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96trigger

Mn Recognized as on of USA's Sweetest Spots for Whitetails

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Before I go into this, I want to say that I understand that Minnesota is large and very diverse geographically. I know that this is a very small portion of Minnesota but it does go to show that the DNR is doing its job. Maybe this will shed a little light on what I have been saying on here quite often, and that is that Minnesota has big bucks, the DNR should not mandate what we can and cannot shoot. They are doing the best job they can, and I believe that it is working.

OutdoorLife, November 2008, pg 26, "Sweetest Spots"

by Andrew McKean

"Five wooded corn-belt counties (2 in Mn, 2 in Wis, one in Iowa) in the heart of the Midwest maybe the best big buck factories you have never heard of... these jursidictions are poised to defend their title as the unheralded home of outsize whitetails

Houston County is Minnesotas third-most prolific producer of typical racks, followed closely by Fillmore County.

So why haven't you heard of thes deer factories? Largely because they'veearned their status the old fashioned way, with quality management that promotes harvest, not restrictive access.

Thats contrary to trends in whitetail country that suggest that trophy production depends on intense manipulation of genetics, age structure and sex ratios, cultivation of boutique food plots and drum tight hunting access"

If Houston and Fillmore are 3 and 4 on the list, that leaves two more counties with big bucks. Wabasha, Winona, and Olmstead all have their share also.

We wanted bigger bucks, I've been saying that we have them and that we don't need the national recognition, now we have it. We are getting what we wish for but at what cost? I can see the day when it will cost the average person big dollars to hunt on property in Minnesota. This will take us back to the days when only the rich were able to hunt, and the poor had to fend for themselves. I would prefer to be able hunt and have a once in a lifetime chance at a buck, than make hunting in general, a once in a lifetime event. It was only a matter of time before some places in Minnesota got that recognition. For those of you that don't think it will effect you because you are a long ways away, where do you think some of the misplaced hunters will go when outfitters and guides lease up the land so that they can take your hard earned money for what you used to be able to do with a door knock and a hand shake.

Enough of my soap box, let the discussion begin.

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ha minnesota? we have 80 acres near hackensack and we arent even goin up there for opener bcuz the last couple years have been horse sh!t. when you sit from sun up to sun down for 3 days and dont even see a deer? come on somin is wrong w/ that

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Houston County is Minnesotas third-most prolific producer of typical racks, followed closely by Fillmore County.

I read the above as Houston County is the third best in MN. How does it rank nationally? How does the state rank nationally?

The best listing I've seen is a map of P&Y and B&C bucks produced from 1996-2005. A couple counties in MN do well but in general the state doesn't rate well.

I'd post the link but it would probably get ripped out. So Google Boone & Crocket Pope & Young 1996-2005 and take a look yourself.

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I always say if you dont like the hunting here gor somewhere else that leaves more deer for the rest of us!

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Did you ever think it may be the terrain that produces those trophy deer and not the well planned out strategy of our DNR? If the DNR has such a good handle on things why arent the other 100 counties worth a [PoorWordUsage]? Bucks over 3 1/2 are few and far between in most of the state, and if it werent for the bluff country along the river, the suburban refuges in the metro, or the miles of inaccessable land in the north, I would bet it wouldnt be any better there either. Thats why we have some big deer, not the outstanding efforts of our DNR.

Hunting other states seems to be the only option.

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I've never seen anything but a spike down there. whistle
same here southern MN corn fed deer are tiny. The only big deer down here are green and yellow.

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It wasn't that long ago when this area didn't have large deer, it definitely didn't have the numbers, or quality. SEMN was a lottery zone. We used to be lucky to see a deer. The terrain has been there for tens of thousands of years. How do you explain that?

But you are right about one thing, hunting out of state might be your best option. wink

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The SE isn't an accurate portrayal of the state as a whole. You have a few glacier free counties that extend into WI & IA that produce year after year. The size has always been there, but numbers were lacking. The DNR has helped increased the population. I'm pretty sure MN isn't even among the top 5 big buck producing states anymore. I will say it's nice to live and hunt in a state that's not being bought up with leases and provides plenty of public land opportunities. You start talking with the locals from KS & IA and come to realize it's not all it's cracked up to be with everything becoming leased. Heck, even out-of-state guys that own land in IA can't hunt their own property every year. First you have to be drawn and then pay for a $400 license! MN nonresident deer tags have got to be the cheapest in the midwest. (Small bucks don't cost much) grin I'm happy with what we got, someday I'd like to pay an outfitter is Buffalo county so I can experience a quality rut hunt at least once with mature deer and healthy buck-to-doe ratios.

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SNS, I know that SE isn't an accurate portrayal as a whole, but the Southeast portion of the state does have nice bucks, as does the big Northwoods. I think thats roughly half, if not at least a 1/3 of the state thats producing nice bucks. I do feel for the ones out west and even up north where the deer population has gotten out of whack and there aren't the numbers, or quality of deer. That would definitely suck too. Time is needed, the deer population is not static, it is dynamic, therefor, changes need to be made on a regular basis. What the DNR has done down here has worked. We didn't have ALL those deer 10-15 years ago.

Thanks for acknowledging the fact that being a hotspot for big bucks is not all its cracked up to be. I just about crapped when I saw the article in the magazine, and that is no small publication either. I was just thinking, "Great, here it comes" I'm sorry that I may seem a little bit bitter, Two of my main farms have both been approached about getting leased. If the farmers weren't relatives saving it for their family, unlike some of their neighbors, I would be pushed on the state land like a lot of other people.

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As far as getting the word out, I think that TV may be a bigger factor than magazines. I am another one that doesn't believe that more big bucks running around is all it is cracked up to be.

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alls i know is where i live there sure aint many big bucks and thats in west central MN, would i like to shot a big one yes would i like to see a big one once a year yes! but it just doesnt happen I've hunted for 8 years since i was old enough to and in my area i havent seen one buck that would score over 130 and to be honest i've prolly seen 2 that would score in the 120's. I hunt flat farm land with creek bottoms and every deer that lives in the area gets chased after. Do i shoot deer, yes i've harvested one every year and for me its still very enjoyable even though none are giants and most are baldies! I know i will prolly have to put in many years to shoot a dandy buck and i hope someday to do so. I guess hearing that MN is a hot spot just surprises me but maybe in other areas things are alot different. I dont want MN to be full of outfitters nor do i want to have to pay 200+ $ every year for a tag. So i guess for this guy im ok with what we have. I like surprises and if someday i get that one chance and a big brute does stand infront of me i guess it was just ment to be and i will charish it alot more then if it happened every year. As long as i have a place to hunt and can enjoy the outdoors i think we should all be great ful for that. just my 2 cents

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We hunted Houston County for 8 years. We got our deer but no big racks. Not even a shot at a big buck. Recently Hokah was in the news for a huge rack, it made the news because it was a rare thing. There are some big bucks but not many. The Metro area has many more big bucks than any other area in Minnesota.

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Some of the biggest deer I have ever seen were in Winona County. As a kid I worked on a farm in that area, you would not believe the deer you see when you are on a tractor doing felid work. But when it comes to hunting season the only time you see them, if you do, it’s well out of shotgun range. Bluff country is tuff to hunt, IMO the herd size can be acquainted to Good genetics, Good nutrition, And pore hunter success.

I have seen more 14 point plus deer hanging down there then any of the big woods county. You can keep your nasty tasting, pine cone eating, north country deer.

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I agree, thats why I bow hunt, I think it improved my odds of seeing one of those big bucks, and along the way, I became addicted to it. Once the shotgun season starts, they run and hide and don't come back out until December. Lots and Lots of places to hide in the bluffs, The terrain changes so much, you could be close to one and never know it.

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Once the shotgun season starts, they run and hide and don't come back out until December. Lots and Lots of places to hide in the bluffs, The terrain changes so much, you could be close to one and never know it.

Thats why I only hunt the ML season now. And the nuckelhead facter is less.

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Originally Posted By: Captain Fireman
You can keep your nasty tasting, pine cone eating, north country deer.

Sorry, I thought that was funny. laugh

I just read your post. Now thats funny

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When the guns come out, I run for the safety of Wabasha County. It just crawls with hunters over the firearm season. It literally sounds like a warzone on opening day.

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