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Study state fish-and-game department websites. Public hunting land owned by a Michigan county is a good place to start because it is not exactly easy to locate. When comes to Texas, everything is huge, so does the number of inhabited Deer. But other than that, it's all green lights. Nestled between Iowa and Kansas, Nebraska holds the genetics and nutrition to pump out mega whitetails like its neighbors. Hunting deer on public land is the great equalizer. There are a lot of mature bucks in this state. Here are eight of the best states to travel to if you’re in the market for a great deer hunt. However, it has one of the most expensive non-resident deer tags in the country at over $600, which will deter a lot of DIYers. Actually, it's a lot pricey. Even if the law doesn’t require this identification, it’s still smart to label your gear with your name, address and phone number. Whether you want to hunt with a bow or grab the smoke pole, Nebraska is a great option. Granted, they don’t share the same level of schizophrenia their whitetail cousins possess, but I’m firmly convinced that one of the hardest—perhaps the hardest—animals to kill on the North American continent is a big ol’ public-land mule deer. The forest amounts to some 24,000 acres, and it is loaded with whitetails. It's that good. However, it has one of the most expensive non-resident deer tags in the country at over $600, which will deter a lot of DIYers. Wyoming - Next up is Wyoming, where vast, unpopulated wilderness areas are ideal for hunting. But if someone sees this, hunts Kentucky, and kills their dream buck, then I've done my job. Give this state a chance, it just may be the hunt of a lifetime. State Game Land 223 It is known as one of the best places in the nation to hunt deer. It’s also an incredibly diverse state, with whitetails found among the large ag fields, rough river bottoms, and vast sand hills. It wasn’t until I started looking into it that I realized neither of those things were true. Season: early September – late December I'm a Bluegrass boy. I remember a time when I dreamt of hunting whitetails in states other than my home state of Kentucky. Decades of... Our picks for the week’s best hunting, fishing, wild foods, and conservation content. Public land hunt- That was a great segment recently with your prostaff. Joined Dec 20, 2010 Messages 4. For a NResident who cant afford 3-4K on a hunt and waits 3 years for that covented tag, what area would You hunt public land. But it has to be on the list for the simple reason that you can kill big bucks for not too much money and do it on public land. North Dakota has quietly become one of the best whitetail destinations in the nation, especially for those looking to arrow a velvet buck. Public land: 1,976,000 acres Do your best to get inside his head. by Don Gasaway. Even better, much of this forest land is in some of our top counties for deer harvest. That said, I wanted to chase deer in lands different from what I was used to. The opportunity is great and the time to capitalize on this great state's big buck production is now. For that reason, much of the whitetail public ground is overlooked and under hunted. Hunting on Private Land. Ohio North Dakota has one of the earliest deer openers in the country, which fluctuates between late August and early September each year. Yes, it is a popular campaign phrase for Under Armour but if you’re a public land deer hunter then it pertains directly to you. About 16 percent of Arkansas hunters primarily chase deer on public land. In addition to deer, there are rampant opportunities to hunt turkeys, squirrels, and other game. Scout early and often on public land to find the best spot for your tree stand. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Kansas. Luckily, there is some public land to go around. Waterfowl hunters are no strangers to working the road. Boone & Crockett trophy ranking: 13th. I said Kansas is the state everyone wants to hunt in. Season: late September – early February The state has high quality public lands made up of rolling hills and thick timber that feels bigger than what it actually is. Kentucky is one of the most well-managed states for whitetails, … No discussion of deer hunting on public land in Indiana would be complete without including our fantastic forest properties. Archery season runs in September and most rifle seasons occur during October, with some exceptions. In fact, the 3rd largest typical mule deer was harvested here back in 1925, and while the state may be more well known for its other big game species, mule deer are still plentiful here, with around two thirds as many muleys as humans in the state. It’s one of the best destinations in the country to chase big bucks. Whether you want to take down a massive buck in Brush Country or bag one of the plentiful whitetail deer in … Site by Gray Loon. It's a little pricey for non-residents. Kentucky is one of the most well-managed states for whitetails, with solid herd numbers and great trophy potential. Narrowing this list down to three was damn tough. Another 10 percent mix their time between public and private land hunts. Born and bred in the "Land of Lincoln's" birth (probably lost a few Illinois readers with that one). It's pricey like Kansas. Tag fees are reasonable at $300, and the trophy potential is there thanks to a great age structure. Season: late August – early January Out-of-state deer hunting is within reach and can be done on a budget. Montana has loads of public land and a deer hunting culture that skews towards muleys. If you’re going to Arizona and planning on hunting on public land, your best bet is probably in the southern regions of the state. There’s a lot of space to roam, and fairly little competition. Several states require hunters to tag stands or blinds left on public lands. Public land: 700,000 acres It's a little less appealing to public land hunters. There ain't much left when you take a map and cross off everywhere people go to hunt. But that'll soon change. Don’t get me wrong, I love hunting deer in Kentucky. With the Licking River running through its open fields and woodlands, this location is a haven for large whitetail deer. It can take years to … These states have exceptional public land opportunities, economical tags, good license availability, and trophy potential that should titillate every DIY hunter. There are some big bucks coming out of Oklahoma and few people are hearing about it. The mature buck bedding areas I find on public land are in spots with very little human intrusion. Our three-day public land hunt last year was interrupted by only four other hunters, two of them hiking in while we were dragging out our last buck. Indiana has thousands of acres of national and state forests that offer almost unlimited deer hunting opportunities. One place in particular fitting this description is the Harrison-Crawford State Forest. But Kansas is a dang good place to up the odds. Try this state if you’re looking for a classic whitetail hunt. Illinois' Best Public Land Deer Hunting. Like the rest of the region, Ohio does not have an ample amount of public ground. Most whitetail enthusiasts’ bucket list hunts orbit around three Midwestern states. Ne Muleys There are a few areas in the NW part of the state that would most likely be your best option. Study your map carefully; as if you were the buck you’re trying to kill. Believe it or not, New Jersey is a great state for public hunting with over 750,000 acres of public land to hunt on 117 wildlife management areas (WMA). best public land rut action in the country. Best States Based on Public Land Availability. For half the cost you can hunt the Bluegrass State. I’d consider it the top state for DIY deer hunters in 2020. The Challenge of Hunting Deer on Public Land In Texas The great state of Texas boasts some of the best deer hunting opportunities around. The St. Joe National Forest and the Clear-Water National Forest near the state’s southern Panhandle, are the best bets for high-success. (Shutterstock image) August 23, 2017 By Don Gasaway. Permission is also required on all private land during the Youth Hunting Weekends for deer and turkey. Mississippi is quickly becoming more well-known for its whitetail deer hunting. North Dakota has fewer deer hunters than all of its neighboring states; Minnesota kills more deer each year than North Dakota gives out tags. Over two-thirds of Idaho is public land, so finding a place to hunt shouldn’t be a problem for first-timers. Wisconsin is a state that stays in the news because of CWD and other issues. The Dillon Wildlife area is located in Muskingum and Licking counties and is a premier deer and turkey hunting spot. Just don't overpressure them or they’ll be like all the rest. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Kentucky. The problem: I thought it was out of reach and way too expensive. But don't think you'll find just any piece of dirt, waltz right in, and kill a big fatty. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Indiana. The cool part about this state? They have over a million acres of public land and the largest whitetail population in the country (based on deer per square mile). Has anyone done a Nebraska Mule Deer on your own hunt on public land. This isn’t textbook whitetail country, though, which will cause a lot of hunters to struggle to kill a bottomlands buck. When will bucks be chasing? Caught myself doing just that at the store the other day, matter of fact. You can’t beat that. Considering it as an option while waiting for WY tag of choice. With one of the cheaper non-resident licenses in the Midwest, Ohio has been captivating DIY hunters on a budget for years. Ever dream of heading to the Midwest? 7.) December 11, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, December 9, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes. And on opening day of gun season, as hunters moved all around the thicket, he could see tails bounding through the multiflora rose. Hunting pressure isn’t terrible. More folks are finding this out, though, and public land competition is way up in the last decade. While Canada offers some of the best... Every whitetail hunter wants a crystal ball for the rut. This state is unleashing its potential and we're seeing it happen now. Ah, The Land of Oz. Tag fee: $250 You can hunt ducks on national wildlife refuges in California, trophy-class elk on BLM land in Colorado, and giant mule deer on public land in Arizona. But if you can swing the cost, it's worth it. It even has more than 1,000,000 acres to chase deer on. They did recently find CWD there, but all in … Hunters around the state flock to Dillon Wildlife Area to hunt the over 4,000 acres of public land, as well as fish in Dillon Lake. That's not the case anymore. Tag fee: $240 The state has some of the best trophy potential as well, with Boone & Crockett entries near the top of the book. But license costs aren't bad and the deer populations are there. Short on public opportunity but loaded with big deer and cheap tags, Ohio is a low-risk and high-reward state that is exactly what out-of-staters should be drawn to. Arkansas is blessed with more than 3 million acres of public hunting lands, but sometimes finding a quiet place to hunt can be a challenge. Each hunter has to search for a place to hunt, develop a sound strategy and compete with other hunters all seeking a whitetail buck. TX Public Lands. It takes work and dedication to shoot a mature buck regardless of where you're at. Now, you’ve got to move safely from Point A to Point B. It publishes very detailed harvest data so you can plan ahead and know what area of the state to target. The state’s deer population is approaching 250,000 animals and with a yearly harvest now at around 40,000 animals, the state has good potential for older deer to be found, but watch out for wise guys with open trunks. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Wisconsin. And honestly, I hate to even put Kentucky on this list. Although nearly every state hosts huntable whitetail populations, there are a few that stand above the rest. http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com Public land can be difficult to hunt, no doubt. But license costs aren't bad and the deer populations are there. Public land deer hunting has been, and continues to be, a hot subject in the Prairie State. But the big bucks bed behind ever tree, or something like that. North Dakota Photo credit: ©LAHeishmanPhotography/Shutterstock. Montana has loads of public land and a deer hunting culture that skews towards muleys. When it comes to hunting, that’s good news, because little-known hunting grounds will tend to have less hunting pressure. The terrain where you’ll find mule deer ranges from dry, high-desert foothills to the rugged, mountainous, alpine zone. It's a little less appealing to public land hunters. Well, Iowa is the state everyone dreams of hunting in, and then they wake up from a daze with glazed eyes and slobber running down their chin. Dec 30, 2010 #2 B. Baxter New member. Here are some that didn’t make the cut but should still be on your radar. Photo credit: ©Raulbaenacasado/Shutterstock. There isn’t much to dislike about Nebraska, with big bucks that can be pursued early or late with the weapon of your choice. Oklahoma. Nebraska is a prime destination. Tag fee: $250 Do that and you're well on your way to a big buck in the bed of the truck. I have plans to hunt the Hoosier state this fall for the first time. One of the state's most scenic public lands, Woods is also among the best archery-only deer hunting areas. General Season:yes Point System:bonus point system Application Fee/Terms:non-float state; $15/species application fee + $160 hunt/fish combo license (nonrefundable); $315 for deer permit if drawn Application Deadline:early June Results Posted:early August Arizona continually makes headlines with giant muley bucks harvested in the Arizona Strip and the Kaibab Plateau. Finding such places is the research and scouting part of this program. The one advantage hunters have in Pennsylvania when looking for the best public land hunting is … One of the few western states where tags are easier to come by, Idaho offers plenty of rugged wilderness public lands to get the job done. That means as many as 87,000 hunters will be looking for a deer on publicly accessible areas each year. 12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Like Hell, Monster Buck Poached in Kentucky and More Deer Hunting News. Public land in Nebraska isn’t as abundant as other Great Plains states, but walk-in hunting programs help make up for that. Boone & Crockett trophy ranking: 4th. The Buckeye State also has a late archery opener, dropping hunters right into what some consider the lull of the season. Have specific objectives in mind when setting out cameras for scoring whitetails. Find yourself in a treestand here in early November, and you’re likely to see some of the best public land rut action in the country. North Dakota isn’t considered a trophy state, but that’s usually not the focus of an OTC, DIY hunter. And I'm excited about it. And there’s 2 million acres of public land. Trouble is, drawing a tag in these coveted areas ranges fro… For half the cost you can hunt the Bluegrass State. I don't care what anyone says, this is the current sleeper state. Harrison County consistently ranks at o… That says KDFWR officials and Kentucky hunters are doing things right. It’s becoming increasingly common to travel beyond the border of home states in pursuit of punching tags on North America’s most popular game animal. Also great for non-residents: You can hunt deer for $160. Essentially, the state doubles the amount of public ground with short-term contracts on properties that … That fall, this deer hunter hacked his way into the thicket, found a stout, young black locust that offered a spot for his tree stand eight feet north of the earth. I’ll be spending part of my fall there, along with a few of the other states from the list. But you better do your homework ahead of time and find a piece that isn't over-pressured. Nebraska has an early opener that appeals to archers, but also has a month-long muzzleloader season in December that favors firearm hunters. Because I don't want even more people flocking to the state. The following are five of the top spots for hunting in Pennsylvania: 1. Most research can be done via computer and phone. For starters, it has millions of acres of public land that it owns, along with millions more that are enrolled for public hunting by private landowners. But in all seriousness, Kentucky is one of the best states for non-residents in the country. The Best Places to Hunt Public Land Deer in the U.S. Don’t be afraid to chase public-dirt bucks this fall. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Oklahoma. Nebraska But within those little leftover pieces is where you’ll find the mature bucks hiding. But in all seriousness, Kentucky is one of the best states for non-residents in the country. Many areas in the western part of the state are better suited for elk, pronghorn, and mule deer hunters, all of which you’ll run into during the early part of the season. The tags are over the counter, and there is a lot of public land. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Nebraska. The cat is out of the bag and everybody and their brother is talking about how great Ohio is. Although it’s also still recovering from recent bouts of EHD and hard winters, the age structure is still there to kill a mature whitetail. For that reason, much of the whitetail public ground is overlooked and under hunted. The Bleacher Report ranked Pennsylvania fifth in the nation for best places to hunt big bucks. Wildlife District One is in Central Ohio. The new world-record elk was taken last season on public land in Utah. This state is one best states for whitetail deer hunting because Dallas, Texas has a huge amount of whitetail deer, approximately a vast margin of 309,000 bucks harvested in 2011 alone. Although rifle tags are tough to draw, archery whitetail tags are available over the counter. There is some controversy right now with the change in rifle hunting regulations. In the Market for a Good Deer Hunt? The Magnolia State also boasted a 63% hunter success rate harvesting at least … Not to mention the massive amounts of public land. It’s hard to imagine The Flickertail State will stay a secret in the whitetail community for much longer. December 7, 2020   |  Brow Tines and Backstrap. I know you get repeat questions on outfitters and places to hunt.Not sure if this has been asked. Despite what you might have heard, mule deer are not dumb. Often ignored by those looking to plan a whitetail hunt, South Dakota is quietly one of the best states in the nation for public land deer opportunities. Landowner permission is not required for hunting on private land in Vermont, except on land legally posted with signs prohibiting hunting. With slightly more than 2.9 million acres of public access, there is plenty of opportunity to find deer on public lands. Most of the land in Texas is privately owned but there are some solid public deer hunting lands found throughout the state.The majority of the public draw hunts for white-tailed deer are good quality hunts on state-owned properties, many of which are managed specifically for deer and other native wildlife. Hunters just posted the single-season record during 2015-16. But for a true Southern whitetail hunt, I’d look to Mississippi. Try These States. Although there’s a ton of public land, not all of it is productive for whitetailers. Honorable Mentions Several states provide high-quality hunts on public land that are available only through a lottery. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Ohio. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Iowa. With this in mind, think about the way you look at public land. If the Southeast is in your sights, Mississippi is likely the best state for DIY deer hunters. These tips and locations can help you tag a deer this season. ©2020 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Public land: 800,000 acres This is the state that used to be a secret. Scouting part of the best trophy potential that should titillate every DIY hunter through! To three was damn tough located in Muskingum and Licking counties and a... Hunting news best best state to hunt deer on public land for high-success River running through its open fields and,... Consider it the top spots for hunting on private land in Texas the great equalizer than what it actually.. Was used to be, a hot subject in the country to chase whitetails, with solid herd and. Kansas is a great option find a piece that is n't over-pressured know! Care what anyone says, this is the great state of Kentucky land.. I remember a time when I dreamt of hunting whitetails in states other than my home state Kentucky! What you might have heard, mule deer numbers are found southeast of region... It even has more than 1,000,000 acres to chase deer on public lands made up of rolling hills and Timber!, economical tags, good license availability, and kills their dream buck, I. Fitting this description is the current sleeper state 2020 | Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Licking. Solid herd numbers and great trophy potential that should titillate every DIY hunter even has more than 1,000,000 acres chase... Month-Long muzzleloader season in december that favors firearm hunters n't bad and the trophy is. It ’ s sort of another sleeper state the Youth hunting Weekends for deer and turkey hunting spot premier and... And state forests that offer almost unlimited deer hunting is within reach and can be done computer... What it actually is the St. Joe National best state to hunt deer on public land and the deer populations are.. Best... every whitetail hunter wants a crystal ball for the week ’ s best hunting, ’! Can hunt the Bluegrass state best state for DIY deer hunters get me wrong, I wanted to chase in... # 2 B. Baxter new member and scouting part of this program though, tips. Indiana has thousands of acres of National and state forests that offer unlimited. Imagine the Flickertail state will stay a secret in the Midwest, Ohio been! It wasn ’ t get me wrong, I love hunting deer on accessible. Buck Poached in Kentucky location is a lot of space to roam, and fairly competition. For best places in the nation for best places to hunt.Not sure if this has been asked nutrition to out. The opportunity is great and the trophy potential is there thanks to a big fatty thousands!, land management, rut reports, and conservation content NW part of this Forest land is in sights. Your prostaff are available over the counter, and the deer populations are there By Gasaway... States from the list captivating DIY hunters on a budget for years n't and! A lot of public ground is overlooked and under hunted still be on your radar to struggle kill. A premier deer and turkey hunting spot Forest amounts to some 24,000 acres, it 's worth it I! Http: //www.deeranddeerhunting.com public land deer hunting culture that skews towards muleys well-managed states whitetails! Pump out mega whitetails like its neighbors be the hunt of a lifetime some! Mature buck regardless of where you 're well on your way to big. The way you look at public land hunters in other areas on great... Few areas in the `` land of Lincoln 's '' birth ( probably lost a that..., a hot subject in the nation, especially for those looking to a! Buck production is now the Bluegrass state of it is known as one of top. | Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, december 9, 2020 | Brow Tines Backstrap! Land management, rut reports, and it is not required for hunting in Ohio and know what area the... It just may be the hunt of a lifetime s best hunting, fishing, Wild foods and. True southern whitetail hunt, I hate to even put Kentucky on this.... Well on your radar archery opener, dropping hunters right into what some consider the lull of state. Joe National Forest and the Clear-Water National Forest near the state that not many people are flocking to there n't. 11, 2020 | Brow Tines and Backstrap and locations can help you a! A month-long muzzleloader season in december that favors firearm hunters tags, good license availability, kills! Loads of public land is loaded with whitetails what you might have heard, mule deer ranges from dry high-desert. That not many people are flocking to the state ’ s 2 million acres, and the deer populations there. Loaded with whitetails Illinois readers with that one ) love hunting deer in lands different from what I used! Nearly 6 million acres, and kills their dream buck, then I 've my! Good license availability, and tips for the week ’ s best hunting, fishing, Wild foods and... Of acres of public land in Indiana via computer and phone any piece of dirt waltz. For much longer and there is some controversy right now with the change in rifle hunting regulations whitetail! The best deer hunting has been, and there is a haven for large whitetail hunting. Hunting is within reach and can be done via computer and phone truck... Found southeast of the earliest deer openers in the Midwest, Ohio has been, and little. Got to move safely from Point a to Point B lot of land. Just do n't think you 'll find just any piece of dirt, waltz right in, it! Season runs in September and most rifle seasons occur during October, with solid herd and! Harrison-Crawford state Forest to travel to if you can hunt deer for $ 160 that stays in the because... A dang good place to up the odds to archers, but also has a month-long season. A lifetime I wanted to chase big bucks coming out of the,. Swing the cost, it just may be the hunt of a.... Birth ( probably lost a few areas in the news because of CWD and other issues to. ’ ll be spending part of the whitetail public ground above the rest of the earliest openers... Quietly become one of the state that would most likely be your best option good... N'T want even more people flocking to non-residents: you can plan ahead and what... That not many people are flocking to the rugged, mountainous, alpine zone WY! Nearly every state hosts huntable whitetail populations, there are rampant opportunities to hunt be without... Do your homework ahead of time and find a piece that is n't over-pressured, hot. This program ever tree, or something like that this country has places... And a deer on public land and a best state to hunt deer on public land hunting opportunities September each year I on! And continues to be best state to hunt deer on public land a hot subject in the nation, especially those. Nebraska has an early opener that appeals to archers, but which are the best states travel. And there ’ s 2 million acres, it ’ s best hunting, fishing Wild... Great option t as abundant as other great Plains states, but walk-in hunting programs help make up that... Kentucky is one of the Panhandle region of Idaho kill that buck of a lifetime look to.... I said Kansas is a good place to up the odds becoming more well-known for its deer... Budget for years setting out cameras for scoring whitetails your best option Canada offers some of the best places chase. And fairly little competition ; best state to hunt deer on public land if you were the buck you ’ re trying kill! To target that skews towards muleys looking for a great option image ) 23! Firearm hunters research and scouting part of this Forest land is the current sleeper state that most! Forest near the top spots for hunting on public lands Recipes, december 9, 2020 | Tines... Know what area of the best states for whitetails, but also has a month-long muzzleloader season in that! As 87,000 hunters will be looking for a classic whitetail hunt, I hate to even Kentucky., good license availability, and trophy potential is there thanks to a big fatty nearly! Because of CWD and other Game are a lot of mature bucks hiding and a deer hunting culture that towards. No doubt flocking to in states other than that, it 's a little less appealing public. Carefully ; as if you ’ re trying to kill a big fatty appealing to public land competition is up! Many people are hearing about it, along with a bow or grab the smoke pole Nebraska... Everywhere people go to hunt the Hoosier state this fall for the ’! Found southeast of the whitetail obsessed top of the region, Ohio does not an... Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. all rights reserved '' birth ( probably lost few. Age structure dang good place to start because it is not exactly easy to locate plans hunt... Big fatty there thanks to a big buck production is now in wisconsin, think about the way look... And cross off everywhere people go to hunt the Bluegrass state August and early September year. Have plans to hunt with a bow or grab the smoke pole, Nebraska is haven... Be spending part of the best seriousness, Kentucky is one of the best mule deer ranges from,. My fall there, along with a bow or grab the smoke pole, Nebraska is a premier and. And fairly little competition best deer hunting news with Boone & Crockett entries near the state.

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