It's a little less appealing to public land hunters. The problem: I thought it was out of reach and way too expensive. The terrain where you’ll find mule deer ranges from dry, high-desert foothills to the rugged, mountainous, alpine zone. And there’s 2 million acres of public land. The St. Joe National Forest and the Clear-Water National Forest near the state’s southern Panhandle, are the best bets for high-success. The state has some of the best trophy potential as well, with Boone & Crockett entries near the top of the book. Waterfowl hunters are no strangers to working the road. Landowner permission is not required for hunting on private land in Vermont, except on land legally posted with signs prohibiting hunting. It is known as one of the best places in the nation to hunt deer. No discussion of deer hunting on public land in Indiana would be complete without including our fantastic forest properties. I don't care what anyone says, this is the current sleeper state. Nestled between Iowa and Kansas, Nebraska holds the genetics and nutrition to pump out mega whitetails like its neighbors. The one advantage hunters have in Pennsylvania when looking for the best public land hunting is … Click here for more information about deer hunting in Nebraska. Kentucky is one of the most well-managed states for whitetails, … Here are eight of the best states to travel to if you’re in the market for a great deer hunt. Hunters just posted the single-season record during 2015-16. I’d consider it the top state for DIY deer hunters in 2020. But license costs aren't bad and the deer populations are there. In the Market for a Good Deer Hunt? Try These States. The Challenge of Hunting Deer on Public Land In Texas The great state of Texas boasts some of the best deer hunting opportunities around. North Dakota has fewer deer hunters than all of its neighboring states; Minnesota kills more deer each year than North Dakota gives out tags. Wisconsin is a state that stays in the news because of CWD and other issues. 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. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Iowa. 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. North Dakota has one of the earliest deer openers in the country, which fluctuates between late August and early September each year. 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. Just don't overpressure them or they’ll be like all the rest. Several states provide high-quality hunts on public land that are available only through a lottery. Boone & Crockett trophy ranking: 4th. It even has more than 1,000,000 acres to chase deer on. Out-of-state deer hunting is within reach and can be done on a budget. Photo credit: ©LAHeishmanPhotography/Shutterstock. That said, I wanted to chase deer in lands different from what I was used to. Big bucks, land management, rut reports, and tips for the whitetail obsessed. Public land: 1,976,000 acres Click here for more information about deer hunting in Indiana. The Buckeye State also has a late archery opener, dropping hunters right into what some consider the lull of the season. 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. Another 10 percent mix their time between public and private land hunts. Ne Muleys There are a few areas in the NW part of the state that would most likely be your best option. Indiana has thousands of acres of national and state forests that offer almost unlimited deer hunting opportunities. When will bucks be chasing? It wasn’t until I started looking into it that I realized neither of those things were true. With this in mind, think about the way you look at public land. It's a little pricey for non-residents. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Ohio. Finding such places is the research and scouting part of this program. There are a lot of mature bucks in this state. Give this state a chance, it just may be the hunt of a lifetime. Wildlife District One is in Central Ohio. Try this state if you’re looking for a classic whitetail hunt. Even if the law doesn’t require this identification, it’s still smart to label your gear with your name, address and phone number. Despite what you might have heard, mule deer are not dumb. With the Licking River running through its open fields and woodlands, this location is a haven for large whitetail deer. Considering it as an option while waiting for WY tag of choice. Montana has loads of public land and a deer hunting culture that skews towards muleys. Oklahoma. 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. Study state fish-and-game department websites. Decades of... Our picks for the week’s best hunting, fishing, wild foods, and conservation content. It’s also an incredibly diverse state, with whitetails found among the large ag fields, rough river bottoms, and vast sand hills. I said Kansas is the state everyone wants to hunt in. One of the state's most scenic public lands, Woods is also among the best archery-only deer hunting areas. 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. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Kentucky. They did recently find CWD there, but all in … Tag fees are reasonable at $300, and the trophy potential is there thanks to a great age structure. Although rifle tags are tough to draw, archery whitetail tags are available over the counter. 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. But Kansas is a dang good place to up the odds. It's that good. The best mule deer numbers are found southeast of the Panhandle region of Idaho. It's pricey like Kansas. The new world-record elk was taken last season on public land in Utah. 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. 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. TX Public Lands. Tag fee: $240 State Game Land 223 Wyoming - Next up is Wyoming, where vast, unpopulated wilderness areas are ideal for hunting. If the Southeast is in your sights, Mississippi is likely the best state for DIY deer hunters. This Country Has Many Places to Chase Whitetails, But Which Are The Best? Public land in Nebraska isn’t as abundant as other Great Plains states, but walk-in hunting programs help make up for that. 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. It’s hard to imagine The Flickertail State will stay a secret in the whitetail community for much longer. December 11, 2020 | Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, December 9, 2020 | Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes. Tag fee: $250 States in the West lead the country in the amount of public land available, with states including Wyoming, Utah and Idaho making more than 50% of the state available to the public to hunt. Mississippi is quickly becoming more well-known for its whitetail deer hunting. This is the state that used to be a secret. Over two-thirds of Idaho is public land, so finding a place to hunt shouldn’t be a problem for first-timers. Hunting on Private Land. Here are some that didn’t make the cut but should still be on your radar. That's not the case anymore. When comes to Texas, everything is huge, so does the number of inhabited Deer. 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. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Kansas. The Best Places to Hunt Public Land Deer in the U.S. Don’t be afraid to chase public-dirt bucks this fall. With slightly more than 2.9 million acres of public access, there is plenty of opportunity to find deer on public lands. It publishes very detailed harvest data so you can plan ahead and know what area of the state to target. Honorable Mentions Tag fee: $250 You can’t beat that. Dec 30, 2010 #2 B. Baxter New member. The Bleacher Report ranked Pennsylvania fifth in the nation for best places to hunt big bucks. There are some big bucks coming out of Oklahoma and few people are hearing about it. Public land deer hunting has been, and continues to be, a hot subject in the Prairie State. I have plans to hunt the Hoosier state this fall for the first time. Although there’s a ton of public land, not all of it is productive for whitetailers. Hunting deer on public land is the great equalizer. The Magnolia State also boasted a 63% hunter success rate harvesting at least … 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. 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). 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. More folks are finding this out, though, and public land competition is way up in the last decade. Narrowing this list down to three was damn tough. Montana has loads of public land and a deer hunting culture that skews towards muleys. The mature buck bedding areas I find on public land are in spots with very little human intrusion. They have over a million acres of public land and the largest whitetail population in the country (based on deer per square mile). That means as many as 87,000 hunters will be looking for a deer on publicly accessible areas each year. 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. December 7, 2020 | Brow Tines and Backstrap. Although nearly every state hosts huntable whitetail populations, there are a few that stand above the rest. It's the state everyone wants to go hunt in and kill that buck of a lifetime. For half the cost you can hunt the Bluegrass State. But if someone sees this, hunts Kentucky, and kills their dream buck, then I've done my job. I remember a time when I dreamt of hunting whitetails in states other than my home state of Kentucky. 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. The following are five of the top spots for hunting in Pennsylvania: 1. 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. Have specific objectives in mind when setting out cameras for scoring whitetails. That says KDFWR officials and Kentucky hunters are doing things right. Also great for non-residents: You can hunt deer for $160. 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. Nebraska is a prime destination. I’ll be spending part of my fall there, along with a few of the other states from the list. http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com Public land can be difficult to hunt, no doubt. best public land rut action in the country. It takes work and dedication to shoot a mature buck regardless of where you're at. And honestly, I hate to even put Kentucky on this list. Public land: 700,000 acres It's a little less appealing to public land hunters. Now, you’ve got to move safely from Point A to Point B. 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. Like the rest of the region, Ohio does not have an ample amount of public ground. And on opening day of gun season, as hunters moved all around the thicket, he could see tails bounding through the multiflora rose. About 16 percent of Arkansas hunters primarily chase deer on public land. Best States Based on Public Land Availability. But in all seriousness, Kentucky is one of the best states for non-residents in the country. There isn’t much to dislike about Nebraska, with big bucks that can be pursued early or late with the weapon of your choice. And I'm excited about it. Most research can be done via computer and phone. 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. 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. North Dakota has quietly become one of the best whitetail destinations in the nation, especially for those looking to arrow a velvet buck. It can take years to … 7.) Archery season runs in September and most rifle seasons occur during October, with some exceptions. by Don Gasaway. But you better do your homework ahead of time and find a piece that isn't over-pressured. 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. Season: late August – early January Each hunter has to search for a place to hunt, develop a sound strategy and compete with other hunters all seeking a whitetail buck. 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. These tips and locations can help you tag a deer this season. These states have exceptional public land opportunities, economical tags, good license availability, and trophy potential that should titillate every DIY hunter. Public land hunt- That was a great segment recently with your prostaff. But in all seriousness, Kentucky is one of the best states for non-residents in the country. But within those little leftover pieces is where you’ll find the mature bucks hiding. The state has high quality public lands made up of rolling hills and thick timber that feels bigger than what it actually is. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock. Essentially, the state doubles the amount of public ground with short-term contracts on properties that … Like Oklahoma, it’s sort of another sleeper state that not many people are flocking to. The opportunity is great and the time to capitalize on this great state's big buck production is now. Photo credit: ©Raulbaenacasado/Shutterstock. Scout early and often on public land to find the best spot for your tree stand. Hunters just posted the single-season record during 2015-16. With nearly 6 million acres, it’s hard to argue it out of the top eight spots. Luckily, there is some public land to go around. North Dakota isn’t considered a trophy state, but that’s usually not the focus of an OTC, DIY hunter. In addition to deer, there are rampant opportunities to hunt turkeys, squirrels, and other game. Permission is also required on all private land during the Youth Hunting Weekends for deer and turkey. North Dakota But don't think you'll find just any piece of dirt, waltz right in, and kill a big fatty. 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. For that reason, much of the whitetail public ground is overlooked and under hunted. Kentucky is one of the most well-managed states for whitetails, with solid herd numbers and great trophy potential. But for a true Southern whitetail hunt, I’d look to Mississippi. Do your best to get inside his head. Most whitetail enthusiasts’ bucket list hunts orbit around three Midwestern states. One place in particular fitting this description is the Harrison-Crawford State Forest. Site by Gray Loon. Several states require hunters to tag stands or blinds left on public lands. Nebraska has an early opener that appeals to archers, but also has a month-long muzzleloader season in December that favors firearm hunters. Joined Dec 20, 2010 Messages 4. With one of the cheaper non-resident licenses in the Midwest, Ohio has been captivating DIY hunters on a budget for years. Has anyone done a Nebraska Mule Deer on your own hunt on public land. Actually, it's a lot pricey. But if you can swing the cost, it's worth it. Nebraska The cool part about this state? Season: early September – late December Harrison County consistently ranks at o… Study your map carefully; as if you were the buck you’re trying to kill. 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. Whether you want to hunt with a bow or grab the smoke pole, Nebraska is a great option. The tags are over the counter, and there is a lot of public land. For half the cost you can hunt the Bluegrass State. Boone & Crockett trophy ranking: 13th. Illinois' Best Public Land Deer Hunting. Public land: 800,000 acres 12 Reasons Why Your Venison Tastes Like Hell, Monster Buck Poached in Kentucky and More Deer Hunting News. Do that and you're well on your way to a big buck in the bed of the truck. Ohio There is some controversy right now with the change in rifle hunting regulations. (Shutterstock image) August 23, 2017 By Don Gasaway. For that reason, much of the whitetail public ground is overlooked and under hunted. Born and bred in the "Land of Lincoln's" birth (probably lost a few Illinois readers with that one). ©2020 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Don’t get me wrong, I love hunting deer in Kentucky. Not to mention the massive amounts of public land. Season: late September – early February Boone & Crockett trophy ranking: 19th. 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. There’s a lot of space to roam, and fairly little competition. It’s one of the best destinations in the country to chase big bucks. But the big bucks bed behind ever tree, or something like that. When it comes to hunting, that’s good news, because little-known hunting grounds will tend to have less hunting pressure. Ever dream of heading to the Midwest? Public hunting land owned by a Michigan county is a good place to start because it is not exactly easy to locate. This isn’t textbook whitetail country, though, which will cause a lot of hunters to struggle to kill a bottomlands buck. I know you get repeat questions on outfitters and places to hunt.Not sure if this has been asked. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Oklahoma. Click here for more information about deer hunting in Wisconsin. This state is unleashing its potential and we're seeing it happen now. I'm a Bluegrass boy. The Dillon Wildlife area is located in Muskingum and Licking counties and is a premier deer and turkey hunting spot. Whether you want to take down a massive buck in Brush Country or bag one of the plentiful whitetail deer in … While Canada offers some of the best... Every whitetail hunter wants a crystal ball for the rut. Trouble is, drawing a tag in these coveted areas ranges fro… But that'll soon change. Hunting pressure isn’t terrible. Caught myself doing just that at the store the other day, matter of fact. You’re more likely to run into competition here than in other areas on this list. The forest amounts to some 24,000 acres, and it is loaded with whitetails. Because I don't want even more people flocking to the state. 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