Alabama Whitetail Records is Alabama’s record program for whitetail deer. AWR also publishes The Alabama Record Book for Whitetail Deer. Over 4 decades ago, Alabama Whitetail Records was started by Dennis Campbell in cooperation with the Alabama Wildlife Federation and the AWF’s “Big Buck Program”. The first Record Book was printed in 1989. Since then, new editions have been printed every few years with new stories and trophy whitetails. What makes Alabama Whitetail Records so unique is the stories that Dennis and many contributors tracked down to include with each entry into the book. Starting in 2013 we will be taking AWR into new territory by offering an interactive online experience as well as new and exciting publications. Check back in during the coming months to see some of the new features we will be bringing to AWR.
We wanted to include a more detailed history of how AWR was started and some insight into Dennis’s efforts. We decided there was no better way to share this with you than to include Dennis’s own writing from the first Record Book, which we call “the little blue book”. Below is the original dedication, acknowledgements, and foreword from 1989.
This first edition of Alabama Whitetail Records is dedicated to the people who first began the Alabama Wildlife Federation “Big Buck Program,” and to those who have kept the program alive. It was their far-sighted dream that one day a book such as this one would be published.
Five years of work are represented between the covers of this book. During this period of time, I have traveled the state extensively while gathering data for inclusion. The first year of work was mainly spent investigating where the big bucks actually were, tracking down the owners, and officially measuring the antlers for eventual inclusion in a published list.
At some point during that first year, I began to believe that an actual Record Book was a possibility, as opposed to simply a listing of the scores. I talked with a few people about it, but not enough interest was generated for anyone to actually take on the task himself. I eventually realized that the responsibility would have to be mine if it were ever to get anywhere, and slowly I began the formulative plans.
And now, after traveling thousands of miles, scoring thousands of deer antlers, assimilating thousands of score sheets, writing thousands of pages, and working thousands of hours, the first record book for Alabama trophy whitetail deer…Alabama Whitetail Records…is a reality!
For over three years, I have kept a list of all of those who had helped the progress of this book in any way. I fully intended to recognize those individuals in this section when the day came to prepare it. Well, as it turned out, the list became so swollen with names from the many and varied activities involved with trophy deer, measuring, and conservation that it became obvious that someone was going to wind up being left out. With this danger lurking in mind I submit the following instead.
First of all , the Alabama Wildlife Federation must be recognized. Literally hundreds of AWF members have helped out in one way or another. A special “thanks” goes to the Board of Directors, the “Big Buck” Committee, and the Executive Director.
Next, I would like to recognize all of those who have helped at the Alabama Deer Hunters’ Exhibit each year. It is at these “Deer Shows” that over half of the entries in this book were officially measured. At the 1986 Exhibit, for example, over 300 deer were entered and had to be registered, transported to the measurement area, officially measured, hung up for display, and finally, checked back to their respective owners. At each of the other Exhibits there have been over 150 entries each year, so it is definitely obvious that several people were involved in this important activity. Thanks to all of you!
To all of the Official Measurers (over 50 of you), a special thanks for your expertise and hard work. Also, all of the “Big Buck” entry stations around the state have been extremely helpful in locating trophy-size bucks. Year end and year out, all of these people have continued to unselfishly promote and keep alive the AWF Big Buck Program. They all have my gratitude.
Trophy owners who have sent photographs and stories providing the entertainment portion of this book, so thanks are due to them as well. Likewise to all of the professional writers permission to reprint their material.
Finally, there are two people whom I must recognize by name. The first is my wife, Nancy, for her understanding when I felt it necessary to devote so much time during the past five years toward this work. The other is Tim Hollis. Now, you will not run across Tim’s name in any hunting magazine, nor will you bump into him at a hunting camp, because he neither hunts nor fishes. He is, however, a dear friend who realized that this book would never make it to the printer unless I had help. You see, Tim is the one who typed thousands of pages from hand-scratching (admittedly, I don’t type well). He also proofread all of the contents and rearranged them into the English language (I admit sleeping through English class).
To the hundredes of you who have helped, I apologize for not naming you specifically. I hope that the publication of this work, and the knowledge that you were a part of it, will in some small way repay you.