More Pennsylvania bucks are hitting the record books than ever before, and officials say antler restrictions are only one reason why.
The two major organizations for recording trophy whitetails both report an increase over the last several years – both on the national level and in the number of entries from Pennsylvania.
The Boone and Crockett Club reported a 400 percent increase in trophy whitetail entries over the last 30 years. From 1980-85, 617 whitetails made it into the Boone and Crockett record book.
From 2005-10, that number jumped to 3,090.
From 1980-85, Pennsylvania was tied for last among states and Canadian provinces with no entries. For the period 2005-10, Pennsylvania ranked 20th on the list with 26 entries.
Pennsylvania also had more entries than any of its bordering states with the exception of Ohio, which listed 215 entries and placed fourth overall.
Balfourd said the antler restrictions enacted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission that took effect in 2002 had an impact on the number of trophy deer harvested in the state.
The Pope and Young Club, which maintains a records program for big game animals taken with archery equipment (longbows, recurves and compound bows only), has also experienced a steep hike in the number of entries both nationally and from Pennsylvania.
Pope and Young records trophy data in two-year periods, and from 1999-2000, 91 typical Pennsylvania archery bucks made the record book. In 2003-04 – after antler restrictions were implemented, 162 Pennsylvania bucks qualified for the Pope and Young book. The number stayed constant until 2009-10, when it jumped to 207. Pennsylvania ranks 11th overall for contributing bucks to the Pope and Young record book.
Nationally, in 1999-2000, the club recorded 3,875 trophy archery bucks, compared to 5,084 from 2009-10.
Side charts show best counties and other data.
Direct link to article