If you're a typical whitetail hunter today you probably spend more time online or watching DVDs or television shows than reading books on deer when you're not hunting, scouting or doing habitat work.
But even if you haven't purchased many physical books lately, there's one that you owe it to yourself to buy. It's called "Records of North American Whitetail Deer," and is published by the Boone & Crockett Club.
With the tremendous range they occupy and the widespread availability and popularity of whitetails, it's fitting that the Boone & Crockett Club should publish a fair chase records book just on this species.
They published the first such book in 2003. Now, a decade later, they have come out with a new, updated and vastly improved edition with a whopping 4,692 new entries.
This book is a beautiful hardback, in a larger 8-by-10-inch format than the previous edition, with easier-to-read entries. It also includes a large full-color poster of the U.S. with detailed county by county information on where record book animals come from.
Maybe you're wondering just how special a record whitetail taken in the wild is? Well last year, for example, about one in every 20,000 deer that hunters harvested qualified for the Boone & Crockett record book.
It's also a fact, though, that record book whitetails are actually more common today than they were in previous generations. The species is thriving under careful management and as more hunters are choosing to let young deer walk and grow to their fullest potential.
The new book details all the important facts about 12,254 whitetail trophies ranked according to their scores. Among those are 34 new state and provincial records.
"Records of North American Whitetail Deer" also includes photos of many of these outstanding specimens and interesting chapters by biologists and well-known whitetail hunting experts. You'll find fresh, new insights on deer breeding behavior, the rut, management strategies east and west, regional trends in trophy whitetail entries and how modern technology is affecting whitetail conservation.
The hardcover book retails for $34.95 from Boone-Crockett.org or by calling 1-888-840-4868. You won't regret one penny of what you spend on this exceptional book. Buy it, learn from it and enjoy it.
I know I did.
Footnote: Speaking of big Boone & Crockett bucks, congratulations to Tim Beck. The Indiana hunter bagged the second largest free-range whitetail ever killed by a hunter on Nov. 17, 2012, in Huntington County, Indiana.
Beck's buck scored 305 7/8 net non-typical. That's the fourth largest in the B&C record book, behind two "pick-up" bucks found dead and a 307 5/8 buck bagged by a hunter in Iowa.