Four Tips for Killing a 200-Inch Monster Deer

The 200-Inch Club

Tagging a 200-inch buck is whitetail hunting’s holy grail—something that most mortals can only dream about attaining. So, you want to become a member of this exclusive group? For you to get in, the cosmic tumblers of place, timing, and luck all have to click in unison. But your knowledge and skill also matter. Here are four keys.

Timing Is Everything

KNOW WHEN TO HUNT

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Fifty-five percent of net B&C 200-­inchers were killed in (surprise!) November. But don’t neglect December, when an old giant could be hungry enough to make a mistake, and when 16 percent of B&C 200-inchers were tagged. If you need a specific date, it’s hard to argue with Nov. 21, which leads the pack of known B&C 200-inch kill dates with 94 bucks. Halloween has some magic, too, with 20 registered monsters, followed by Nov. 2, with 17.

Wait for It…

RECOGNIZE A 200-INCHER

Any Booner may look huge to you, but it won’t get you into this club. At right is a hypothetical gross 200-incher with a breakdown of what to hold out for. If you want to be Grand Poobah, kill a net 200 typical. Of the millions of bucks shot since B&C started keeping records, only 21 typical whitetails have cleared that bar, and 12 were killed last century. The yearly average of net 200-inch typicals taken is 0.113. You are roughly 500 times more likely to be hit by lightning.

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What Are the Odds?

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE UP AGAINST

Since the Boone and Crockett Club started keeping records in 1830, only 3,112 whitetail bucks netting at least 200 inches have been recorded. (B&C records net scores, not gross. We’ll let you in with a gross 200-incher, but it’s still a lofty goal that will demand all of your skill.) That’s not quite 17 per year. To put that in perspective, consider the current annual averages of these rarities.

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Road Trip!

KNOW WHERE TO HUNT

Many of the top trophy states are well known, but comparing all-time entry leaders with recent up-and-comers can help you figure out where to go now.

TOP TEN ALL-TIME 200-INCH LEADERS

1. Illinois 354
2. Iowa 333
3. Minnesota 263
4. Kansas 216
5. Wisconsin 205
6. Saskatchewan 183
7. Ohio 173
8. Missouri 158
9. Texas 127
10. Alberta 125

TOP TEN 200-INCH LEADERS, 2005–2015

1. Illinois 131
2. Iowa 123
3. Kansas 104
4. Ohio 89
5. Missouri 84
6. Wisconsin 82
7. Indiana 58
8. Kentucky 48
9. Saskatchewan 47
10. Minnesota 45

 

Source: Fieldandstream