Like Deer Hunting? Here Are Ten States to Get That Buck!

Like Deer Hunting? Here Are Ten States to Get That Buck!

Posted by Clayton on Apr 14th 2016

It’s winter time again, and that means deer season is open! Whether you prefer to hunt with a bow or a rifle, taking home a big buck is always rewarding. To make the most of your season this year, consider taking a trip to some of the best hunting grounds in the country. We’ve found the best ten states to grab your ultimate prize.

  1. Indiana

This Midwestern state has a lot to offer hunters. There are hundreds of acres of great public land, as well as some of the highest chances to bring in a record whitetail. Indiana has been in the top ten Boone and Crockett entries in the last ten years. Hunters enjoy an average of 50% success.

  1. Kentucky

Many enthusiasts consider Kentucky the #1 state for hunting, even though it has flown under the radar for many years. It offers a long season and well stocked public land with mature herds. Regulations are also generous – some areas don’t even have a cap on the number of does you can take. It also has a lower concentration of hunters than Indiana.

  1. Illinois

While the competition is relatively high in Illinois, it still makes the list because of its unparalleled trophy potential. There is a reasonable amount of public land, and it has produced more record-book bucks than any other state in the past five years.

  1. Kansas

Kansas is always a state in the top ten lists, thanks to the high probability of taking a record book buck, but it may be one of the most expensive. There is very little public land, so a guided hunt will be your best bet to find the biggest whitetails. You have a pretty good chance of winning tags in the lottery, but you should be ready to pay for the land privilege.

  1. Missouri

With many new outdoors TV shows based in Missouri, its popularity is on the rise, and it has become a new destination for Midwestern hunting. There is an incredible amount of public land. The average age of harvested whitetails is 3.5 years, so the herds have a good, mature age structure that offers great trophy potential.

  1. Iowa

Another Midwestern gem, Iowa is one of the top places to harvest a trophy whitetail. Unfortunately, it’s another expensive destination. It has very little public land (second only to Hawaii for the least acreage) and out-of-state licenses are incredibly expensive – if you even win one. Again, your best bet will be a guided hunt so save up for the privilege.

  1. Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the public hunting land. Texas also boasts some of the most mature herds, giving it great trophy potential. It has relatively lax regulations; so Texas hunters harvest the most bucks per year by a wide margin. Be vigilant, though; the local hunters have a reputation for protecting their territory.

  1. Mississippi

Regarded as the state with the best QDM practices, Mississippi is ranked #1 in mature bucks. This state definitely offers your best potential for harvesting a mature buck. While there is not an abundance of public land, it offers many great areas with managed herds.

  1. Georgia

The Peach State has only recently risen to prominence in the hunting community, but it has become a great destination for warmer weather hunting. The success rate is about 55%, and, while the concentration of trophy bucks is low, they are first in the country for the number of whitetails harvested.

  1. South Carolina

This Southern state offers a whopping success rate of 70% and offers the best whitetail concentration per square mile. Again, South Carolina is not the destination to harvest a big buck, but it’s an ideal place to go for a great time.

Packing for a Hunting Trip

While packing your camo gear, rifle, and ammo is a no-brainer, there are a few extra things that should be in your pack when you head out. Carry a quality tactical knife for cutting through underbrush and other utility applications. Make sure you have some high powered binoculars for spotting. A range finder is also helpful once you’ve spotted your whitetail.

Maximize the chances of bringing them in closer with scent-reduction spray for your clothes as well as a scent attractant to spray on trees and other plants. If you are going out in snowy conditions, make sure you have a stocked emergency kit in case you are stranded or caught in a storm.

You can easily plan a fun and successful hunting trip in any of these prime whitetail states. Just ensure you are familiar with the regulations and you acquire the proper permits to harvest a great trophy.