Would You Go After a Whitetail Slam?
I believe it was the iconic gun writer, Jack O’Connor, who popularized the concept of a “grand slam”, the term...
I believe it was the iconic gun writer, Jack O’Connor, who popularized the concept of a “grand slam”, the term applied to harvesting the four subspecies of North American wild sheep. Since then, the National Wild Turkey Federation adopted the moniker for harvesting each of the four understood types of American wild turkeys. Now, thanks to the folks at Whitetail Slam, deer hunters can have their shot, too.
Biologists long ago identified eight distinct subspecies of whitetail deer in North America. In addition to the Coues deer and what I used to know as the Keys Deer (now generally referred to as the “Seminole deer”), there are six other subpopulations of whitetails–the differences between them are “size, appearance, habitats and adaptations in behavior by climactic condition,” according to Whitetail Slam. Under this new system, hunters pursuing a deer slam can notch credit for tagging bucks in each of these distinct regions, which as the map illustrates, is a pretty large swath of country.
This is an interesting concept to me. Over the years, there has been discussion about revamping record books like B&C and P&Y to reflect the differences in antler size between these distinct types of deer. As an example, a 120″ “Seminole” whitetail is a veritable giant, yet it would not qualify for P&Y. But other than a category for Coues deer, there has been no serious attempt to address this. And, if sources I talk to are correct, it will probably never happen.
So the game here is totally different. Now, the criteria for making “the book” has nothing to with is not antler size, but geography. So would you go after a whitetail slam?