LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015
Each year nearly 8,000 deer hunters flood the rough and rugged hillsides of Buffalo County, Wisconsin, in search of Booner whitetail. And the county produces – over the last decade hunters have annually taken an average of seven trophy bucks worthy of Boone and Crockett recognition. That’s roughly 1 in 1,200 hunters! Of course, smaller regions within the county have odds closer to 1 in 300 or 400! According to the Boone and Crockett club, that’s 20 to 30 times higher than the national average.
So, why does this county outrank all other U.S. counties?
The county boasts more than 100,000 acres of agricultural fields and because of its location along the Mississippi River, the terrain is extremely rough. Steep ravines, rolling hillsides, and miles of marshland all help to give resident whitetail bucks plenty of security cover to hide and age.
This incredible 10-pointer taken in Buffalo County in 2009 grossed over 190 inches!
However, the single greatest contribution to the lore of Buffalo County bucks comes from its own hunters says Steve Ashley, director of records for the Wisconsin Buck and Bear Club. In a recent interview for the Wausau Daily Herald, Ashley simply stated, “Let ’em go, let ’em grow,” while referring to the mentality of local hunters. Hunters in Buffalo County simply let smaller deer grow up to become bigger, choosing to take adult does over young bucks.
Ashley also believes that past earn-a-buck restrictions also did a lot of good in the county, continuing, “You had a lot more bucks reaching an age class they normally wouldn’t have.” While earn-a-buck has been recently eliminated (at least for the time being), Ashley thinks that if it did nothing else, it showed hunters what another year could do.
Bowhunter, Troy Muche, took this awesome 2011 buck on his own 67 Buffalo County acres!
Between 1980 and 2001, 65 entries came from Buffalo County alone. During that same period, the U.S. county with the second most amount of entries had only 25. That’s nearly three times the next closest county!
For 2012, if you’re seeking a once in a lifetime whitetail hunting experience, odds are Buffalo County should be at the top of your list.