted conservation ethics.

To celebrate the archery mule deer hunts about to get underway, we thought it would be fun to search Pope & Young’s records for archery velvet mule deer over the last five years. They have an awesome online database called Trophy Search where you can filter all kinds of game animal records. We did a simple search for velvet typical mule deer and velvet non-typical mule deer over the last five years based on gross scores in some of the most popular mule deer hunting states. See the summarized data in these two tables.

Make any Conclusions?

See anything surprising? Think your state should have more entries? Have you shot an archery velvet mule deer falling within these gross scores? As hunters, we need to make a more strategic effort in recording our harvest in the record books. Those records are our legacy. Read here for more about entering your archery trophy and signing up for the trophy search database. The database can be filtered in all different kinds of ways. One super interesting way you can filter the database is by state and county, showing where record animals are coming from. Hunters may find this very useful in narrowing down an area to hunt.
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