Department of Fish and Wildlife
Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Women Post Big Year For Trophy Deer During 2009 Season
Every year, during production of Kentucky’s annual hunting and trapping regulation guide, I get to peruse photos, letters and official scoring sheets from hunters who took Kentucky’s largest deer the previous season. I always enjoy seeing these incredible animals, all of them evidence of a healthy and thriving deer herd. These deer and the hunters who spend months or even years pursuing them put Kentucky in the top five states in the country for deer considered trophies under the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system. But this year, something else stood out.
All of our previous trophy deer lists had one thing in common – the hunters were almost always male. In fact, in five years of producing our guide I had received only one trophy deer taken by a female hunter. But this year was different. Four of the 40 deer currently on the list were taken by women. Even more impressively, three of those women are teenagers.
Andrea Davis, a 19-year-old hunter from Ohio County, took a 14-point buck with typical antlers that scored 165 1/8 in the Boone and Crockett Club’s official scoring system. She thinks this year’s results are part of an overall trend. She says more girls and women are hunting deer.
“I’m seeing a lot of kids going hunting with their dads,” Davis said. “I think women are seeing what’s out there, what they can bring home.”
Davis herself was hunting with her father Thanksgiving morning in Muhlenberg County when they heard antlers crashing near the edge of a Conservation Reserve Program field. They were on their way to a tree stand, but the sound of nearby deer changed their plans.
“We just sat down right there,” Davis said. “We saw two does, but they busted us. Then we saw a 9-pointer. I was getting ready to shoot him, but decided to wait.”
The wait paid off when the trophy 14-pointer stepped out of the woods. “All I could say was, ‘Horns!’” Davis remembered. “My dad told me, ‘Please don’t look at the horns.’ I braced my gun on a little sapling and took a shot.”
The deer ran only 40 yards after the 20-yard shot from Davis’s .30-06.
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Bryant of Meade County shot her first buck on opening day of the 2009 season. The 22-point deer with non-typical antlers scored 196 6/8.
“I’ve always wanted to get a buck because of my dad and my uncle,” Bryant said. “It’s always been in my family. And I’m not going to stop.”
Two more female hunters round out this unprecedented year. Spencer County’s Michaella “Mikie” Monroe was just 14 years old when she shot the biggest deer taken in Kentucky for the 2009-10 season. The buck scored an incredible 219 5/8, putting it in the top 30 deer with non-typical antlers ever taken in Kentucky. Mitzi Mobley of Berea shot a 160 4/8 typical buck in Madison County.
I hope these four women are a sign of even better things to come for Kentucky hunting. More women in the field may be one of our best chances to turn around a decline in hunter numbers. And with deer like these, it’s easy to see what’s in it for the hunters themselves.
“I’ve hunted since I was 12 and the only bucks I’ve gotten have been spikes,” Davis said. “So anything can happen at any time.”
The 2010-11 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide, available in early July, will include a complete list of trophy deer from the 2009-10 season, as well as several photographs of the deer and their hunters. The guide will be available online at fw.ky.gov and wherever hunting licenses are sold.