Best deer hunter search under way

The American Whitetail Authority, conducting a nationwide search for the country's best whitetail hunter, will take their search to the Discover Mills' Bass Pro Shops this week.

Founder Greg Koch will be on hand Thursday to spread the word about the AWA and to sign up any prospective hunters for the only professional whitetail deer hunting competition in the world -- the Whitetail Pro Series. Hunting skills and experience, involvement in general outside sports, and personal descriptions as to why they are qualified are among the criteria provided in the submission packet to compete in the White Tail Pro Series.

The 40 best applicants will compete in four regional, five-day deer hunts throughout the country with the top two hunters from each event moving on to the American Whitetail Authority World Championships. The final event is a three-day competition that will eventually crown the best deer hunter in the country. It rewards consistency, combining factors such as antler size and mass, a deer's age class and shot placements, as well as firearm and hunter safety practices and sportsmanship.

Unlike past competitions, no deer will actually be killed in the Whitetail Pro Series. Each hunter will use a digital scope during the event. When a hunter fires a blank shot, the scope records a digital image of the deer, shot placement and shot distance -- effectively making a "virtual kill" for scoring. By using digital scopes, hunters can experience a realistic hunt without harming the deer in any way.

For more information, visit the American Whitetail Authority online at awapro.com.