But there are lots of ways to take the pulse of deer hunting. Animals seen. Success rates. Hunting opportunity. And yes, the number of trophy (mature) bucks in the annual kill. My friend Tim Walmsley is not only a respected measurer for the Boone and Crockett Club, but the man who founded the Illinois Deer Classic (now the Illinois Deer & Turkey Expo deerinfo.com/illinois) in 1990. Walmsley has been measuring big Prairie State bucks for years, and using just the sheer number of trophy entries as a pulse for Illinois deer hunting, he feels the state is one sick puppy.