The Whitetail Slam: What is it?

The Whitetail Slam: What is it?

Everything you need to know about achieving one of deer hunting’s most difficult feats

A Kentucky velvet 8-pointer you only see in paintings. A 38-yard archery shot on a picturesque main-frame 10 after an Ohio snowstorm. A heavy-bodied Missouri stud munching in a bean field. And a South Dakota big one with a split brow. Those are the four hunts that qualify me for a Whitetail Slam. I harvested great bucks in each of these places, and I am in the process of certifying these successful adventures. If you aspire to do the same, ready on, and learn the necessary information.

Whitetail Slam Defined

The Whitetail Slam is something for those who enjoy keeping track of their achievements. It’s also great for anyone looking to connect with others of like mind. And, according to the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), Whitetail Slam is an effort to award and credit hunters who achieve a very big objective, which is to complete the Whitetail Slam. Its mission is to “capture the excitement and experience of those hunters through Whitetail Slam multimedia.

It was also created to celebrate how diverse the whitetail species truly is. There’s no doubt that whitetails have adapted to inhabit a vast number of habitat types. This resulted in many different colors, shapes, sizes, and other distinguishing qualifications of deer. Many of these regions have little hope of producing top-end whitetails that rank well with the likes of Boone and Crockett or Pope & Young. While these celebrate the size and symmetry of deer, Whitetail Slam celebrates where these animals come from. And all can find a home with Whitetail Slam.

Whitetail Slam Qualifications 

For those still unfamiliar with the idea, it’s akin to the Grand Slam concept the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) uses for classifying the harvesting of the four primary subspecies of wild turkeys in America, including the eastern, Merriam’s, Osceola, and Rio Grande subspecies. Taking one of each qualifies a turkey hunter for a Grand Slam. Of course, those who go on to bag a Gould’s is eligible for the Royal Slam, and those who tag the ocellated turkey obtain World Slam status. The Whitetail Slam and Ultimate Whitetail Slam work much the same.

To create this system, numerous whitetail experts banded together to identify eight different subgroups of whitetails. This panel of biologists included National Deer Association’s Kip Adams, HuntStand’s Brian Murphy, North American Whitetail’s Dr. James Kroll, and retired researcher Dr. Harry Jacobson. Together, they created the following groups, including Dakota, Desert, Gulf Coast, Northern Woodlands, Northwestern, Seminole, South Central Plains, and Southeastern. Each of these are unique biologically and geographically. These also express different habitat- and physical-based characteristics.

Those who harvest a legal buck from four of these regions are eligible for a Whitetail Slam. Those who harvest a legal buck from eight of these regions are eligible for an Ultimate Whitetail Slam. There are no size requirements for bucks to qualify.

Of course, those who choose to join Whitetail Slam aren’t required to enter deer. They can still be a part of this engaging community by registering online for a free membership. They will receive a digital magazine, e-newsletter, and perhaps chances to win free gear. Furthermore, those who choose to enter at least one deer will receive a print magazine subscription, and chances to win even more prizes.

To see hunters who have completed their Whitetail Slam, go here. 

To check out hunters who have achieved Ultimate Whitetail Slam status, click here

Those who want to see what regions their buck harvests fall into can do so with this link

Hunters who are ready to register their own harvest(s) can do that by following the directions listed. 

It costs $20 to register each buck into the database. Learn more here

Whitetail Slam Q&As

Q: How many subspecies of whitetails are there?
A: Biologists can’t completely agree. Some say fewer than 20. Others claim more than 40.

Q: Can does be entered into the records and go toward a Whitetail Slam?
A: No, only legal bucks are eligible to go toward a Whitetail Slam or Ultimate Whitetail Slam.

Q: Can I submit one application for all four bucks?
A: No, an application must be entered for each buck registered.

Q: How much does it cost to register a slam?
A: It costs $20 per entry, for a total of $80. A framed certificate signed by Tom Miranda is an additional $100.

Q: Can I complete more than one Whitetail Slam or Ultimate Whitetail Slam?
A: Yes, you can complete multiple slams. However, a buck may only be used for one slam.

Q: What does it require to successfully complete a Whitetail Slam or Ultimate Whitetail Slam?
A: It requires plenty of thought, preparation, planning, skill, and more.

Q: Do weapons and specific methods of harvest matter?
A: Yes and no. All legal bucks are eligible, but an archery award is given to those who complete the entire slam with stick and string.

Article and photos by Josh Honeycutt 

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