Soybeans and Big Bucks

Dr. Grant Woods, one of the top whitetail scientists in America, lives and manages land in Missouri, and in addition to running the cool website he posts some great deer/hunting stuff on Facebook, like these maps.

Check out map #1 of soybean production in the U.S. Compare it to the QDMA map that shows where the most record-book bucks (P&Y and B&C) have been killed in the U.S. in the last 15 years. Uncanny isn’t it?

Says Grant: The trend is that more record book bucks have been harvested where ag is the predominate land use. That's not to say there can't be great hunting anywhere. My property is in two counties where there has never been a PY or BC buck registered. ...I'm able to produce good bucks by habitat work and good quality food plots. Enjoy hunting wherever you live.

But still as the maps clearly show, the more agriculture in and around your hunting area, the more big deer and the better your chances of shooting one.  comment


David in NC's Gravatar VERY cool map, and such a strong correlation. That is neat stuff right there. I have seen the record book map plenty of times, but have never seen it correlated with agriculture such as this. Notice the first map is yield/acre - not total harvest. This is a function of how well the crop produced and would be directly correlated with soil quality. Which confirms something we have known for a long time, and that is minerals in the soil equate directly to racks on their head. Though the map is of soybean production, for most of the country there is a rotation with corn every other year. I also find that farmers try to balance out their crop as much as possible. Thus, this map is probably almost a mirror image of corn production for the same time period.
# Posted By David in NC | 8/8/11 10:36 AM
Curt's Gravatar A picture's worth a thousand words! It must be cool to do this stuff for a living. But, I guess you always have to find a different & interesting way to present it. This is a great presentation! Thanks!
# Posted By Curt | 8/8/11 10:51 AM
Jerad's Gravatar Wow, very interesting and cool maps. The Boone and Pope map says 1996-2005 so a good average for a 9 year period. Dude I want to go hunting right now, thats it! lol
# Posted By Jerad | 8/8/11 10:56 AM
hanback's Gravatar I thought it was interesting too, if you just took the WI and NE major sites and turn them a bit.,
the whole dang map is almost identical
# Posted By hanback | 8/8/11 11:10 AM
Ian in WI's Gravatar I LOVE WISCONSIN !!!!!! LOOK AT ALL THAT RED!!!!!!
hanback check that facebook i got a buck on camera with we think 15 points!!!
# Posted By Ian in WI | 8/8/11 11:22 AM
Scott from MI's Gravatar Talk about deer managment....look at the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan state line. That should tell you some thing right there.
We need some serious changes here. Its like day & night.
# Posted By Scott from MI | 8/8/11 12:30 PM
PA Archer's Gravatar Wonder how the wife would tolerate a move to Wisconsin ?

"Honestly , dear, the company just up and re-located me to South Central Wisconsin. What can I say ... "

# Posted By PA Archer | 8/8/11 12:52 PM
Cary Dion's Gravatar I've had that Qaulity Deer Management record book deer poster in my deer camp for several years along with many other posters from the good people at Qaulity Deer Management. They are all framed real nice and make great conversation pieces.
# Posted By Cary Dion | 8/8/11 2:28 PM
Chad M.'s Gravatar Mike, take a look at Southeastern Ohio and you can see that there are little to no soybeans coming from there...yet there are plenty of big bucks taken on a yearly basis here. I'm sure there is some correlation to soybeans and big bucks, but it takes a lot more than just soybeans to grow trophy deer.
# Posted By Chad M. | 8/8/11 5:22 PM
Chad M.'s Gravatar If soybeans were a major factor then Nebraska would be the top trophy state in the union according to these maps.
# Posted By Chad M. | 8/8/11 5:24 PM
hanback's Gravatar Some comments, there is correlation for sure but yes there are places w/no beans but big deer.
still there is some ag of some sorts (corn, alfalfa) almost everywhere there are big bucks, it's not just
the crops but good soils, minerals, overall habitat, etc. good discussion
# Posted By hanback | 8/8/11 5:39 PM
Fred's Gravatar Off topic but.... It would be great to see mike go traditional this season at the Milk river.... Plade jacket and a recurve... Lol
# Posted By Fred | 8/8/11 8:16 PM
Jerad's Gravatar Another thing I noticed is that not that the orange isn't a lot of recorded Bucks, but I have many friends that hunt on either their land or family land in the northeast section of Wisconsin, thats the area on I have been hearing that the Wolf population is at the highest and has many people mad in that area near the U.P. On the way home from our 9 day gun season many hunters were complaining of seeing more wolves than deer last year. Then again those could be the guys that buy a gun on Friday, run into the woods on Saturday and start shooting at anything that moves...... I know you guys know what I'm talking about... yikes...
# Posted By Jerad | 8/8/11 11:05 PM
Scott's Gravatar I sure am glad I have 420 acres to hunt in South Central Wisconsin. lol
# Posted By Scott | 8/9/11 12:08 AM
hollister uk's Gravatar This was an amazing site that I had never seen it before. Thanks a lot for the information because I had liked it very much!
# Posted By hollister uk | 8/9/11 12:43 AM
David in NC's Gravatar Interesting points about Nebraska and the Michigan UP about the effect of state regulations on buck quality. Clearly there are several factors that affect the quality of bucks, but it sure looks like Nebraska could be a sleeper state with the right management and regulations.

We've all heard that a buck's antler's are due to 1) genetics 2) age 3) nutrition. This map shows nutrition, the regulations have to do with the age, and the genetics (though unable to be controlled) are based on location. Some of the astute observations made in this thread point to all 3.
# Posted By David in NC | 8/9/11 12:27 PM
Gracyn's Gravatar AKAIK you've got the aenswr in one!
# Posted By Gracyn | 9/7/11 4:40 PM
Real's Gravatar Hi Sara! Thank you so much! BTW my sister in law sewohd me your blog, and I love all your projects! It's got me wanting to be crafty again! Uh-oh! Wow, I had no idea you were in Texas, it's a small world isn't it! Well if you are ever in Odessa/Midland area let me know, and if I'm ever in your area I'll let ya know! FYI I do travel for work. You can email me for at , drop me a line and let me know what sort of session you are interested in.
# Posted By Real | 1/14/13 11:51 PM