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The hot zone.

Whitetails are found all over Minnesota, from the open farm country in the southwest to the big woods along the Ontario border. And wherever you bowhunt in this state, you have a chance of tagging a real trophy.

As our map of all-time Pope & Young entries shows, some of the hottest action is in Minnesota's southeastern corner. There, steep bluffs, thick cover and lush crops add up to big deer. And these counties remain good; a number of them rank among the state's best for entries since 2010.

But the bluff country isn't the only hot area. In particular, the map shows a band of solid trophy counties running from around the Twin Cities northwestward toward the North Dakota border. This transition zone between farmland and forest yields many big bucks.

The Gopher State actually claimed the first P&Y world record in the non-typical category. In 1959, Donald Vraspir shot a 186 2/8-inch giant with his traditional bow in western Minnesota's Otter Tail County. And still tied for the all-time No. 4 position in P&Y's typical rankings is the 11-pointer Curt Van Lith took in 1986. That monster was downed in Wright County, just northwest of Minneapolis. Nine years later and a few miles to the east in Anoka County, Barry Peterson shot a 195 7/8-inch 6x6 that still ranks No. 8 in the world.

BY GORDON WHITTINGTON

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Author:Whittington, Gordon
Publication:North American Whitetail
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Jun 1, 2015
Words:232
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