Best States for Whitetail Deer Hunting

Traveling across the country to the best hunting spots can be an exciting adventure, so we put together a list of the best states you should think about visiting.


Iowa is one of the first states that come to mind when thinking about hunting. From 1830 to 2001, the state ranked number one for Boone and Crockett trophy whitetail bucks. The estimated 200,000 deer can be found almost anywhere in the state and they will be much bigger than anything you will find in other places. However, be careful because hunting in Iowa can be very expensive and hard to accumulate points and tags in order to hunt on public land.


Ranked #5 by the Boone and Crockett Club from 1830-2001, Texas has one of the highest annual deer harvests with numbers around 600,000 annually. With over 2 million acres of huntable land, there is a great deal of room for deer to grow and develop. Note that about 97% of Texas is privately owned, but hunts are fairly cheap and licenses are easy to acquire.


While maybe not on the forefront of everyone’s minds, Wisconsin ranks as one of the top whitetail counties in North America. Over the last ten years, the state ranks number one in Boone and Crockett trophy production with an impressive number of 700. The most popular area to hunt is in Buffalo County, but other places along the Mississippi River, some Milwaukee suburbs, and the north woods have increased in popularity.


Mostly overlooked, Ohio produces some of the largest deer and has ranked the number three overall Boone and Crockett trophy producer in the last decade. The deer are plentiful with about 217,000 harvested in 2012, but the state is named the fifth most dense whitetail state. The great advantages in Ohio are the abundance of public land, whitetail population of 750,000, and an average of 420,000 licenses handed out annually.


Kentucky is has such a beautiful scenery and friendly people who are willing of offer up advice, which makes the state an appealing one for hunting. With a deer population of almost 1 million and and over 1.5 million acres of public hunting land, you are likely to spot there large whitetails. Another plus is the generous season and reasonably priced tags.


Illinois is ranked number two for Boone and Crockett trophy entries in the last decade and in 2001 produced the most deer among the top 50 typicals and non-typicals lists. Although harvest numbers average around 181,000 annually, Illinois does not have many options for public land. Less than 1 percent of land is available for public land hunters, so for most people hunting here is just not feasible.

Before traveling to any of these states, make sure you know how to obtain a license and how much cash you may need to hunt in the best spots!

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