Easiest P&Y on a DIY on public land
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Doofle 03-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 03-Apr-18
Ambush 03-Apr-18
Jaquomo 03-Apr-18
Huntcell 03-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 03-Apr-18
Nick Muche 03-Apr-18
Bigdan 03-Apr-18
Nick Muche 03-Apr-18
midwest 03-Apr-18
Bowfreak 03-Apr-18
Brotsky 03-Apr-18
elk yinzer 03-Apr-18
cnelk 03-Apr-18
Bigdan 03-Apr-18
MathewsMan 03-Apr-18
PECO 03-Apr-18
JTV 03-Apr-18
ahunter55 03-Apr-18
Mt. man 03-Apr-18
Michael 03-Apr-18
Ollie 03-Apr-18
ELKMAN 03-Apr-18
Dyjack 03-Apr-18
ELKMAN 03-Apr-18
APauls 03-Apr-18
Brotsky 03-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 03-Apr-18
Cheesehead Mike 03-Apr-18
Franzen 03-Apr-18
deerslayer 03-Apr-18
Ziek 03-Apr-18
Drummer Boy 03-Apr-18
Shawn 03-Apr-18
12yards 03-Apr-18
Kurt 03-Apr-18
MathewsMan 03-Apr-18
Dikndirt 03-Apr-18
Blacktail Bob 03-Apr-18
Bigdan 03-Apr-18
sdkhunter 03-Apr-18
Nick Muche 04-Apr-18
pav 04-Apr-18
Bou'bound 04-Apr-18
Nick Muche 04-Apr-18
ELKMAN 04-Apr-18
Native Okie 04-Apr-18
Lee 04-Apr-18
KB 04-Apr-18
Nick Muche 04-Apr-18
12yards 04-Apr-18
Ziek 04-Apr-18
AZBUGLER 04-Apr-18
Kurt 04-Apr-18
Ziek 04-Apr-18
1boonr 04-Apr-18
pav 04-Apr-18
Kurt 04-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Apr-18
mountainman 04-Apr-18
Shawn 04-Apr-18
12yards 04-Apr-18
Dikndirt 04-Apr-18
Cazador 04-Apr-18
YZF-88 04-Apr-18
Dikndirt 04-Apr-18
APauls 04-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Apr-18
Ziek 04-Apr-18
Bou'bound 04-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Apr-18
pav 04-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 04-Apr-18
Lee 04-Apr-18
Franzen 05-Apr-18
APauls 05-Apr-18
Ziek 05-Apr-18
Charlie Rehor 05-Apr-18
Ziek 05-Apr-18
Boreal 05-Apr-18
Mark Watkins 05-Apr-18
APauls 05-Apr-18
bdfrd24v 05-Apr-18
Ziek 05-Apr-18
BOHNTR 05-Apr-18
splitlimb13 05-Apr-18
WV Mountaineer 05-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
Nick Muche 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
pav 06-Apr-18
Nick Muche 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
Nick Muche 06-Apr-18
grubby 06-Apr-18
Native Okie 06-Apr-18
APauls 06-Apr-18
MathewsMan 06-Apr-18
MathewsMan 06-Apr-18
MathewsMan 06-Apr-18
SBH 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
Michael 06-Apr-18
ELKMAN 06-Apr-18
Nick Muche 06-Apr-18
kota-man 06-Apr-18
APauls 06-Apr-18
Pigsticker 06-Apr-18
Native Okie 06-Apr-18
Pigsticker 06-Apr-18
MathewsMan 06-Apr-18
APauls 06-Apr-18
Native Okie 06-Apr-18
Kurt 06-Apr-18
MathewsMan 06-Apr-18
MathewsMan 06-Apr-18
Michael 06-Apr-18
Pigsticker 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
Cazador 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
Pigsticker 06-Apr-18
WV Mountaineer 06-Apr-18
Ziek 06-Apr-18
Pigsticker 06-Apr-18
Cazador 06-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
Native Okie 06-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 06-Apr-18
DonVathome 06-Apr-18
Lee 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
Michael 06-Apr-18
12yards 06-Apr-18
Michael 06-Apr-18
BOHNTR 07-Apr-18
Franzen 07-Apr-18
Drummer Boy 07-Apr-18
Ziek 07-Apr-18
Drummer Boy 07-Apr-18
Ziek 07-Apr-18
Ambush 07-Apr-18
cnelk 07-Apr-18
Cazador 07-Apr-18
Blacktail Bob 07-Apr-18
Blacktail Bob 07-Apr-18
cnelk 07-Apr-18
Ziek 07-Apr-18
APauls 07-Apr-18
Cazador 07-Apr-18
Native Okie 07-Apr-18
Michael 07-Apr-18
12yards 07-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 08-Apr-18
Nick Muche 08-Apr-18
buzz mc 08-Apr-18
midwest 08-Apr-18
Drnaln 08-Apr-18
Mitch 08-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 08-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 08-Apr-18
Michael 08-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 08-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 08-Apr-18
t-roy 08-Apr-18
muskeg 09-Apr-18
Native Okie 09-Apr-18
Nick Muche 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
Alpinehunter 09-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 09-Apr-18
Nick Muche 09-Apr-18
Native Okie 09-Apr-18
patdel 09-Apr-18
grubby 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 09-Apr-18
BC173 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
Drnaln 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
Drnaln 09-Apr-18
Nick Muche 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 09-Apr-18
Nick Muche 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
Drnaln 09-Apr-18
Nick Muche 09-Apr-18
cnelk 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
Kurt 09-Apr-18
Drnaln 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
LTG 11 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
LTG 11 09-Apr-18
APauls 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
LTG 11 09-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 09-Apr-18
Drnaln 09-Apr-18
12yards 09-Apr-18
Nick Muche 09-Apr-18
Blacktail Bob 10-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 10-Apr-18
Drnaln 10-Apr-18
Drummer Boy 10-Apr-18
Franzen 10-Apr-18
12yards 10-Apr-18
12yards 10-Apr-18
Ziek 10-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 10-Apr-18
pav 11-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 11-Apr-18
Alpinehunter 11-Apr-18
Nick Muche 11-Apr-18
Genesis 11-Apr-18
Native Okie 11-Apr-18
Genesis 11-Apr-18
Franzen 11-Apr-18
Pigsticker 11-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 11-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 11-Apr-18
elkstabber 11-Apr-18
elkstabber 11-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 11-Apr-18
elk yinzer 11-Apr-18
BOWUNTR 11-Apr-18
ELKMAN 11-Apr-18
Drnaln 11-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 11-Apr-18
EmbryOklahoma 11-Apr-18
Nick Muche 11-Apr-18
Genesis 11-Apr-18
elk yinzer 11-Apr-18
12yards 11-Apr-18
Nick Muche 11-Apr-18
Ambush 11-Apr-18
ELKMAN 11-Apr-18
Charlie Rehor 11-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 11-Apr-18
Pigsticker 11-Apr-18
Pigsticker 11-Apr-18
Pigsticker 11-Apr-18
elkstabber 11-Apr-18
Michael 11-Apr-18
12yards 11-Apr-18
elkstabber 11-Apr-18
Treeline 11-Apr-18
Pigsticker 11-Apr-18
From: Doofle
03-Apr-18
So what places and species do you think are easiest to bag a P&Y on a DIY, public land hunt.

03-Apr-18
Wyoming (antelope), duh!

From: Ambush
03-Apr-18
I definitely have to agree that's the place alright, but I'm inclined to challenge the species. As for as acquaintances, I've got some but haven't met them yet.

From: Jaquomo
03-Apr-18
CO Unit 2 elk. Buy the landowner tag and hunt the BLM.

From: Huntcell
03-Apr-18
Name: Buck Dufis from Missouri Bowsite Handle: "Doofle"

03-Apr-18
I hope that nickname doesn't stick :)

I'd still guess it'd be Pronghorn based on what I've heard (I've never hunted them).

But I think people over state how difficult it is to kill a book WT (in the midwest). While I've nearly missed the score and don't have one, I have killed a 3 year old 6 point on public land that would have gone book if he was an 8 or 10, have seen more book animals per hunting day, by far, of any animal I've hunted, and have killed more animals per hunting day (white tail) than anything I've hunted.

I've only hunted WT the past 4 years. Three of those were on public land. In 17 days of hunting public land DIY, I've seen 6 book WT (different animals, some of them on multiple days), shot one (unrecovered), tagged a 3 year old that would have gone book as an 8, and tagged 9 total deer.

Every other animal Ive hunted I haven't even come close to those kinds of numbers.

I'd say that there are a lot of animals that would be easy to get a book animal if you only had a good tag or any tag for that matter. Give anyone a Kaiporowitz DBHS tag or a San Juan elk tag and getting a book animal should not be that difficult.

But if we're talking DIY, public land, on an OTC or leftover tag with a bow, that anyone in North America can purchase and hunt, then I'm putting midwest WT up there.

From: Nick Muche
03-Apr-18
Pronghorn

From: Bigdan
03-Apr-18

From: Nick Muche
03-Apr-18
No chance on it being a whitetail, not even close... Sitka's are right up there with Pronghorn in my opinion.

From: midwest
03-Apr-18
In my experience, antelope, Wyoming.

From: Bowfreak
03-Apr-18
Ike,

Killing a P&Y whitetail in the midwest is not that big of a deal. That being said....the vast and I mean vast majority of whitetail hunters hunt east of there. It is a much more difficult task. Ask a guy in PA how hard it is to kill a P&Y deer on public land and you get a much different answer than the guy hunting public in Iowa.

From: Brotsky
03-Apr-18
Turkey in Alabama

From: elk yinzer
03-Apr-18
I too have gathered the impression sitka blacktail are fairly easy once you get there. I've seen threads here people whacking and stacking several on a week long trip. Personally elk have been easier than whitetails. In 3 otc elk hunts I killed 1 and saw 4-5 others that would make it. In 20 years hunting whitetails I killed 1 and don't think I've seen more than a dozen or so. But many of our mature bucks never make 125 net, the midwest is a different story there.

I don't think it gets much more difficult than a DIY PL PY whitetail over about 2/3 of their range.

From: cnelk
03-Apr-18
Antelope

From: Bigdan
03-Apr-18

Bigdan's embedded Photo
Bigdan's embedded Photo
Sitka Blacktail here is a photo of a group of bucks we killed on our first trip to Kodiak Island all of these bucks make P&Y and one was a new world record

From: MathewsMan
03-Apr-18
Pronghorn in Wyoming, Muskox, Black Bears in Canada over bait, I've not tried yet but sounds like Sitka Blacktail can be on the list.

From: PECO
03-Apr-18
X2 on turkey in Alabama

From: JTV
03-Apr-18
Chipmunks on the Fish and Wildlife areas ... tough as heck to stalk and hit ..

From: ahunter55
03-Apr-18
Born & raised in Ill & now 20 years in Ia. Started bowhunting in 1956 (starting 62nd year). I've bowhunted Whitetail, Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope, Caribou, Black Bear & more in 15 states (Public) & 2 Canadian Provinces. For me the "chance" to take a P&Y animal has been 1-Antelope 2-Whitetail (because of where I live) 3-Black Bear. Mind you, I have never been a horn hunter so have taken lesser horned animals. I set a personal goal on my next Whitetail several years ago (only Whitetail) as I have taken many Does (No longer shoot them) & a wide variety of Bucks. I've drawn my bow 3 times since & not closed the deal. 2017 I never saw a Buck that would even come close to P&Y.

From: Mt. man
03-Apr-18
I have taken 2 P&Y Elk in Idaho on DIY Public Land. 2 P&Y black bear over bait in Idaho on DIY public land. With that said I've had the 900 Antelope tag in Mt. a couple of times and I did a lot of Spot and Stalk hunting and purely on yardage judgement each year I missed 3 or so bucks well over P&Y. I did shoot one that was 1/4" short of P&Y. So my top 3 for opportunity 1. Antelope 2. Black Bear 3. Elk.

From: Michael
03-Apr-18
Killing a book antelope may not be difficult in Wyoming but if you go east to the Dakotas or even Ne it gets harder. It gets even harder the farther east you go.

From: Ollie
03-Apr-18
Depends on where you live, how well you know a public hunting area, and how familiar you are hunting a particular species.

From: ELKMAN
03-Apr-18
Basically any upper end Elk draw tag. 265 just isn't that hard to do on Elk. (I don't do score/record books and all that BS) So I'm just stating my opinion on the subject.

From: Dyjack
03-Apr-18
Lepus sylvaticus in the snow. That's a cotton tail to simple folk.

From: ELKMAN
03-Apr-18
Another one would be a Breaks Sheep tag. Pretty much couldn't jack that up.

From: APauls
03-Apr-18
Black Bear in Manitoba sure isn't too alltogether difficult. If you set up tow baits in a decent area I would say odds are like 80% there is a P&Y bear on at least one of them, maybe multiple of that size. Killing them isn't as easy as one might think but compared to a lot of things it isn't insanely difficult. It still comes down to where you live. Guys who live in whitetail meccas find them "easy" with enough time, same with the elk guys, and same with the lopes. Only guys who are SOL is those in the east!

From: Brotsky
03-Apr-18
I’m going to agree with Adam, it only took my better half all of about 15 minutes to shoot a PY black bear in Manitoba:)

03-Apr-18
Bowfreak, I specifically said "midwestern WT," because I know it's a tall task in other parts of the country.

And I knew there's be some dissenters, which is why I posted my stats. Maybe I've been lucky with my encounters, but many 3 year old WT bucks will make the book and there's seemed to be plenty of them running around in the rut and all it takes is being in the right tree.

As far as Kodiak Blacktails, that completely depends on the year and where you're at. The winter of 2016-2017 had large die offs that were localized. If you got dropped in a place with a lot of deer, I can imagine that it's not that tough. Where I got dropped, there was one book deer within 2 miles of camp as the crow flies and the bucks we hunted were 3-4 miles from camp and I saw 12 or 13 bucks total in 10 days of hunting with about 1/2-2/3 of them being book size. If they were closer, I'd imagine it's a pretty easy hunt, but most hunters are not going to be walking as far as we were, doing 18 hour days.

As far as elk go, with a LE tag, I'm sure it's not an issue, but on an OTC/general/leftover tag, yeah, you can "see" book elk, but off the ground, getting an arrow into one can be quite a challenge. If I hunted WT off the ground, I'm sure my success rate would go down as well. And IMO, it's easier to find a good spot for a stand in WT country than it is in elk country specifically because WT have a home range and elk move around, so if you're in a tree, there's a possibility that there isn't a book elk within 3 miles of you.

03-Apr-18
I haven't hunted pronghorn yet, but I will in the future.

I've hunted Midwest whitetails a lot longer than I've hunted elk but my percentage of P&Y qualifier elk is higher than my percentage of P&Y qualifier whitetails and all of my P&Y qualifier elk have been shot in easy draw or OTC areas.

And FWIW, when you're talking Midwest whitetails, there's the Midwest and then there's Iowa, which is a totally different world of it's own. I don't think you can compare the odds (or ease) of killing a P&Y in Iowa with the odds of killing a P&Y in the rest of the Midwest...

From: Franzen
03-Apr-18
I honestly do not know the answer to this question because I haven't hunted all that many species. I tend to think whitetail would not be at the top, but somewhere near the top. Public land hunting differs from site to site, so it kind of depends whether we are discussing any random location, or the location of your choice based on research. Ike says its over stated, yet he's still 0'fer. ;^) He is probably right if one has the willingness and ability to research and travel to better areas. Having said that, I bet I could count on one hand the number of seasons I've seen more than 5 different "certain book" whitetails from stand at any distance... but I don't travel for whitetail. There are certainly a fair amount of close call deer thrown in there.

From: deerslayer
03-Apr-18
In a good portion of the country a legit net P&Y buck is not easy to come by. For sure though private vs public makes a big difference as well.

I would agree with the antelope being one of the easier ones. I also agree with the Cheesehead Mike in that in my experience P&Y elk is not that difficult. But like with whitetails a lot of it comes down to location.

From: Ziek
03-Apr-18
"I honestly do not know the answer..."

That's the best answer on here. No one does. It's mostly about individual perception, bias, and habitat.

Going through my bow stats.; I'm 1 for 3 MD, 3 for 13 Elk, 6 for 6 pronghorn, 2 for 6 WT, 1 for 1 BHS, 0 for 1 cougar, 0 for 1 BB, 1 for 1 RMG, 1 for 2 Sitka BT, 1 for 1 Shiras' M. There are a few others but they were guided, as was the cougar.

It might be easy to conclude that any of the 1 for 1 were easy, or, that 6 for 6 pronghorn MUST be easy. But a lot of other factors come into play. My wife is 3 for 6 on pronghorn, hunting the same area. She's not as picky and I've passed on many that wouldn't make book. She's also 1 for 1 on RMG. Does that make it the easiest because it's the only one we're both 100% on? Maybe it has more to do with how much effort we put into certain hunts or how selective we are. For instance, I didn't get my first P&Y elk 'til #9 bow kill. I had already killed 8 bulls in 8 seasons (none record book) with a rifle before switching to bow, so it wasn't so much a learning curve. (I've also killed one with a ML and one with a revolver.) Since I planned on hunting them nearly every year, I thought it would eventually just happen. It didn't until I got picky. 3 of my last 5 made book, and one more of them came really close (252 7/8 by an official measurer). Maybe it's MD. I rarely specifically hunt MD. The one I killed that scored 169 5/8 was killed in it's bed at 30 yards while primarily still hunting elk. (Concurrent seasons are nice). What could be easier?

I admit my bias on whitetails. On a sliding scale I'm much closer to the end that represents 'just climb a tree and wait - they're nearly everywhere', than to the other end, that thinks they are one of the most, if not the most, difficult big game animal. Given a reasonable amount of hunting time, which is more typical of how many hunters hunt them - close to home with liberal seasons, it has more to do with the size of the deer in the area you hunt, than hunting skill. But that's one possible reason some consider them difficult. It would be about as hard to kill a P&Y WT in Alaska as it would a P&Y pronghorn there.

From: Drummer Boy
03-Apr-18
When I was 30 and in great shape I shot PY elk two years in a row.Now at 63 pronghorn or WT are easier.

From: Shawn
03-Apr-18
The only big game I really hunt are whitetails, I live in the east. Have bow hunted 40 years in NY and I hunt hard. I have killed a grand total of one P&Y whitetail in NY, I have killed quite a few 3.5 and 4.5 year old bucks in that time but a lot of those deer are 100-to 120" deer. I have hunted several mid-west states and Kansas. On public I have killed 3 P&Y bucks but in Kansas I am 3 for 3 but none were private they were on lands I knocked on doors and got permission to hunt. I 100% agree it makes a huge difference where you live, come to NY and try and kill a P&Y on public, it happens but it is a very rare thing. By the way, I should say none of my deer are entered but all have been scored by an official scorer for P&Y and they do meet the minimum entry scores. Shawn

From: 12yards
03-Apr-18
Totally agree with Cheeshead Mike when it comes to midwest whitetails. I've shot two P&Y class whitetails in my home state of MN in 26 years of hunting. One was on a draw hunt, and one was in an archery only area. Outside of that, I can count on less than one hand how many P&Y class bucks I've even seen on public land. And I put in a lot of time at prime time. I grew up in MI and never saw one there. I doubt even WI is very easy on public but maybe better than MN.

From: Kurt
03-Apr-18
Shawn, If you knocked on a door to get permission I'd consider the land private, not public????

From: MathewsMan
03-Apr-18
I would put out there that the lower end of trophy possibility (more difficult) would be P&Y Non-typical Rocky Mountain Elk. Numbers speak for themselves.

From: Dikndirt
03-Apr-18
Without a doubt my experience has been mule deer. Pronghorn Antelope a close second

03-Apr-18
1) Sitka Blacktail 2) Black Bear 3) Coues Deer

From: Bigdan
03-Apr-18
Bob you have about the same order as me but I would put Elk and number 3 and Coues deer at 4

From: sdkhunter
03-Apr-18
Based on what I’ve hunted I’m at about the following for reasonable opportunity at PY animal on diy style hunt (of course lightning can strike on day 1,2,etc):

Antelope: 3-5 days Mule deer or whitetail : 5-10 days Elk: 10-20 days

From: Nick Muche
04-Apr-18
"Basically any upper end Elk draw tag. 265 just isn't that hard to do on Elk. (I don't do score/record books and all that BS) So I'm just stating my opinion on the subject."

I bet a 260" is even easier eh?

From: pav
04-Apr-18

pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
pav's embedded Photo
Ike - "But I think people over state how difficult it is to kill a book WT (in the midwest). While I've nearly missed the score and don't have one, I have killed a 3 year old 6 point on public land that would have gone book if he was an 8 or 10, have seen more book animals per hunting day, by far, of any animal I've hunted, and have killed more animals per hunting day (white tail) than anything I've hunted."

Honestly, I think there is a pretty big misconception among many whitetail hunters regarding what a "book" animal really looks like. Just because a whitetail lives to be 3-1/2 years old or more and sports an 8pt-10pt rack, does not mean it will be a "book" animal. Not one of theses photos represents a P&Y qualifier. I'm betting alot of whitetail hunters would drop the string on bucks of this caliber...especially on a DIY, public land hunt. If you really want a P&Y whitetail...you have to pass these deer.

From: Bou'bound
04-Apr-18
Pav that is amazing..............................point made case closed. next topic.

those are all special deer and exceptional photos.

From: Nick Muche
04-Apr-18
Pav, excellent point and one that many do not understand. Many very nice, short on inches to make P&Y, bucks are killed annually! All of those are great bucks that most would shoot while hunting public land in the midwest!

A P&Y whitetail on public ground is not an easy task...likely one of the hardest.

From: ELKMAN
04-Apr-18
Nick: Is that what the minimum is? LOL! I'm out of my depth I guess! To the Whitetail talk: Remember this thread is pertaining to DIY, Public Land hunting. And after some thought, and reading this thread, I would have to revise my statement to agree with Bob, on all but #3 on his list.

From: Native Okie
04-Apr-18
Good points Pav. Is that babe hunted them for the majority of our lives understand the difficulty.

From: Lee
04-Apr-18
I live in the Midwest, hunt public exclusively and a net P&Y isn't a gimme as some have stated. I have shot many bucks that easily gross well above the minimum but fall short on net. An 8 point has to be pretty dang big to net P&Y. a nine point might as well be an 8 and a 10 gives you some wiggle room. Add in a broken brow tine or another broken point on that 10 and doh! he misses the mark. Kind of like the 6 point - coulda, shoulda, woulda! Genetics plays a big part. Not to mention you have to get an older buck to walk within range of you on that public ground AND shoot straight! My .02.

Lee

From: KB
04-Apr-18
Are all these opinions more of a reflection on the number or the species? Personally I’d say P&Y whitetails can be much easier to kill than a pronghorn, but the latter are a dime a dozen in most of their range and far easier to at least locate. I view a 67” goat more along the lines of a 100” whitetail. Would guys say the same if the number was 70” or 72”? Just my opinions and not advocating for a change by any means, but seems a guy almost has to try as hard to find a pronghorn that wouldn’t book as he does to come across one that does.

From: Nick Muche
04-Apr-18
My opinion was based on the probability of being within bowrange of a P&Y caliber animal while hunting them on public land. A 67" pronghorn is not all that big and they are readily available to anyone wanting to hunt them annually. Additionally, the minimum for Sitka's is not all that big either and I do not find them particularly difficult to hunt and kill.

I know a heap of older guys that have been bowhunting whitetails on public land their entire life, with some "nice" bucks to their name and very few make the P&Y minimum.

From: 12yards
04-Apr-18
Everyone talks about how easy it is on IA public land. But you have to draw the tag first which will take probably 4 years. You could get it done on the first year you hunt it, but if not, you have another 4 year wait. So now you have 8 years invested. If you're an IA resident, whitetails might be the easiest P&Y animal to kill. But for a non-resident, not so much.

From: Ziek
04-Apr-18
pav. Before I comment, I would like to know what those deer actually score. And after a quick look at your photo page, you apparently have killed at least one P&Y WT, although no score is mentioned.

From: AZBUGLER
04-Apr-18
So interesting the differing opinions from location to location! Antelope? Really? I’m a total failure thus far having bowhunted them twice and not killed one yet, let alone a P&Y. Although my home state has some monster pronghorns, I think it’s much tougher hunting too with far fewer animals than say Wyoming. In AZ I’d say it’s probably elk with maybe half of mature bulls covering the P&Y minimum. I don’t hunt out of state much but I’ve been to Kansas a few times. Saw P&Y bucks pretty much every single day.

From: Kurt
04-Apr-18
PAV, I know how you feel man, I shot three bucks >124" but <125" officially scored before I finally got a 127" buck that made P&Y. Your's look like that type. And I had to switch over to hunting on private land (knocking on doors) to get it done, as I never got a public land whitetail that made P&Y...hunting Nebraska, CO and KS.

From: Ziek
04-Apr-18
That surprises me Kurt, since you're a heck of a hunter. But it doesn't mirror my experience. I've killed two in CO on a relatively small strip of heavily hunted public river bottom. It's about a 3 hr drive from home, I typically start during the second split after the first rifle season, and I only hunt every 3rd or 4th year, so it's not like I spend a lot of time there.

I do sympathize with guys that hunt in some locations. My first hunt in Connecticut on my brother-in-law's, and his neighbor's, properties (there's not a lot of public in CT) did not produce even a sighting of a P&Y buck. But in a week of hunting, I did kill the biggest buck I saw. On the last morning, I killed a respectable buck that scored about 121. Area hunters I ran into said that was a pretty good deer for the area. I did see quite a few deer though. But honestly, if that were the ONLY type of hunting I did, I would get bored pretty quickly. I'd either move to somewhere that had good hunting, or just give it up and play golf.

From: 1boonr
04-Apr-18
I have hunted in Illinois since 78 and have known a bunch of hunters over the years. I live in one of the best spots currently to kill a mature whitetail and very few guys in my area that have hunted here all their lives have more than five or six. The guys that exclusively hunt public, less than that. Even here on private ground it is never consistently easy. Pronghorn is easiest with black bear coming in second. Caribou if you hit the migration is easiest.

From: pav
04-Apr-18
Ziek, I did not have any of the bucks in the photographs officially scored. If memory serves, all four would net within an inch or two of 120". The 8pt in the first photo would come the closest to net 125"....the photo doesn't really do him justice. He carries mass really well...which almost makes up for the short G1s. The buck in the last photo will gross the best score....but had a ton of deductions.

I have three whitetails on the wall that net P&Y. Two of those are entered in the book. One was killed with an 80% let-off when P&Y was still at 65%....so I never entered him. IMO, most people overestimate score without giving much thought to deductions. The buck you saw on my photo page has 150" of gross antler....but nets just south of 135". Deductions are tough on whitetail scoring. I would guess there are not many P&Y qualifiers in the book that gross less than 130".

From: Kurt
04-Apr-18
Ziek, never got a P&Y buck off the Tamrack in a few seasons of hunting, nor off the public reservoirs in SW Nebraska. Heck, never got one in a several Kansas hunts. Did get 5 off private land in CO.

04-Apr-18
Point taken pav. But I'm surprised that 3rd buck doesn't make it. Are you an official scorer? If you aren't, you really can't say that they don't make it, and really, you have to have someone else measure them to make that claim... I've had a quick lesson in how to measure by Ed Fanchin the head of the P&Y records committee and I've still had animals since that have gone under and over what I thought they would.

I'd love to see that buck measured. I'll send you the check to the P&Y Club for the entry fee if you'll get him measured and you can have him entered whether he makes it or not, if you're interested in doing it.

From: mountainman
04-Apr-18
I'm with Idy.

I'd be very surprised if that 3rd buck is under 125. Unless you are a master at making bucks look bigger in photos. Those are all great bucks either way.

From: Shawn
04-Apr-18
Pav, measure that 10 pt. in the 3rd photo. He looks awful close but mass is hard to tell. I have a buck that grosses 163"s but as a typical he would be low to mid 130"s. He just makes it as a NT. He was killed on private though. I think a 125" buck anywhere, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska as an out of state DIY hunt is a great buck on public and unless its the 1st. or 2nd day of a 10 day hunt, I shoot him if he gets close. Shawn

From: 12yards
04-Apr-18

12yards's embedded Photo
12yards's embedded Photo
The two bucks on the right are IA public land bucks. The left one will net P&Y in the 130s. The one on the right is just like one of PAVs bucks. He grosses over P&Y and nets below.

From: Dikndirt
04-Apr-18
I have hunted annually in SD, NE and KS twice in past 6 years and have taken one legitimate P&Y Whitetail. I am currently on a 6 year streak of taking P&Y Muley bucks in UT and CO all diy on public. I think it is much easier to put the hammer on a Mule deer than a Whitetail.

From: Cazador
04-Apr-18
I've hunted a lot of public ground for years and have only killed 6 WT in various states on public ground that make PY one being a booner. If i looked at how much time was spent versus net Pope and Young WT, I would say it's hard vs bears, sheep, etc.

I've killed quite a few antelope as well, only a few of them have been book animals and I've had serious bad luck with my antelope spots so on paper they seem easy, not for me.

From: YZF-88
04-Apr-18
"I think it is much easier to put the hammer on a Mule deer than a Whitetail" My experience on public land is the EXACT opposite of this.

From: Dikndirt
04-Apr-18
YZF-88, If I remember right you took an excellent late season muley here in UT recently, A wasatch extended buck, right? My experience is to hunt early season in any of the better southern Utah units and leave the Wasatch to the masses that invade it during the rut. You will be surprised how much easier it is find and kill good Mule Deer.

From: APauls
04-Apr-18

APauls's embedded Photo
APauls's embedded Photo
Can't remember what this one net...but it was in the 120's. I have to agree with Pav. Lots of guys see stuff running around and spout numbers, but when the tale of the tape finally comes home...she's a cruel mistress.

04-Apr-18
I can see that buck netting in the 120s though. That buck has a lot of deductions. Cool buck though.

From: Ziek
04-Apr-18
pav. Of course it's hard to tell from a photo, but like others have said, you should have them scored by an official measurer. I think you may be surprised. As to symmetry, that really depends. My first P&Y, a 4 X 5 with a couple extra small points, scored 128 0/8 with 9 5/8 of deductions. My second, an even 5 X 5, scored 148 5/8 with only 5 inches of deductions. Just eyeballing the others on the wall, they are also pretty even 4 X 4s or 5 X 5.

From: Bou'bound
04-Apr-18
Come on guys it's a deer antler being measured not brain surgery in terms of complexity and the need for an expert to do it and get darn close if not spot on. Go only line get a a ruler, some string, a pencil and a score sheet.............get a calculator iof your math capabilities are below third grade or if fractions rattle you............you could do it.......you really could!

04-Apr-18
Bou'bound, it matters where you start from on the tine measurements and if you don't do that right, it makes a huge difference. There's a right way and many wrong ways to do that.

From: pav
04-Apr-18
OK guys, I put a tape on him again this evening. I'm not an official scorer, but was taught by an official scorer almost thirty years ago. Here's what I'm coming up with:

Beams - 40-2/8 (20-0/8, 20-2/8); Spread - 15-0/8; Tine Length: 39-4/8 ; Mass- 30-1/8 Longest tine is 7-2/8. The 3" G1s don't help.

Total gross just 1/8" shy of 125" .....but more than 3" in deductions will net him >122". For a clean 10pt, I would really have to mess up to be more than 3" off the tape.

I agree the photo makes him appear bigger than reality....but not sure why? My Dad snapped a couple quick shots with a pocket camera before I went to work with the knife. To be honest, I thought he was well into the 130's when I decided to shoot him.

04-Apr-18
Are you using a cable to measure mass?

04-Apr-18
I'll still send you the check to get him officially measured. I'm beyond curious at this point.

From: Lee
04-Apr-18
APauls buck is a perfect example - great buck and i would shoot him in a second! Start looking side to side and things go south quick - one of the things I dislike about net score - it diminishes the buck if he doesn't make the cut! I have seen guys flying high on the experience only to come crashing down when they realize what the deer nets and yet they were thrilled up until the tape got pulled out!

One of the prettiest bucks I ever shot was a 2 year old 10 pointer - I saw him chasing a doe and thought he was a giant - killed him and when I walked up on him I couldn't believe how small he was body wise. Weighed 192 on the hoof and netted 145" with only 4" of deductions! He is a beautiful buck - almost a mirror image side to side - I sent his teeth to a lab as it was hard to believe he was only 2.5 but he was! Shot a 9 pt. buck 2 years ago with a crappy looking rack but huge body - he field dressed more than the 2 year old weighed live! He scored a whopping 115"! Sent his teeth in - he was 7.5 years old on IL public land! Which one was the better trophy (at least in my eyes)?

As to the original question - I've shot 3 bull elk on 4 hunts on public that make P&Y and 3 antelope on 2 hunts (they were on private). Elk were the easiest, antelope the most tedious! Dang hot in a blind in August.

Lee

From: Franzen
05-Apr-18
Pav, just out of curiosity, is the left antler on that 3rd buck generally smaller across the board than the right? To me the deer looks pretty young and I could see it not making book, with short beams and symmetry deductions.

From: APauls
05-Apr-18
Yes Lee he is one of my favourite bucks for sure because of the character. I didn't really crystallize my point though which is when that thing is running around in a field or walks by at 50 yards I am willing to bet 19/20 guys myself included would call that deer a "guaranteed poper." He's got that 150/160" frame foot long plus G2's it's almost a no brainer. So just like the thread on the WR deer I just mean things get a lot different when a tape is put down. Just like Pav and that buck above, people can't believe it's not pope. But 125" net whitetail is not a small whitetail once all the deductions are added in.

From: Ziek
05-Apr-18
"...one of the things I dislike about net score - it diminishes the buck if he doesn't make the cut!"

That's just an opinion. Symmetry is a normal and valuable trait in almost all forms of life. But it's also true that oddities are also interesting and valued. P&Y does a good job of categorizing and honoring both, even if some fall somewhere in between. The bottom line - if you WANT to shoot a P&Y/B&C qualifier, you best know what to look for ahead of time. AND actually look before you shoot. If killing a P&Y/B&C animal is the only thing that will satisfy you and make you happy, maybe you're hunting for the wrong reason to begin with. On many hunts, I try for a mature animal that will qualify for P&Y. But I also sometimes just want meat in the freezer. In either case, there is much more to the hunt than just killing.

05-Apr-18

Charlie Rehor's embedded Photo
One of these six nets P&Y.
Charlie Rehor's embedded Photo
One of these six nets P&Y.
Idyll: There are six racks on this tree. Only one nets P&Y (third from bottom).

One of the reasons I became a Measurer for P&Y and B&C was to prepare me for field judging the different species I was able to hunt. I’ve shot a fair amount of animals that came up short for various reasons. It takes quite a rack to net P&Y typical or non-typical.

From: Ziek
05-Apr-18
The angle is bad on a few but I'd guess the third one from the bottom. But like many, between my wife and I, there are 6 WT mounts on the wall. Only 2 make P&Y, but they're all special - to us.

From: Boreal
05-Apr-18
My guess is third from the top.

From: Mark Watkins
05-Apr-18
Great bucks (and display) Charlie!

Agree....third from the bottom.

Mark

From: APauls
05-Apr-18
lol Charlie said it's the third from the bottom that nets P&Y and people are guessing which one :) Nice bucks Charlie!

From: bdfrd24v
05-Apr-18
I wouldn't pass any of the ones PAV shot and I would have guessed they would have been close as well. I'm not much of a score guy but I did have my last one scored. I've got a dandy 124 6/8 net score. Humbling when just a few 1/8ths bump them under. Doesn't diminish the buck one bit in my eye though. PA is a tough place to get one thats for sure.

From: Ziek
05-Apr-18
I think he edited that after his original post. But maybe I'm just getting senile.

From: BOHNTR
05-Apr-18
I appreciate my friend from KS more and more now after reading all of this.......my very first whitetail hunt was.....well.......easier than most of my hunts. I was in my stand one evening before I shot my first and only arrow at a whitetail. Luckily, it surpassed the P&Y minimum.......easiest animal I've ever hunted that made the book. Charlie lied to me and told me it was going to be hard. :)

From: splitlimb13
05-Apr-18
I think Antelope and elk are not terribly hard here in n.m. drawing the tag is the hard part. "265 isn't hard to reach . I've never been able to draw a pronghorn archery tag but there are plenty of book bucks for sure.

05-Apr-18
Pav's the only guy I have ever heard of that takes inches instead of giving them. :^) Seriously, I too thought the 10 was big enough from the photo.

TO me it isn't whitetails that's the hardest. I've done that. What I can say is that Mule Deer can't be one of them as I've had true monsters at less then 10 yards with no tag. :^(

06-Apr-18
I feel like I've derailed this thread, so it's too late to turn back now, but I have to clarify something.

It's obvious that the majority of people don't agree with me on this and I knew that would be the case, but some guys are insinuating that I'm saying that WTs are the easiest animal to get a P&Y quality animal - but I didn't say that.

If you scroll up, what I said was this: "But I think people over state how difficult it is to kill a book WT (in the midwest)." Scroll up and reread what I said. That's the only claim I made in regards to putting a WT in the book.

And that is a fact. I've missed very few threads on Bowsite over the past 6-8 years and if I had a nickle for every time I've read "A mature white tail is the most difficult animal in NA to get an arrow into," or "A mature white tail is one of the most difficult animals to get an arrow into," then I could buy a Kansas farm.

Difficult? Yes. Top 3? Top 5? I guess it depends on how you define difficult.

There are 30 million WT in North America (they are the most populous of all the NA29). Most of their habitat is within a mile of a road. In fact, most of their habitat is within 1/2 mile of a road. With a few dozen trail cameras, plenty of time off of work to sit stands, and a basic knowledge of the wind, sign, pinches/travel, and how to get into a stand without walking where they walk, anyone can put themselves in a position in the midwest to kill a 125 inch WT and I'm sure of this because I've seen the deer with my own eyes and killed more white tail than any other specie even though I'm a western hunter.

If I can go to Nebraska as a novice white tail hunter and kill 4 deer in 6 days on public land with one of them being a 3 year old buck, I'm sorry, that's just the easiest hunting I've ever done, so forgive my disrespect or my being incredulous.

And a few have noted that a borderline WT is tough to judge on the hoof. Sure, so are any other animals in a hunting situation. But I know how to field judge a WT, whether it be in the field or in a picture. Even if pav's measurment of 122 is correct, I'm still within 5 inches of my guess, just as I was when I hunted with Mike and he shot his 159 inch buck - I was within 5 inches of that deer as well. A few weeks of hunting WTs on public ground - I've seen multiple book deer. And all I did was drive out east with some time Google scouting, spend a day walking the area, and put up a stand. I've filled every WT tag I've ever purchased.

And I had 20 deer a day walking under 25 yards from me, the occasional 125-135 inch buck walking within 50, and I was 300 yards from the road. And that's been the case multiple times in multiple states. I'm a deer choosing the right from left game trail or the arrow being 2 inches right or left from having 4 book deer. I know it's ridiculous of me to say it because they're not hanging on the wall, but I'm sorry guys, that's hunting and that's not a difficult hunt so I won't be convinced otherwise.

The thing that makes mature white tail the most difficult to hunt is the fact that so many guys are gunning for them and the tags are almost all OTC, which messes up the age strata. If every WT in the midwest had LE tags for bucks like so many other species do, people would be killing P&Y caliber bucks by the bucket loads - and they already are: look at the P&Y record book. There's a book just for white tail and then there's the other 28.

Again, look at the book: The P&Y Club's cash flow has been an issue in the last decade in large part because the states reduced the white tail herd after years of managing for max deer numbers in the years of and around the 1980s. Take a look at Ethic - it's a bunch of WT and then a few entries of everything else.

Walking 200 yards and getting into a treestand that you drove 0-30 miles from your bed that holds your warm, soft wife, is not a difficult hunt. I don't care how much offseason prep you put into it. It may be a lot of offseason work and there's certainly a skill to it and some guys are going to be geniuses at figuring them out like the Wensels, some guys are going to figure out how they travel and some guys are going to dump a lot of time into food plots and habitat improvement, etc, etc.

But you don't have to do all that to kill a P&Y caliber WT in the midwest and that's what this thread is about. You may have to go to extreme ends to have legitimate opportunity at B&C caliber bucks (just like you do with every other B&C caliber specie), but in the midwest, an animal doesn't have to be that old to have big antlers. And every state is archery huntable from before the rut, to well through it, which is when the older males become so susceptible to ambush hunting.

I'm sorry if guys are offended by this and I realize that not only are WTs a lot of guy's obsession and that most of you guys know a lot more about WT hunting than me and hunting in general and will vehemently disagree with me, but they're just not that tough of a hunt.

A lot of thinking? A lot of planning? A lot of sitting on your ass waiting? Definitely. And I'm not saying that I don't love every bit of it. I travel east to hunt midwest white tails and AZ Coues deer every year. It's an absolute blast.

But are you really going to tell me that for the average hunter... who is a guy from the midwest or the east coast... when you ask what are the easiest animals to put in the book DIY, that WT are going to be one of the most difficult? Gimme a break! The hard data of the records book disagrees with you. That's evidence-based data.

There are guys that come on Bowsite multiple times a week just asking for guide recommendations for the other 28 and ask basic questions about how to hunt them DIY as well.

I killed a book mountain goat this year and climbed 12K vertical feet and hiked nearly 40 miles round trip to kill it and pack it out. I guess I have a different definition of the words "easy" and "difficult."

Killing mature WTs (for the purpose of this thread - 125+ inch midwestern WTs) on public land DIY requires knowledge, persistence, drive, time investment, and some luck. The only part of that that's difficult is sitting still in the cold for hours on end.

06-Apr-18
Please don't take anything I've said as disrespect towards your hunting or the way you hunt. I hunt mule deer out of a stand near my place in CA and travel 1000 miles to hunt white tail much the same way. It's just my perspective.

From: Nick Muche
06-Apr-18
I can't put it any simpler than this... If it was so easy, you'd have one.

06-Apr-18
I have to concede that point Nick. It's a legitimate point and one that I divulged in the beginning of the thread because I was being intellectually honest.

But, I don't think it's easy. I just don't think it's as hard as many make it out to be for the reasons I listed.

From: pav
06-Apr-18
Not offended at all Ike. I agree that filling whitetail tags in areas holding decent whitetail numbers is not rocket science. When practicing doe management, I can basically pick which day I intend to kill a doe...and get the job done on that day. If I didn't care which buck I tagged, my buck tag would not last very long once season opens. I get what you are saying.

That said, putting a good arrow through a net 125"+ whitetail, even in the Midwest, is easier said than done. I posted the photos to illustrate the fact that of all those 125"-135" whitetail bucks people claim to see...only a select few animals in that range will actually net 125". IMO, if you really want to kill a P&Y whitetail, don't go flinging arrows at those 125"-135" animals (especially those with less than 10pt racks). If you miss your 135" estimate by 5"....and you end up with another 5" of deductions (a relatively low number for whitetails)...you end up with "close, but no cigar". If your field estimate is 130" or less....and you have your heart set on a P&Y buck...DON'T SHOOT!

Bottom line, most people would be better off setting the field judging bar at 140"+ for honest net P&Y whitetail sightings. Even that isn't fool proof....as the photo Apauls posted illustrates. Who among us would not shoot THAT deer?

From: Nick Muche
06-Apr-18
Ike, I agree with much of what you've said so don't take that the wrong way. I just do not agree that shooting a book whitetail on public land is anything even remotely close to easy.

You stated that it takes knowledge, persistence, drive, time investment, and some luck. I know a bus load of midwest public land whitetail hunters with high doses of those things and very few if any public land P&Y whitetails to their credit.

Seeing is not arrowing and arrowing a good mature buck does not mean that it's going to Net above 125".

The reason there are so many entries in the book is because there are millions of whitetail hunters and a vast majority of hunters east of the Rockies only hunt whitetails.

Now, if the question was "what is the easiest NA species to kill?" - Whitetail deer would be my answer.

06-Apr-18
I'd shoot that deer in a heart beat (which isn't saying much), but it has nothing to do with whether or not it made the book or not. The character alone makes it a great buck.

But you're right, I'd have guessed it on the hoof as scoring higher than it did.

Still, that's not my point. My point is that I'd guess that buck was a tad easier for Adam to shoot than his 2017 moose. I'd also guess that the average hunter would have better odds at that deer than Adam's 2017 moose. Maybe I'm wrong.

I'd guess that Adam left the warmth of his wife's bed the morning he shot that deer. I'd guess that he drove his heated vehicle to where he went hunting and walked less than a mile to where he shot it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Odds tell me I'm most likely right.

I'm not arguing that a book WT isn't a large or mature animal. I'm also not arguing that they're easy to shoot. My point is that, of the 29 big game animals in NA, they're not the toughest to shoot DIY.

Not when you can sleep with your wife, get up and drive down the road in your heated truck, park on the side of the road and walk in 200 yards, and have a legitimate shot at one. It may be fun, it may be challenging, but it's not difficult, no matter how low the odds are.

06-Apr-18
Nick, I'm not saying it's easy. I'm saying a lot of guys make it out to be harder than it is and that when you compare it to the rest of the 28 NA animals DIY...

Of the NA29, it's probably the easiest hunt to plan. From there, it comes down to research and time investment.

From: Nick Muche
06-Apr-18
Hunting deer is not hard. Killing a P&Y whitetail on public land, with a bow, is hard.

From: grubby
06-Apr-18
Ive spent a lot of time in a tree in SW Wisconsin during the rut. I would say that is one of the best places to kill a P&Y buck. They are easy to see but not easy to kill. I hunt largely unpressured private land.

From: Native Okie
06-Apr-18
Ike, how much have you hunted whitetails on public ground in the midwest? What state?

From: APauls
06-Apr-18
I think the nuances in the disagreements is most likely in the word "easy." Ike seems to put a great emphasis on sweat equity, effort, and calories consumed to make the event happen. Most of us are putting a little more stock in the "odds" of that event happening. I'll use the example Ike brought up above, because it crystalizes it perfectly.

For my 2017 moose, you (Ike) mention it is a more difficult hunt than the deer I posted above. I would say, my moose hunt took more effort than that morning hunt for the deer. But if you asked me - which hunt was easier to get a P&Y animal - I would say the moose hunt - and here's why. This moose hunt was my very first moose hunt. I hunted 10-11 days, saw a total of 4 bulls. 2 would have made P&Y. We shot 2 out of the 4, and could have shot a third, only problem was we were tagged out. So we are talking about 4 animals seen, 3 within trad bow range, 1 in compound only range, 2 of them P&Y. My moose was officially scored at 142 give or take a half inch I can't remember exactly, by a certified P&Y scorer. Going by memory. So that is a P&Y Canadian moose. I went on one moose hunt, I am batting 100%. 50% of the bulls we saw I would say would be P&Y eligible, and we got into bow range on 100% of those 2/4 animals. Those numbers spell "easy." The other kicker, is that as far as moose go, it's not like our moose that we killed are giants. Bigger bulls are regularly killed in MB. I feel like if I go back (which I WILL do :) I have an equal chance to kill an equal bull

Now, contrast to whitetails. That whitetail only took 3 hours out of my life on Nov 8, 2009. Your right, if I contrast that day to my moose hunt, he was way easier. All I did was park my truck, cycle 3/4 of a mile, and walk a half mile, climb in my stand, sit there, call and shoot a super nice buck. BUT, and here's where the whole "easy" thing comes into play. How many hours have I chased whitetails? How many of those hours are at peak times? Ie in the moose hunt I was there 10 days, but how many of those hours are "great" hunting hours vs the hours I spend hunting whitetails? How many hours spent scouting? And of all the animals I see and encounter - how many are legitimate P&Y animals? Of the bucks I run into here in MB I would guess 1/15 to 1/20 are P&Y qualifiers. If I hunted a full 10 days during the whitetail rut would I see 15-20 times more bucks in bow range than I did moose therefore evening the odds? I would say no. There's no way in hell I'm going to have 2x15=30 P&Y whitetails in bow range if I was to hunt for 10 days. And that's even if you disregard all the scouting etc that I've put into whitetails to put me in a good spot during those 10 days that I really can not feasibly do with moose. Sure, I prob did do a pile of extra work planning the hunt so that we ended up getting in a good spot, so maybe those are a wash, but the "odds" of running into a P&Y animal are way better moose hunting than whitetail hunting. Especially getting them in bow range. Even if I was somehow to see 10 P&Y whitetails in those 10 days what % of them would a person expect to lure into bow range? 20%? 30%? 50%??? I would venture to say a lot less % than moose.

Which one took less physical effort to deal with? Well is it easier to deal with a 280lb animal or a 1300lb animal? ;)

I tend to agree with Nick in how I assess the thread title, because I would actually take physical effort right out of the equation. Physical effort is a no-brainer. I'm going to give 1000% effort in every hunt no question, but what I like to make sure are in my favor are the odds. I don't care about effort. I can control that part. I need something to stack the odds, and if my goal is just to "GO SHOOT 1 P&Y ANIMAL" I would go to shoot something where the odds are the best, because I know I can make the effort happen.

From: MathewsMan
06-Apr-18
I have pretty much the same experience as Ziek, probably within a few miles of his eastern CO area. I've hunted 3 times and killed P&Y bucks the first two times. The first one scored 125 6/8" and the other 136 and change. They were a few years apart, but shot from the same tree within about 15' of eachother in a funnel. They are farther apart on the wall than where they were shot out in the woods. A friend of Dad's Jeff D. killed a 160" buck one morning the same time out there we were all hunting together.

From: MathewsMan
06-Apr-18

MathewsMan's embedded Photo
MathewsMan's embedded Photo
125 6/8"

From: MathewsMan
06-Apr-18

MathewsMan's embedded Photo
MathewsMan's embedded Photo
136 4/8"

From: SBH
06-Apr-18
Nets are for fish! PAV- Those are some great deer. Amazing they wouldn't book. That really puts it in perspective, a true NET 125" WT is an amazing animal. Especially on public land.

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
Can we just exchange the word "Midwest" for "certain whitetail states"? cuz there's midwest states where it's no easier to shoot a book whitetail than it is in most other bottom feeder whitetail states. There's a reason most serious MN deer hunters leave the state come prime time.

From: Michael
06-Apr-18

Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
I wouldn’t say killing a P and Y whitetail on public is hard. I wouldn’t say it’s easy either.

Put in the time and pick a state that will give you the best chance it can happen every year.

What do you do when your private ground isn’t producing you hunt public. I found the piece this buck came off of while coyote hunting the winter before. All the ground I hunted last year in SD was spots I found while coyote hunting. No P and Y was shot last year there but lord knows I had my chances. I just blew them golden opportunities.

I think your chances of not making the book with a 3.5 year old are a lot higher then you will. Of the 7 bucks I have shot that were 3.5 year old only one made the book. What’s interesting is the 159 Ike mentioned earlier was a 3.5 year old. He ended up netting 154. The others were all in the 120 range in net score.

From: ELKMAN
06-Apr-18
I do completely agree with Ike in regards to how over blown the "difficulty" of hunting Whitetail has become. When the hardest part about hunting a species is fighting off boredom and the cold, its hard for western guys hiking thousands of vertical feet and hundreds of miles every season to register that as "difficult", or "hard"... (Guys are falling out of trees from sleeping! Come on!)

From: Nick Muche
06-Apr-18
Hunting whitetails is not difficult. They are the easiest animal to kill in North America.

Hunting and killing a P&Y whitetail on public land is, on the other hand, hard.

From: kota-man
06-Apr-18
Keep saying it Nick...Pretty soon everyone will "get it"... :) I couldn't agree more...

From: APauls
06-Apr-18
And I would say, tough odds.

From: Pigsticker
06-Apr-18

Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Pigsticker's embedded Photo
X2 Michael! I committed to kill a public buck that wood book in 2011. I missed a definite P&Y contender that year. In 2012 I killed this buck.

From: Native Okie
06-Apr-18
Agree with Nick. I bet 80-90% of the whitetail bucks you see listed in PNY were not killed on public ground.

Also, those bucks in eastern CO have a much higher likelihood of reaching maturity than in midwestern states. Its not the same game as hunting public lands in the likes of eastern Oklahoma or Kansas.

After living in the west the past 5 years I chuckle when I hear people talk about pressured areas. They don’t have a clue.

From: Pigsticker
06-Apr-18

Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Pigsticker's embedded Photo
In 2013 I killed this buck on a different piece of public ground.

From: MathewsMan
06-Apr-18
When I was stationed in Maryland, I bowhunted public areas along the Potomac River, I actually shot at about 10 deer under 25 yards and never punched my arrow into one...

They would duck, not move, and I did not anticipate what they were about to do... I had lots of dog deer hunters push them by me in a rush too.

Most of the bucks here I throw a grunt or bleet out to around peak rut come in on a string, stand there, and take my broadhead- whack...

All hunting is pretty much about finding a great location and figuring out the game.

From: APauls
06-Apr-18
Don't believe you pigsticker that looks like t-roy's back yard! ;)

From: Native Okie
06-Apr-18
Scott, those are great bucks you arrowed!

From: Kurt
06-Apr-18
Whitetails (and mule deer) in CO are all on an LEH (draw) system for residents and non-residents as far as I know. That makes a large difference in terms of hunting pressure, even on public lands. Also one of CO's better state lands had a check in system where you had your own area to park and hunt in the morning and couldn't move around until later in the day. Not sure what is happening in that regard now but it helped the whitetail hunters, that is for sure.

From: MathewsMan
06-Apr-18
Thanks, they were not the biggest bucks around while I was hunting, but when they are standing broadside at 14 yards they were not getting a pass.

You should see the Mule Deer the past few years we have been seeing. My son killed a toad last year, and I had a hunter kill a monster, also had one rifle hunter miss a legit 220" beast at 200 yards standing there- no do-overs! There was a 42" wide class buck numerous people saw last year, but none of our hunters saw him during daylight. Should have wintered, since we did not have a winter over here.

Oh, and I had a father-son hunt, the son shot 10 shots (all the bullets he had) at a 190 class buck that ran towards us after the first few shots and he never grazed the buck out in an open AG field on the river. He had a melt down, through his rifle down and acted like a big baby to his father. I made them hug and the 30 year old son apologize or I was not letting them get into my truck, it was the last day of 2nd season.

It brings out the best and worst sometimes!

From: MathewsMan
06-Apr-18

MathewsMan's embedded Photo
MathewsMan's embedded Photo
Oh, here is Cooper’s deer rack from last year, hopefully Jonas gets it done here soon. It was not as big as the clients deer but a heck of an archery buck for his last $10 youth tag.

From: Michael
06-Apr-18

Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
A fourth of these spots could produce a P and Y whitetail on any given year. Like I said time and effort the difficulty scale gets reduced.

From: Pigsticker
06-Apr-18

Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Pigsticker's embedded Photo
A Pauls, If I make it to T Roy's backyard I will let anything under those walk. That was not the case this year with this guy that was killed 90 yards from the first picture.

06-Apr-18
Nick, I completely agree with that statement. My entire premise is that any 350 lb bowhunter in the US with just a little knowledge can kill a P&Y WT. Ask many many guys, if asked to go kill a sheep/goat/brownbear or any of a number of other animals, DIY, and get a P&Y class animal, they flat out couldn't or wouldn't be able to do it. How I approached the thread was with the idea of the average bowhunter actually being able to take the animal home and the reality is that P&Y WTs hit the dirt on a minutely basis starting around halloween.

Adam, I totally get where you're coming from, but there's a couple things: First off, you guys could have easily picked a spot where there were little to no moose and gotten skunked. Secondly, I'd ask what your province's success rate is on moose and on WT.

I just don't buy comparing WT to animals like Stone Sheep. If you can run one over with your truck, then it's not in the top 5 in terms of difficulty.

You take your average bowhunter in the US and sit him down and say, "ok, our goal is to get you a P&Y animal. Let's put all these 29 animals on a list and pick out the three that would be the easiest for you to bag DIY."

Are you going to put Stones and Dalls on the short list? What about brown bears and grizzly? Mountain Goats? Mountain lion? Coues? Roosevelt elk? How bout free-ranging bison (not the park and plunk variety)?

There are many guys who come on Bowsite who've killed multiple P&Y WT and yet are 0 for 10 on elk DIY with a bow. I'm not claiming that a 260 elk is any easier or harder to get on public land than a 125 WT on public. I'm just pointing out that for the average US bowhunter, WT is not one of the most difficult to get DIY, as so many guys often times say.

I've read it over and over on Bowsite over the years. "Mature WT are the most cunning/difficult/elusive/etc/etc/etc."

Bullshit. There's literally hundreds of thousands of them within 1/2 mile of a road, right now. Just because guys obsess about them and spend their whole lives chasing them, doesn't make them any harder to kill. They are by far, the most populous and easily accessible of all NA big game. That fact alone cuts down their difficulty level significantly.

From: Cazador
06-Apr-18

Cazador's embedded Photo
Netted 135-137ish in KS public
Cazador's embedded Photo
Netted 135-137ish in KS public
Cazador's embedded Photo
This is another KS public land buck, netted 153ish if I recall.
Cazador's embedded Photo
This is another KS public land buck, netted 153ish if I recall.
Cazador's embedded Photo
Illinois public land buck, netted 154ish
Cazador's embedded Photo
Illinois public land buck, netted 154ish
Cazador's embedded Photo
Colorado buck netted 204 or so.
Cazador's embedded Photo
Colorado buck netted 204 or so.
I'm not out to BS anyone, but Colorado has changed alot on public lands. The CDOW treats WT like 3rd class citizens so they are getting shot off by rifles more than one would think.

The older I get the more I don't really like to be cold. The fall colors and vibe still pull me towards WTs, but finding good places on public is getting to the point I'd just assume spend that time looking for private as it's a better use of ones time in the long run. Here are a couple I've killed off of public in a couple different states. I've arrowed a few more 150ish bucks on public but I can still say that I've spent way more time sitting in pressured areas hoping for these types of bucks that just aren't there vs other species that were much easier to kill on public land and yet make P&Y. Time vs. return has been horrible on net public land P&Y bucks for me.

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
You could turn it around and take the most fit bowhunter on the planet and tell him to go shoot a mature whitetail on public land and he would most likely fail but he could kill a P&Y mountain species of any kind at will.

06-Apr-18
12yards, in what amount of time? In a 5-7 day hunt? Sure. Any bowhunter that can kill mountain specie P&Y animals "at will" can kill a 125 inch WT with enough time investment. Mountain hunts are typically 2+ weeks and people who are passionate about any animal often times spend an entire month at it, whether that's WT, elk, sheep, etc. If you take your hypothetical hunter and he devotes Oct 27-Nov 27 hunting WT in any of several states, for a year or two like he otherwise would in the mountains, I don't think "he would most likely fail."

Not all public is equivalent too. If guys are forming opinions based off of where they've hunted, that's not necessarily fair to the argument. The hunting is crappy right next to both of my homes too - I have to travel. And through research, I've found a couple public spots where I've reliably seen mature bucks. It's just like any other hunt. You can't just settle for the most convenient spot. You have to do your research and probably have to travel.

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
True, but it will be no easier for the fit guy compared to the fat guy.

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
And I disagree that there are literally 100s of thousands of them. Impossible.

06-Apr-18
How is it impossible? There are 30 million WT in NA. If only 1 deer in a thousand was a P&Y buck, that'd be 300,000. Anyways, my point is that these animals are everywhere and there's a ton of them.

From: Pigsticker
06-Apr-18
I disagree that any mountain hunter can kill a 125 in whitetail.

Jim Dougherty if memory serves correctly hunted a lifetime before he killed one.

An interior brown bear hunt on snowshoes has been by far my most physical hunt and had I been Bowhunting I would not have been successful. This was a far cry from scouting for den sites from an airplane or the snowmobile hunt that so often occurs.

Many mountain hunts fly in and or use horses. Most are guided and much of the work and logistics fall on his shoulders. I have been successful on two DyI dall sheep hunts and they were rigorous affairs. Neither were fly in or horse assisted hunts.

I do agree that a P&Y DYI whitetail is obtainable but not without serious commitment.

06-Apr-18
Take a 4 year old whitetail buck, a 4 year old bull elk, a 4 year old mule deer buck, a 4 year old ram, 4 year old billy, 4 year old bison, etc.... and put them all in a 100 acre enclosure. Do it ten more times in separate enclosures. I'm betting the whitetail lives longest on average in each of those enclosures if hunting were allowed.

They are readily available. They are found in easy to get to areas in comparison. The midwest seems to be eat up with them as Ike's original point alluded too. But, they are wiley. So, I agree with Ike in his midwest claim. Where I differ is, if you hunt them in areas they can't be seen from distances, they simply won't be seen outside the rut much. Living among the hunters teaches them to elude the hunters.

Just my opinion of course. And, just an attempt to put all this in context. God Bless

From: Ziek
06-Apr-18
The only reason most WT hunters don't kill 125+ bucks is they shoot the first sub 125 that comes by. That guarantees it won't make book AND that it never will. If all of them held out for a "book" buck, pretty soon they'd be more common. Even so, they're out there. I've killed two without "serious commitment". At least not the effort I put into many other hunts.

To add to what Idyllwild said, "I've read it over and over on Bowsite over the years. "Mature WT are the most cunning/difficult/elusive/etc/etc/etc." Bullshit. There's literally hundreds of thousands of them within 1/2 mile of a road, right now."

Not only that, in most areas, they are around humans and human scent almost constantly. Farmers tending their work, homeowners in their yards, hikers, small game/bird/waterfowl hunters, kids waiting for school buses, golfers, etc., etc. Manufacturers of all kinds of gimmicks try to convince you otherwise, but it ain't rocket science. Find some decent sign, climb a tree and be patient. You'll see deer. And eventually you'll see some of the bigger ones in the area. Even with poor management some will likely make "book".

From: Pigsticker
06-Apr-18
Let me just say I think a book mule deer is as tough as anything out there but let me have private land in eastern Colorado then I could probably seal the deal. I would also not draw opinions that Colorado and Tennessee, PA, Connecticut, and Vermont it would clearly be a tremendous challenge to shoot a book whitetail. I do have Virginia buck that falls on the cusp that scored at 125 and change but I do not claim to be a certified scorer.

While we are calling some B. S. When we say there are 100s of thousands of whitetails within a half that does not mean that there 100s of thousands. That make P&Y.

Frankly, elk have been easy for me but I know many that would disagree. I would probably make 300 the minimum to make book but it is very uniformed decision since I have only 3 elk on four hunts.

From: Cazador
06-Apr-18
I'd say a baited black bear on POW would net you a public land P&Y animal pretty quick.

No way in hell is a P&Y WT on public land anywhere near the top of the list.

06-Apr-18
I'm just sitting here having a drink, reading this, and laughing at Ike. You're in an uproar over nothing. Calm down and have a drink.

06-Apr-18
I'm not in an uproar. I'm just on a rant. :)

Ok, Cazador, then answer me this: Since it's no where near the top of the list, then which animals are above it? There's only 29 of them. Which of those 29 are easier for an average US bowhunter to do DIY?

06-Apr-18
And why is it BS that there isn't hundreds of thousands of them within a 1/2 mile of a road? Do you guys believe that less than 1 in 1000 white tails alive right now will make the book this hunting season? Seems like a reasonable ratio to me. Perhaps I'm giving too much credit to southern and eastern deer so my ratio is off. But even 1 in 2000 deer would still be 150,000 animals if my math is right. There's entire species that don't have 150K animals alive counting all the females and young. The fact remains, WT are the most populous NA big game animal at 30 million. There is no shortage of opportunity so long as you're willing to travel. And this was never about deer around anyone's house because the question was about the NA29 so travel was a given. Many of the NA big game species live sparsely in remote areas, which is the opposite of the bulk of the WT range.

And almost all of white tail habitat in this country is not remote enough to not have a road every mile, which puts them all within 1/2 mile of a road. Anywhere the land is in sections, there is no single square inch that is farther than 1/2 mile from a road. Sure, there's places that are roadless in their habitat, but it's a minority of their habitat.

Perhaps I'm off in my estimations. Perhaps I'm exaggerating. The point remains. There's not a lot of Stone sheep and Brown Bears within 1/2 mile of a road.

From: Native Okie
06-Apr-18
Yeah, your on a rant, a rant on something that I doubt you have much experience with. Why don’t you and Ziek go hunt whitetails this fall on public land and prove everyone wrong?

I can give you a few public places that you’ll sit long enough not seeing a mature animal, the first 110” deer you see you will have swore was a 160”.

Come back and report how you have done.

06-Apr-18
Calm down, Ike, drink some Makers. Everyone's opinions differ. It's all good. :)

My only gauge is seeing what others kill, since I don't hunt out west much. Seems everyone I know that goes to WY after antelope, kills a P&Y. Seems everyone that goes to hunt blacktail, they book. Seems everyone that goes to hunt bears over bait, kills a book animal. Elk, I really don't have a gauge. Either way, I don't think the whitetail is the easiest to kill a book animal, with a bow, on public land. The pressure on these animals isn't the same as other NA29. Even if they live 1/2 mile from the nearest road, they're tough to kill. I hope you kill a book whitetail on your easy 1,000 mile drive to sit on your ass, real soon. :)

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
Idyl, a lot of states have a million whitetails and hardly produce a P&Y buck. And of those that do exist, how many are on public land? You have to remember the vast majority of deer are antlerless, fawns and 1 1/2 year olds because the yearling bucks absolutely get mowed every year by gun hunters. If there were that many out there the Book would be overwhelmed every year. How many P&Y bucks are entered every year? I know that only a percentage of bucks get entered, but I think it would be a lot more if there were hundreds of thousands out there.

06-Apr-18
Native Okie, no reason to get nasty. And I will be hunting WT on public and private this fall. I wouldn't go to OK to hunt public land, but thanks for the offer. If I'm going to drive, then I'm going to put myself in the best possible spot. I have my own spots where I see big deer every year. And again, I know how to field judge a deer. And in some places, I'm perfectly happy killing a 110 inch 2 year old midwestern WT - that's a good meat animal.

From: DonVathome
06-Apr-18
Elk on a great tag or antelope with a good tag and a lot of work on blinds over water

From: Lee
06-Apr-18
No way whitetails are near the top on public - there are few mature bucks to begin with due to everyone whacking them since they have no vested interest in managing "public" land and the bucks that do make it have a Phd in hunter avoidance. Ike makes it sound like they are just standing around waiting for someone to kill him. For total time invested the rate of return for a mature whitetail on public land is pitiful. This is coming from a guy that has hunted public land his whole life all over the U.S. (34 years last time I counted) for whitetails and have killed my fair share. I'd hate to think how many hours I have invested in each buck!

One last thing - just cause you see them doesn't mean you'll kill them. Seeing isn't killing.

Lee

Ps - the meat deer comment proves my point about not managing public lands. Plenty of meat does....

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
Idyl, MN hunters killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 110,000 to 120,000 or so bucks last fall. If you think 11,000-12,000 of them scored over 125 inches I would bet you were way wrong. In fact, I'd be surprised if 1,000 of them scored over 125 inches.

From: Michael
06-Apr-18
I wonder what the guys from “The Hunting Public” think.

From: 12yards
06-Apr-18
Actually my math is off on that one.

From: Michael
06-Apr-18
Dang that’s a big drop in harvest numbers since 2016 was 173 thousand and change.

Mn wouldn’t even make my top 5 of states to shoot a public land P and Y buck. Way to much pressure and way to many 1.5 year old bucks shot during the gun season.

From: BOHNTR
07-Apr-18
Whitetail are easy..... :)

From: Franzen
07-Apr-18
12 yards, your math supports Ike's point. You think near 1% might reach P&Y. I assume you mean by shear size alone, and not hunting method, as a lot of those deer are probably shot by guns. Ike thinks maybe 0.1% or even 0.05% would make book, and he's talking opportunity, so that is of all living animals. I don't personally think his numbers are bad, as in some areas I bet a few percent of all animals would qualify and others it would be more like 1/few thousand.

Having said that, Ike, I would say you are experiencing something that is no where near the norm in regards to hunting public land if you are seeing 20 deer walking by your stand on public land. I have never seen 20 deer in a sit on public land and I've not seen that many on a private land hunt in over 10 years. Actually, I've probably only seen that many a couple times in my life... in 22 years of bowhunting... in Illinois. Last year I saw a grand total of 1 buck that would qualify, on private land, and only saw that one because the neighbor scared him my way.

Now I've already conceded that I don't travel; I've never hunted a large tract of managed ground; and and generally I would not consider myself a great hunter... but I don't see that many P&Y caliber bucks. One would think that even with dumb luck, a poor hunter would see more, at least at a distance, if they were there and easy in terms of being visible in daylight hours. As has been well demonstrated, all areas are not created equal, even in the prime states.

To the point regarding travel; I would say that it is a fair assessment that better opportunity is there if one is willing to travel. However, there isn't enough opportunity for a large portion of ALL whitetail bowhunters to hit the high quality spots. They'd soon become overly-crowded low quality spots.

From: Drummer Boy
07-Apr-18
OK here is my take bow hunted elk 5 times never even thought about PY bulls shot two.Hunted pronghorns 1 time 1 PY hunted mule deer over 10 times 0 PY.Ihave hunted WT for weeks on end thousands of hours in stands 2 PY.O I forgot one bear over bait PY.For me a PY mule deer are the hardest on public.

From: Ziek
07-Apr-18
Drummer. My experience is just the opposite of yours in regards to elk and WT. I cut my big game hunting teeth on elk. I've killed 8 with a rifle, 1 ml, 1 revolver, and 13 with a bow. I've probably spent more time hunting elk than all other species combined. Almost all on public land. Most in a wilderness area that holds quite a few elk. Only 3 make P&Y minimums, even if you include the firearm kills. And two of those were killed in one of the hardest units to draw in CO. I only hunt WT every few years, and only for a week or two during those years, and I started hunting them many years after I was hunting elk. I never "tried" to kill a P&Y WT, although I usually let some pass to get an idea of what might be around. And yet I've killed two, on a relatively small strip of heavily hunted public land that had a rifle season just previous to when I hunted. Not to mention hoards of small game and waterfowl hunters. I guess we cancel each other out. ;-)

From: Drummer Boy
07-Apr-18
I was lucky on elk shot them 30 years ago I would have a hard time hunting in that area now at 63.I do think the area that you hunt is the deciding facter on how hard any animal is to hunt.

From: Ziek
07-Apr-18
I should add that for a period of 5 or 6 years I was committed to a P&Y bull or nothing. And I usually hunted most of the 30 day season. Only taking a day or two off each week or so in a state that boasts the most elk. I passed on a LOT of elk and after a few years of that, my wife asked if I was ever going to kill another elk. We also had a couple of very good, experienced elk hunters in camp, that never killed a P&Y bull even though they killed about as many total as I did. The one I did kill in our regular area was on opening morning was a 300 class bull, and he just strolled up the hill to me. If that had been my first elk hunt, I too would have thought it was pretty easy.

From: Ambush
07-Apr-18
I think the biggest hurdle to jump in shooting ANY P&Y animal is NOT shooting one that won't Book, if he gives you the chance. Some guys can easily pass up big animals hoping for a huge one. I think that shews the numbers on species like whitetails. Probably the vast majority of whitetail hunters are just looking to kill a legal buck (or doe) so statistically a high percentage of kills are sub-book. Somewhat the same for elk maybe. But on trips where a person invests more time and especially lots of money to hunt a certain species, the odds of that animal being a "good representative" example goes up. If you pay for a guided, semi-guided or private land hunt for whitetail or bears, you're not going to shoot the first dink that walks by. If you only draw a tag once every ten years, you are more apt to "spend" it judiciously.

But, for just plain most commonly Book'd animal all you have to do is look at the entries in the Book. When I get the Ethic, the first thing I do is look at the new entries section. Whitetails, then black bears are by far the longest columns with all of the rest a way, way distant third. And though elk has a solid listing to, those numbers could be skewed by the commitment to a draw or the logistical difficulty in doing the hunt for many. More invested, so more expectation equals a higher "trophy" standard.

So if you are measuring Easiest to Book by just walking out the door and hunt, then whitetail, for sure. Most easily accessed by the vast majority of hunters. But, if you are using percentage of Book animals to killed animals, then it could easily be any of the mountain or far north species. Sheep, goat, ox, caribou grizzly and brown bears.

From: cnelk
07-Apr-18
Ziek - Even tho those WT tags are on public, you should probably mention that those eastern Colorado WT tags are 'limited' in quantity - and I bet you're referring the Tamarack SWA?

From: Cazador
07-Apr-18
What's that have to do with it? Limited or not, there is a ton of activity going on out there, duck hunters, pheasant hunters, etc vs a slice of private land. Then you put 100 some people in said SWA, with bows, then first and second rifle, (first split always in the rut) then ML, the grounds out there get a lot of activity. It's not easy killing bucks the size of Zieks, or others on public ground.

Killing a WT that nets P&Y isn't that hard with the right ground. Killing one on public ground tied to the title of this thread would be way down on the list if one wanted to put "one animal" in the "book"

07-Apr-18
I haven't been able to kill a really big whitetail even on private ground let alone public ground. From the perspective of someone who has bow hunted deer for 50 years, from easiest to most difficult 1) Sitka Blacktail, 2) Coues 3) Columbia Blacktail 4) Mule 5) Whitetail.

07-Apr-18
I guess I should qualify the above by saying I'm not talking about killing the first dink that walks by, but killing something that at least approaches B&C standards.

From: cnelk
07-Apr-18
Cazador

That has everything to do with it. Its heavily limited. Takes 3-4 years to hunt it, surrounded by private. Add in the fact that after the farmers pick the corn very close by, the bucks go into to sliver of public river bottom.

Most of the guys that draw out there every 3-4 are probably going after a P&Y buck.

Also, its a BIG difference just a few miles to the east in Nebraska where archery tags are truly unlimited and public land gets HAMMERED

Apples and oranges

From: Ziek
07-Apr-18
cnelk

True. BUT it's a relatively small area. They issue 70 archery tags, 55 ML, and 215 rifle. One rifle hunt and the ML hunt falls during the first archery split at the start of the rut, and the second rifle during the 2nd split. (Archery is divided into 3 periods with gun hunters in between.) And since there isn't a lot of public hunting out there, a LOT of unlimited bird, waterfowl, and small game hunting occurs concurrently. It's not unusual to be peppered by shot while in a tree stand.

From: APauls
07-Apr-18
Well I'm glad that's solved.

Pigsticker - just joking your pic just looks like one t-roy has posted. You're a killer!

The one constant is that for people that have opportunity out their door for good hunting of a species that species is the "easiest" for them to get a P&Y. We all know it's all about location.

From: Cazador
07-Apr-18
The problem with NE is they allow rifles in the middle of the rut. What do you expect? Bucks are going to get crushed year after year.

Also, you'd be surprised how many bucks head the opposite way when corn is cut. I hunt the plains without waiting 3 or 4 years and trust me, I've had more days than I can count altered by your typical public land activities. NE has great hunting but the rifle factor is a Debby downer hence making a public land trip to NE to kill a book buck a dream at best.

From: Native Okie
07-Apr-18
"The problem with NE is they allow rifles in the middle of the rut. What do you expect? Bucks are going to get crushed year after year."

As do several other states as well including Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, etc. Big bucks get killed every year and the majority of those are on private land. It's a challenge killing a PNY buck on public no matter the location as you'll always be competing with others. To cnelk's point, its apples and oranges as Tamarack SWA is the primary habitat corridor in that area.

Idyl - Not meaning to get nasty....I'm not just talking about Oklahoma, there are others as well in eastern KS, etc. that you would have the same experience. I like you have a mix of private and public I hunt annually in the midwest. I'm just saying it can't be done but from not only my own but others here years of experience of living and hunting in these types of areas its an accomplishment not many are able to attain. The dynamics have changed especially from the mid to late 90's to the 2000's. I would personally be a fan if KS went back to limited tags and you could only draw every 2-3 years. The reality of killing PNY bucks on public land there in the 90's was much different there than it is today. That said their WIHA's can be really good spots to hunt given the right features but it's apples and oranges again once you start getting east of I-35 hunting larger tracts of timber with not as many distinct corridors to work with and a much greater population density.

From: Michael
07-Apr-18
In the areas I hunt in Ne the rifle pressure is pretty light. I think poaching hurts big bucks in Ne worse then there gun season does.

The buck in the picture I posted is no giant but he makes P n Y. That piece of public that year had no one on it during rifle season. It’s only a 200 acre piece. However the piece 12 miles away that’s over 2000 acres is a zoo.

Standing corn in November is your friend in Ne.

From: 12yards
07-Apr-18
I don't know. MN typically has a million deer. And 3.5 year old deer are extremely rare here. Even more so on public land. And a lot of 3.5 year olds won't make book as has been shown. 4.5 year olds are rare as hen's teeth.

08-Apr-18
Again, I think a lot of guys are taking their own personal areas and then implying that that's where our hypothetical hunter is going to go. Why on earth would someone who's just trying to get a P&Y WT go hunt public in OK or MN? Might as well go to CT. Just because the area around where you live sucks, doesn't mean that that's how hard the hunting is.

I see 20 deer a day and bucks every day in the places I hunt because if I'm going to travel to hunt WT, I go to the best places possible and hunt the very best dates. That's the standard I measured for our hypothetical hunter.

From: Nick Muche
08-Apr-18
And the very best places that you are hunting still haven't yielded a P&Y whitetail :)

Cause killing one on public land isn't easy.

Next year is your year Ike!

From: buzz mc
08-Apr-18
I was really hoping that we'd come to an agreement that it's public land antelope by now, because that's what I'll be hunting this year.

From: midwest
08-Apr-18
You're golden buzz! All you need is some dry weather and a secluded water hole.

From: Drnaln
08-Apr-18
"And the very best places that you are hunting still haven't yielded a P&Y whitetail :) Cause killing one on public land isn't easy." Nick is Spot - On

From: Mitch
08-Apr-18
I was able to kill a P&Y mule deer the first day I hunted them, P&Y antelope took 2 days, Sitka blacktail 3 days, a P&Y elk took 3 hunts and 29 days. I have 3 Whitetails that qualify. None came from public land and I couldn't even guess on how many days I hunted to get my first. It took 4 days to kill a book black bear, but that hunt wasn't diy. Based on my experience there are a bunch of animals easier to put in the book than a whitetail.

08-Apr-18
Three days hunting Sitka Blacktail is not three days hunting Midwestern White tail. One requires specialized gear, coordination with transporters, the ability to navigate in the mountains, climbing thousands of feet and walking over tundra, dodging the largest land carnivore on earth, a boat or plane ride and roughing it in places that have 50 mph winds while you stay in a tent. The other requires walking 100-200 yards from your truck on flat ground and sitting in a tree. Sure, it may take more hunting days to accomplish it, but that's not how I define easy.

Look, I've done all these hunts that guys are listing, 11 different species DIY. I've never hunted guided. The actual ability for the average Joe to hunt these animals is being understated. Yes, it may take a lot of time as in hunting days. But if that's your only metric to "easy" vs "difficult," then that's why I disagree with so many of you.

And I'll again concede the point that Nick brings up, and it's pretty ridiculous to say it, but if I hadn't had the experience that I've had, I'd keep my opinion to myself. I'm the first to admit that I trust my opinions more than I should, but I shot a 150 inch WT last year and hit it in the humerus. Two years ago, I had another 145-150 inch WT jump the string, was hit poorly, and not recovered. And those aren't the only book deer I've seen in my 4 years of DIY WT hunting.

It's pretty ridiculous for me to make those claims because I don't have the deer on the wall to prove it, but I know what my experience has been. So I guess I have to leave it at that because I indeed don't have the proof to back up my claim. Nonetheless, I'm not that full of myself to make a claim without any background for my belief.

And again, my claim has never been that it's easy. My entire point is that, for the average Joe wanting to get a P&Y animal, one of his best bets is going to be a white tail, as born out by the P&Y records, by the simple fact that they're the most populous and easiest animals to hunt. I've talked with the average WT hunter - many many of them would not even consider hunting deer where 11 foot bears wander. The entire hunt is an absolute non-starter, no matter how many days it takes to fill a tag.

08-Apr-18
Give it up, Ike, it's antelope and it's Wyoming. Bears over donuts is second. ;)

From: Michael
08-Apr-18
What’s the best state to DIY on public to shoot P n Y Bears over donuts?

08-Apr-18
Michael... definitely Texas! No wait... Soldier field in Chicago. Yea, that's it.

08-Apr-18
"Give it up, Ike, it's antelope and it's Wyoming. Bears over donuts is second. ;)"

Rick, I've never disagreed with this statement.

From: t-roy
08-Apr-18
Beings I somehow got dragged into the fray ;-) I have to admit I have yet to kill a P&Y whitetail, let alone, any whitetail on public ground. I’m very fortunate to have “totally undisturbed, prime, unpressured, (except for the 15-20 guys that hunt the perimeters next to me, NOT including pigsticker!) private land to hunt. I’ve also elk hunted probably a dozen different times and killed six bulls on public land OTC units, 3 of which would make book. I’ve hunted mulies 2 times and killed a 200”+ buck in velvet. Hunted Ak/Yukon moose twice, killing one P&Y class bull on public. Caribou, antelope and other critters as well.

I know whitetails much more intimately than any other big game animal species that I’ve hunted, yet my percentage of P&Y class animals of some of the other species is fairly decent. Personally, I attribute a lot of it to luck, plus getting/making the shot when it counted. Location, location, location is a huge factor on any of them. I would think Iowa, Ks, Illinois, Oh., etc P&Y qualifiers would be much easier to kill than eastern/southern, etc states. Hard to kill one if there aren’t many there. Even harder to let a decent one walk in hopes of killing a bigger one. That’s easy for me to do on whitetails, way harder on other species for me. I would not have killed any of those P&Y class elk if a smaller, legal bull had come by first.

Hard for me to say which is easiest. I need a bigger sample size to make an informed decision.

From: muskeg
09-Apr-18
What’s the best state to DIY on public to shoot P n Y Bears over donuts?

SE Alaska ... POW Island ... but you have to bring your donuts with you.

From: Native Okie
09-Apr-18
Logistics, terrain and gear challenges doesn’t make an animal harder to kill than a PNY whitetail on public ground.

With all 4 years of your DIY whitetail experience I can’t imagine why anyone would argue any of your logic. You seem to have it figured out.

From: Nick Muche
09-Apr-18
"One requires specialized gear, coordination with transporters, the ability to navigate in the mountains, climbing thousands of feet and walking over tundra, dodging the largest land carnivore on earth, a boat or plane ride and roughing it in places that have 50 mph winds while you stay in a tent."

My first P&Y Sitka, while it took a few days, required me to drive a truck up a logging road, sit in a make shift blind 300 yards off the road, and call him in just like a whitetail. Oh, then I slept in a cabin... No large land carnivores to worry about either.

I hope to run in to an 11' unicorn this fall on Kodiak.

"I've talked with the average WT hunter" - Then you realize that the overwhelming majority of the average WT hunters won't ever see a P&Y qualifying deer while hunting.

09-Apr-18
"Then you realize that the overwhelming majority of the average WT hunters won't ever see a P&Y qualifying deer while hunting."

Correct. Which is why if they wanted to get one, organizing an out of state hunt in Iowa, Kansas, or several other states, would be one of the easiest hunts for them to plan and execute: They already know how to do it and they have all the gear they need. With most western hunts, most eastern hunters don't even know where to start or can't wing the hunt because they're 100 lbs overweight.

From: Alpinehunter
09-Apr-18
Great thread! I'm in Ike's camp due to the lack of logistics and fitness needed to kill Whitetails.

09-Apr-18
This is your easy button year, Ike... you'll kill you a public land P&Y whitetail buck in 2018.

From: Nick Muche
09-Apr-18
Ike, maybe the challenge of taking a P&Y whitetail on public ground seems to be overstated simply because of all the numbers/stats, etc you've mentioned. It just doesn't seem possible that killing one would be as difficult as some make it sound when you look at the availability, population of species, books full of P&Y whitetail records, most sought after game in North America, etc.... But alas, it remains one of the hardest animals to take (public land, DIY, archery, P&Y caliber).

You may have an excellent spot, hopefully Earl and Jimbob don't get a wild hair up their ass this fall and head out for their own P&Y public land buck :)

From: Native Okie
09-Apr-18
Just let us know when you’ve got that whitetail in the book Ike. Sounds like if you can shake your buck fever, you’ve had some good chances to put a couple on the ground. Although truth be told, I would bet those were not on public land which is what we are talking, right?

From: patdel
09-Apr-18
I've pissed some people off before saying basically the same thing Ike is. I think he's got it right.

From: grubby
09-Apr-18
I have to say I agree with Ike, The question wasn't whats the easiest pope and young animal to kill where you have always hunted the way you've always hunted.

09-Apr-18
Okie, I've hunted 3/4 years on public. The buck I shot on public this year in the humerus was on public. The three year old I shot 2 years ago was on public and I saw two legit P&Y bucks that year on public. I killed 4 deer in 6 days that trip, but I had an empty freezer and was killing anything that gave me a shot. The year before that, I saw a 150 that I bumped while looking for a doe I shot. That year I ran into a guy who's son had just shot a 13 point atypical south of where I was hunting that probably went 160s at least. All on public, two different states.

09-Apr-18
You're doing a great job, Ike. Now you have followers. Next thing you know you'll have private land to hunt in Iowa. Easier button. Lol

From: BC173
09-Apr-18
Great thread. Of the over 30+ years doing this, I have 2 that will book, from Pa. public. Not an easy task, to be sure. I'm running 12 to 15 cameras all the time and rarely get a legit PY'er on camera. I now spend from Halloween to Thanksgiving and beyond, elsewhere.

There are 2 things I've learned during this....#1 being...you cannot kill what is not there, or in numbers so low,that it almost makes it impossible.

#2 being...and I consider this the most important factor. How you hunt deer is nowhere near as important, as to WHERE you hunt deer. All Public is not created equal. Especially, considering the number of bowhunters' in a state like Pa. versus Iowa, Kansas,Missouri, Ohio, Illinois. I've hunted them all and have seen the difference. I've been doing this for the past 20 years or so. Every time I think about it, it just ticks me off, that I didn't start sooner. I"m a slow learner I guess...lol

09-Apr-18
Nick, if it's "one of the hardest," please humor me and list all 29 and whether they're easier or harder than a WT. Besides getting lucky on one of the few upcoming WY grizz tags, there are 9 species that your average US midwestern/eastern bowhunter is not even allowed to hunt DIY without moving to Canada or AK. Saving up points in Iowa for a few years and planning a DIY hunt there and hunting Kansas, Eastern WY, SD, etc, in the off years, is not nearly as hard as moving to Canada or AK. Polar bears cannot even be hunted DIY unless you're Inuit. You can't say that WT are "more difficult" than an animal that is impossible to hunt because impossible > difficult. It may be relatively easy for you and I to hunt Grizz, but it's basically impossible for the average bowhunter. And moving to AK or Canada is essentially impossible for the bulk of bowhunters.

So there's nine right there that are off the list just by ease of access through guide laws. They're not just hard. They're basically impossible. And I could add more: If you live in the US, you have to draw ME, NH, or VT to hunt Canadian moose DIY - that's nearly impossible. Getting a tag for Tule elk for public land if you don't live in CA is essentially impossible unless you buy the auction tag which will cost you well into the 5 digit range, which rules out your average DIY hunter even though the hunt wouldn't be exceptionally difficult as far as hunting prowess goes. Mt Goat tags are also very difficult to obtain in the lower 48 and then it's a tough hunt in all places except for one unit in UT.

And that's not even getting into the species that are a more difficult hunt. Roosevelt elk, DIY, on public land? I've done that hunt in the rain forest - it was one of the most grueling hunts I've ever done. How bout RMBS: Sure, if you get the 680 tag, it's easy, but with zero points, the odds are worse than 1 in 10,000 of drawing it. With 4 points, you're up to 1 in 5,000. Otherwise, you've got a strenuous back country mountain hunt in treacherous terrain in other places. Iowa has nothing on Canmore. Free ranging bison are not a necessarily an easy hunt, Adams and others I've spoken with or read of, have said that's an extremely difficult hunt, and yet another hunt that is exceptionally difficult to draw.

The thing is, you're looking at this with all things considered equal when it comes to the killing of the animal. And I've agreed with you over and over on that point on this thread. But I'm not looking at it like that. I'm taking all things considered for a DIY hunt for a P&Y animal, because it doesn't matter if a DBHS itself is easy to kill DIY on public land or not if you don't have a tag. To plan a DIY hunt, by definition, you're doing it all yourself, which includes everything from the planning of the hunt, to acquiring the tag, to travel, lodging/camping, the hunt, getting the animal out (even if you pay a packer, you still have to arrange it), etc etc etc.

Even packing an AK moose adds difficulty to the hunt. There are a lot of guys that dream about and don't even try a DIY AK moose hunt because they have no idea where to start with the logistics. So the hunt is a non-starter. Much less a MuskOx. But an Iowa WT hunt? They can do that. Which actually gives guys a chance at a P&Y animals DIY on public land. So what's an easier animal for that guy to put in the book? An animal that he has no hope of killing? Or one that he can actually have a chance at?

And in terms of "difficult," there are, as you've conceded, things that make them "easy" to hunt, as in, the numbers, range, and terrain. Which just makes it a question of travel and time devoted. I think you're stuck in your mindset of your home state of Wisconsin, which is also, no longer a destination hunt for WT. Wisconsin public land? Yup. That's a very tough hunt for a book deer. If I had to do it there, then yes, I'd say, that's a very difficult hunt. But why would any DIY public land hunter go there nowadays? The only reason is because that's where you or your family live. Otherwise, there's better places to go where your odds are better.

From: Drnaln
09-Apr-18
"Look, I've done all these hunts that guys are listing, 11 different species DIY. I've never hunted guided." Ike...Which of your DIY 11 species have made Pope & Young? Wouldn't that be taken into consideration of being the easiest?

09-Apr-18
No. If you've done the hunt, you know how tough it is. If you've ever done CPR on someone, you know how difficult it is to bring someone back to life whether they make it or not.

From: Drnaln
09-Apr-18
"No. If you've done the hunt, you know how tough it is. If you've ever done CPR on someone, you know how difficult it is to bring someone back to life whether they make it or not." Ike...I guess that was an answer to my question? How many of the 11 species made Pope & Young?

From: Nick Muche
09-Apr-18
Take 8 average bowhunters. Send 4 on a mission to hunt Pubic Land for whitetails in a top producing state of their choosing. Then, take the other 4 and send them on a mission to hunt Pronghorn on public land in a top producer. Allow the same amount of planning, etc. Which group do you think will come home with more P&Y animals on a 7 day hunt? What if they kept going back, say for 4 years straight... which group would have more?

Not snow mans chance in hell it would be the whitetail guys...

09-Apr-18
Absolutely. Nick, please scroll up to the top of this thread and read the first couple sentences of my first post.

What about the other 27?

09-Apr-18
Ike, did you just agree that whitetail are not the easiest?

From: Nick Muche
09-Apr-18
Around 25 of the other 27 are not even in question, they would no doubt be harder based solely on logistics, tags, and condition of the hunter. Black Bears or Sitka's, heck even coues deer would offer great opportunities for a P&Y animal on public land DIY...much higher than that of a whitetail anyhow.

I get it now, you aren't saying killing a P&Y whitetail on public land is the easiest, you're just saying it's easier than what people make it sound to be. Or, are you saying they are the easiest? haha

09-Apr-18
Yes, I'm saying people make it sound harder than it is. And IMO, that's usually because they live where there's no big deer. I'm also saying that for average Joe, it's on the list of the hopefuls since he has actually has a shot. Average Joe is never even going to try Sitkas, Columbians, Mt Goat, Sheep, etc, DIY.

From: Drnaln
09-Apr-18
I've hunted pronghorn in Oregon, Nevada & Arizona and was fortunate to take 2 P & Y critters. I missed a great buck in Arizona. Wrong pin. LOL I've taken several P & Y Blacktails but a couple of those were on private ground. Mule deer are my favorite critter to chase & I've take 5 of those that make P & Y, with 2 scoring over 200 & another over 180. All on public ground but I did have a guide on my Utah hunt. I hunted Nevada 2 different seasons for 30 days & Arizona 13 B for 21 days & never shot an arrow. On those 3 hunts I was trying to take a particular buck & I was outsmarted all 3 times. Even though I shot less Pronghorn, I still consider them the easiest, by far, of all the species I've been lucky enough to hunt.

From: Nick Muche
09-Apr-18
People make lots of things sound harder than they are but the right person with the right amount of determination can typically put the odds in their favor. I just don't think an "average joe" thinks like that... Average Joe is average and these days average means lazy.

From: cnelk
09-Apr-18
Ike

You're putting your own qualifiers on this - i.e. CPR... live in proximity... etc...

The original question is... "So what places and species do you think are easiest to bag a P&Y on a DIY, public land hunt"

09-Apr-18
Right, that's why I was even able to bring up white tails. If I couldn't include the best places to make that happen, then it'd be ridiculous to say it because there's a huge disparity in white tail country.

09-Apr-18
But yes, I did derail the thread. I admitted that too, a ways up.

From: Kurt
09-Apr-18
Way back, a half-a-life time ago I managed to arrow the "Big-Eight" in Colorado (Mt Goat, Mule deer, Black bear, Bighorn sheep, Pronghorn, Cougar, Elk and Whitetail deer). After that I set a goal of all eight species in P&Y. When I accomplished that (second bowhunter to achieve it) the last critter to make P&Y was a whitetail...taken off private land. I'd decided after years of hunting public and dealing with duck hunters, pheasant hunters and other deer hunters to take the private route to hopefully accomplish the goal. It finally worked. The order that I took my first P&Y animal of each species in CO is listed in the first sentence of the post. Read into this whatever you want!!!

From: Drnaln
09-Apr-18
Lots of opinions on this topic but looks like Pronghorn might be the winner? Some really great hunters that have hunted all over North America weighed in & gave some good comments about personal experiences with P & Y critters. I don't think wounding 2 P & Y whitetails by a self proclaimed " Meat Hunter" qualifies anyone on the subject of "Easiest to Take P & Y Animal!"

09-Apr-18
Yup. It certainly does call into question my credibility. I'll defer back to the P&Y record book then. Which has a book just for white tail and then another book for the other 28 species. I figure the book qualifies better than me.

I never said that it was easy. But the ease of hunting them results in it being one of the easier hunts for many to hunt them DIY. And often times, the only chance they have or choose to take DIY, everything else being out of reach for various reasons.

From: LTG 11
09-Apr-18
Let's take Kansas: 700,000 deer x 16.5% are antlered bucks = 115,500 bucks,

2% public land x 115,500 = 2,310 public land bucks,

10% qualify for P&Y = 231 public land P&Y bucks in KS,

231/700k = 0.033% of deer in KS are public land P&Y bucks,

Those 231 bucks are spread across 1.3 million acres......now, get in bow range and make the shot.

(numbers approximate) ksoutdoors.com/content/download/.../Kansas+Deer+Status+Report+2015+MDTSG.pdf

09-Apr-18
That's pretty disingenuous. WIHA areas are open to the public, and thus, public. And I'm pretty sure you didn't include them in your numbers. They're also where the bulk of the DIY public land bucks are shot.

From: LTG 11
09-Apr-18
"Kansas has 300,000 acres of public lands and more than 1 million acres of private land seasonally open to hunters. "

https://www.travelks.com/things-to-do/sports-recreation/hunting/

I found between 200k- 400k public hunting in ks and about 1 million WIHA. The above quote seems to be the average.

And actually not all WIHA is open to deer hunting. Some are pheasant or waterfowl only, etc....but close enough.

From: APauls
09-Apr-18
Problem is, there is no uniform unit of measure for easiness. Ike, your one book for whitetail and one book for other species actually means didly squat. You have absolutely no idea how many of those people never hunted anything but whitetails their whole lives. There are way too many variables to go to any existing record books etc and make any assumptions. At the end of the day it will be based on loose opinions by people that havent hunted all species in all areas. Closest we can come is people like Kurt that have hunted at least a number of species, or Blacktail Bob etc. But at the end of the day their experiences are limited to the areas that they hunted the species. I don't believe anyone can claim to have a definitive answer to this question.

09-Apr-18
Right. No one should deer hunt in Kansas DIY. I'm glad we've established that after my previously mentioning it. It's widely known that the deer hunting in Kansas is horrible. How foolish of me.

BTW, all of my WT hunting has been in NE and WY. I'm hunting IA this year and NE again if I tag out quick enough. I'll probably pull a Kansas tag next year. 2019's gonna be a crappy year apparently.

From: LTG 11
09-Apr-18
That's not my point either. I don't think they are the hardest at all. I do not think whitetail are the mythical beasts some people do. But it isn't that easy either.

I have been trying to to hold out for a bigger buck the last 3 years and ended up with tag soup.

I drive an hour to an hour and a half to my public land spots. There's nothing like going to 5 spots 2 hours before sunrise and having trucks parked at all of them during the rut.

09-Apr-18
Yup. Been there. There in lies the rub. You have to go where other people aren't. It's tough on public. If it looks good to you, it looks good to someone else. You have to go where it's shitty or where there's no people. Easier said than done.

From: Drnaln
09-Apr-18
"Yup. It certainly does call into question my credibility"... Ike, Your credibility went down with Me when you wouldn't answer a simple question about how many P & Y critters you had out of the 11 DIY species you've taken. Good Luck on all your 2018 hunts & I hope you get all your freezers filled up!

From: 12yards
09-Apr-18
It would be interesting to see what the average hours hunted per P&Y entrant for each species was. To me that would tell the story and that is how I would define which was easiest to take.

From: Nick Muche
09-Apr-18
^^^That would certainly paint a great picture! They ask how many days were hunted on the other sheets associated with an entry. It would be nice to see that info someday.

10-Apr-18
Of my 140 or so P&Y entries, most of which are DIY public land, overall, all things considered, I'd say antelope was the easiest to kill and make the book. Black bear a close second, then Sitka Blacktail deer.

10-Apr-18
Drnaln, I ignored your previous post because you come on Bowsite every 3 months and just talk shit to everyone and are generally disrespectful to everyone, so I'm not interested in getting into a back-and-forth with you. That's all I'm going to say to you.

Days needed per animal is only one measurement of difficulty. It definitely plays into the equation, but let's pull a number out of a hat and say it takes 20 days per P&Y Stone Sheep and 40 days per P&Y WT. Because it hypothetically takes twice as long to get the WT, does that mean that it's twice as difficult to get a P&Y WT as a P&Y Stone Sheep? Hardly! It means it takes twice as long.

Stone sheep hunts are generally a very rigorous, expensive, and isolated hunt that not everyone can do. Versus hunting WT, which is generally a walk of less than 1/2 mile on flat ground, a 20 foot climb, and then sitting and waiting.

That doesn't mean that WT hunting is "easy" either. It's just another part of it, like time needed.

It's just like intelligence. Some people are super book smart, but can't put together a book shelf. Or one guy is brilliant with math but can't spell well. "Difficulty," when it comes to hunting, is multifaceted.

From: Drnaln
10-Apr-18
It was a simple question Ike....Keep baffling everyone with bullsh....So far you proved you can type fast & confuse the issue. Keep it up & someone might finally agree with you! That's all I'm going to say to you!

From: Drummer Boy
10-Apr-18
Chuck Adams thought sheep were easier than WT and mule deer.If you can't even hunt sheep how would any one know.

From: Franzen
10-Apr-18
"Easier said than done. " I think you've been at this too long Ike, now you are contradicting yourself.

Everyone knows the easiest is California mule deer in the San Jacinto hills. ;^)

From: 12yards
10-Apr-18
OK Ike. I can certainly see your perspective. Can't really argue against it I guess. Even if an animal is the easiest kill on the planet, if I can't draw a tag, then it is impossible for me to kill one. And if I'm a 30 foot hill from a massive heart attack, that animal is impossible for me as well. There are many angles to look at this question for sure.

From: 12yards
10-Apr-18
But doggone it, I climb some pretty big hills when I hunt whitetails. At 55 it ain't that easy anymore. LOL.

From: Ziek
10-Apr-18
I think many of us are looking at the total picture. Since we're talking about hunting, you have to start from the beginning of the process and assess ALL the factors required to meet the goal - killing a P&Y qualifier. To kill a P&Y animal you have to have access to just hunting them to begin with. Of course, you also can't kill what isn't there. So there are basically 3 factors to consider. Overall access, presence of the desired "quality" animals, and hunter ability/perseverance/skill/luck.

I don't think there can be any argument about which is the easiest to hunt. WT are the most abundant, most widespread, easiest to access both in obtaining tags and finding a place to hunt without a guide, and in the amount of physical effort it takes to effectively hunt them.

Judging by the record book, there are more P&Y qualifiers out there than some species have in total population. So, at least in many areas, the target animals are there. The fact that success rates seem to suggest that it is more difficult than one would expect, MAY have more to do with the skills and/or effort many or most put into it.

Those that claim it's pronghorns, often qualify that by also specifying one or two states, and non-residents typically use a guide. In that case they may be correct. The same goes for Sitka blacktail. I've hunted both and have had a good percentage on P&Y animals. But overall, I put in much more effort just to get there to start the hunt.

In the overall hunting population, there are those who are serious hunters, and many, many more that I would characterize as casual hunters. I would guess that more of those pursuing more niche animals like Sitka blacktails and pronghorns fall into the first group. Many, if not most, that hunt black bears over bait use a guide. Even if they have public access, the baiting process pretty much requires that access be nearby, and it's still a lot of work from what I gather. In other words, more people pursue whitetails BECAUSE they're convenient. Many of those hunters wouldn't even consider bowhunting if they had to make a concerted effort to do so. They are casual hunters.

Not having killed a P&Y whitetail is not an inditement of your hunting ability. It is still hunting after all. My point, and I think some others, is simply that if whitetails are not the best candidate for the best chance at a record book entry, considering everything, it is sure at the top of the list. They just aren't the mythical creatures some portray.

10-Apr-18
Good post Ziek. I'll just add that there's a guy from MA right now who has a thread asking for outfitter recommendations for PH right now.

Two years ago, I was in Nebraska hunting public land and stayed at a hotel where 4 guys from the south were staying, doing the same thing I was, although they had access to a farm through a friend besides mixing in public land hunting. I talked with them nightly and we got on the subject of elk. I encouraged them to give it a shot. Only 1 or 2 of the 4 was really interested in giving it a go and I got the impression that it was only an option if I took them. I talked with him for about 6 months after the hunt. I never got the impression that they were going to try. These guys enjoyed hunting enough to do a DIY out-of-state hunt, but despite having the desire, the idea of the hunt seemed out of reach despite me pointing out that it wasn't.

I really wonder, how many guys east of the Mississippi River have killed a P&Y WT on public land AND have killed any of the other 28 DIY on public land as so many aren't even willing to give it a shot without a guide. I know that of the guys on Bowsite, it's not even close - there's a ton of them. But we've established that the guys on Bowsite are generally far more avid hunters than the average.

I'd guess that if you changed it from public land to private, that it wouldn't even be close - that the number of guys with a P&Y and nothing else, would be an incredible ratio. But I bet of public land P&Y animals, there's no other animal where so many people have killed one or more WT and none of anything else.

To summarize my rant, I've made two points, which I still believe and may have seemed contradictory as I've argued one or the other at various points:

1. For the average bowhunter who wants a P&Y animal on public land, WT is one his best bets.

2. Many people overstate how difficult it is to get one because their only qualification for that is how many hunting days it takes - although, I suppose my definition of "difficult" is different than many here, so I'll concede that point.

From: pav
11-Apr-18
Ike, with all due respect, most people with ALOT more experience bowhunting whitetails are going to disagree with you on the difficulty factor. For many, whitetail are definitely their "best bet" for a P&Y animal, because that is the only big game animal available where they live and hunt. Most of those people will never kill a P&Y whitetail....let alone kill a P&Y whitetail on public land. Reasons?

- Main reason: Hunting pressure. Not trying to offend my western hunting friends with this statement, but unless you have hunted whitetails east of the MIssissippi River, you really don't know the true meaning of the term.

- Second reason: Whitetail deer management. Virtually every state east of the Mississippi is more concerned with population management than quality management. They want people to kill deer and set up their hunting seasons accordingly. Here in Indiana (Midwestern state), we have 16 days of firearms season during the heart of the November rut....followed by another 16 days of ML season. It is a slaughter....and that's exactly what the state wants.

A buck fawn here has very little chance of surviving past 2-1/2 years old....especially on public land. By the time that buck reaches 3-1/2, he has survived three slaughters by either being very lucky....learning to avoid hunters....or both. By 3-1/2, the buck has become much more difficult, but not impossible to kill with a bow. There is also a very good chance the buck, at 3-1/2 years of age, is NOT carrying P&Y headgear (remember my photos? ). Not every buck has the genetics to become a P&Y deer....but the majority of the ones that do will be 4-1/2 years old minimum. That age class of animal represents a very low percentage of the overall whitetail population and has become a very difficult animal to get within bow range. I get trail camera photos of these "ghosts"....primarily at night....rarely get a glimpse of one during the course of a hunting season....and that is on private land.

I've successfully bowhunted elk, antelope, Shiras moose and caribou. Have killed elk and antelope P&Y qualifiers on public land and a near miss on the public land Shiras moose score. I typically get in one Western hunt per year which lasts 2-3 weeks. I honestly believe my odds are better to kill a P&Y animal out west....DIY on public land...than bowhunting for a P&Y whitetail for an entire season on private land I know like the back of my hand. That's not an overstatement...that's reality.

11-Apr-18
Fair enough Pav. I can't say I disagree with anything that you say there.

From: Alpinehunter
11-Apr-18
I'm firmly in Ike's camp on this because of my personal definition of difficult. The Public Land criterion for the question is what really skews the argument. The vast majority of Public Land Whitetail habitat is either over hunted or poor quality so P&Y animals are scarce. The same can't be said about the rest of the North American 29.

From: Nick Muche
11-Apr-18
How can you be "firmly in Ike's camp" after a statement such as this;

" The vast majority of Public Land Whitetail habitat is either over hunted or poor quality so P&Y animals are scarce."

How would a P&Y Whitetail be easy, if the above is true?

The Public Land criterion didn't skew the argument, it was a part of the question which created the debate and in order to answer it, you must factor in that minute detail.

From: Genesis
11-Apr-18
Not sure how many times Blacktail Bob has to interject the truth in this thread but he’ s doing a good job trying.Not gonna speak for AKFrank but I feel pretty positive he would give a very similar response.

Most guys have a way they like to hunt then justify “their way” as more superior,sporting,difficult etc.Bob brought the truth.

From: Native Okie
11-Apr-18
pav x2. Points made I eluded to as well.

From: Genesis
11-Apr-18
I’m just curious why guys hunt areas devoid of trophies if that’s is what they are after.Buy a freakin toothbrush,knock on some doors,go to PY,get involved networking and scouting areas BEFORE wasting precious rut time in a gar hole.

.There would be very few public areas I would whitetail hunt and if I did my objective wouldn’t be to put myself in the best position to shoot big.

Why even consider public for whitetail? I’d rather be parking my fat butt up in a double ladder on private ground than looking over 6 pack abs at the public ground below.Getting sick even thinking about it.

From: Franzen
11-Apr-18
I know why I do it; I like to hunt a lot, public is always available, and trophies aren't the only consideration for me. I like the challenge and I like to mix it up hunting different spots. Sometimes I think about giving it up out of frustration though.

From: Pigsticker
11-Apr-18

11-Apr-18
"I’m just curious why guys hunt areas devoid of trophies if that’s is what they are after.Buy a freakin toothbrush,knock on some doors,go to PY,get involved networking and scouting areas BEFORE wasting precious rut time in a gar hole."

I agree, Steve! I know some public land spots in Oklahoma that are good. I also know some public land spots in Oklahoma that are REALLY good. Guess which ones I'd spend my time? If someone was to ask me for some GOOD spots, that's where I'd send them. :)

11-Apr-18
Genesis, the average hunter does not live in Alaska like Mr Ameen, have the knowledge of hunting Alaska like Mr Ameen, nor do they have two cabins next to the best place to kill Sitka blacktails and huge black bears. Living next to an animal makes it much easier to hunt. Any bowhunter can rent those cabins, but most bowhunters don't even know that.

Additionally, Mr Ameen is one of the most prolific bowhunters, and the premier bowhunter of sitka blacktails of the last 100 years. When he speaks, I listen, but him saying that sitka blacktails are easy is like Babe Ruth saying hitting home runs in MLB is easy. No disrespect meant Mr Ameen, but I'm talking about the other 3+ million bowhunters and Genesis, using him as an example is disingenuous - if you've read all my posts, I've said over and over that I'm talking about for the bulk of bowhunters out there. There are literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of guys, that have zero hope of ever scratching the surface of ability or accomplishment of your example.

And regarding Sitka Blacktails, as I noted in one of my first posts, they may be easy if you get dropped in a place with good numbers. I got dropped where there'd been a local die-off. There was one P&Y buck within 2 miles of camp and my partner killed it. The only P&Y bucks I saw (7-8 total in a week of hunting) were 3-4 miles from camp and over a mountain range. It was an hours-long walk with thousands of feet of elevation gain/loss just to get to the deer. So my personal experience with Sitka Blacktails is they were a difficult hunt. I killed a Mountain Goat on that hunt and I'd say that was every bit as difficult as the deer. The one P&Y class buck I got an arrow in fell 1500 ft off of a cliff and was unrecoverable. No one's having to walk 20 miles a day and climb thousands of feet to hunt WT. You could, but... come on. And certainly, no one's having their White Tails fall 1500 feet down a cliff into a salmon stream where brown bears are feeding...

Three months later I went to Wyoming, walked 200 yards from the road, got into a stand, and shot a 150 inch WT in the humerus on public on day 3. I just can't get over comparing these two hunts because I know my own experiences. I planned that Kodiak hunt for two years. They're not even in the same ball park in some elements of what make them difficult. Again, I'm not saying that killing a book Sitka is easier or harder than killing a book WT. But there are certainly more people, for which killing a book WT would be easier than killing a book Sitka Blacktail, no matter how "easy" it actually is to get an arrow into one once you're actually on the hunt and that is borne out by the P&Y record book having a book for WTs and then a book for the other 28.

Bigdan says elk are easy. I happen to think they're not the toughest animal in the world to hunt either seeing as they give up their locations during the rut. Nonetheless, I read of countless stories on Bowsite and Rokslide where guys from the east go west for public land DIY archery elk hunts and get skunked year after year. Many times I've read of guys being 0 or 1 elk for 10-20 years with a bow.

Bringing up Frank Noska is also disingenuous as well as, no, you cannot speak for him and mentioning a guy who has two super cubs, come on... Again, Babe Ruth. Many of these hunts are going to be easier for him than Joe Blow by the fact that he's set himself up for that to be the case in a way that few have. Yet, I would not doubt for a second that he'd mirror Mr Ameen's sentiments as well. But when you can fly your personal cub yourself to 4 species that the general public can't even hunt, you're not even having a discussion about people who are in the same universe.

I guess easy and difficult have no definition and it's all in the eye of the beholder... (sarcasm)

"Most guys have a way they like to hunt then justify “their way” as more superior,sporting,difficult..."

I agree 100% percent. That's my whole point. I'm constantly reading on Bowsite people say that mature WT are the most difficult. And they certainly are no gimme. But for the average hunter, it's the most likely thing they have a legitimate shot at. And for many, it's the ONLY thing they have a legitimate shot at. And for more than any other NA animal, it's the ONLY animal that a bowhunter will ever kill that's book worthy, and again, the book proves this.

Save some Iowa points, look at the LE tags and better tags/hunts there are around the country, find a honey hole. That's no different than any other species but yet, the average hunter already has the gear and the know-how to do the hunt, whereas they don't for mountain/western hunts or... they have to move...

I admit it's sort of a spin. But in reality, avid hunters who hunt many species of animals are not the average hunter. For an avid hunter, whatever takes the most time is probably going to be much more difficult for him and so I can see how for an avid hunter, that a public land book WT may very well be one of the most difficult. For the average hunter though, the millions of them, the more difficult it is to plan and the physicality and cost of the hunt is going to come more and more into play. The 18 hour days I was doing on Kodiak up and down mountains and across tundra for miles - there are so many overweight bowhunters or older bowhunter that couldn't have even managed it physically, much less have even bothered considering the hunt as possible. But... they STILL have a shot at a book WT. I guess that wasn't a qualification of the OP, but that's what we've been talking about ad nauseum since I brought it up.

What I see are a bunch of differing opinions about the definition of difficult vs easy and a bunch of guys putting words in my mouth. I've not said that getting a book WT is easy. I did claim that it's not in the top 3 or 5 to get a book animal on public land and I'll back that up listing animals: Polar bear. Brown bear. Roosevelt elk. Stone Sheep. Dall sheep. I could list more, but it's funny how everyone wants to make claims about how difficult WT are, but the only animals that get mentioned over and over are Sitka BT, PH, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain elk, and Black bears over bait.

I think the only thing I'm guilty of is challenging people's ideas about their sacred cow. Tell a Muslim that his religion is baloney and see how he reacts. That's what's really going on here. Any implication that WT are not the sacred cow and people go berserk and straw man you.

From: elkstabber
11-Apr-18
There is no doubt that Blacktail Bob is spot on.

I have to agree with what pav explained about whitetails. What Ike said about his experiences also make sense. Here is what most people are missing when talking about P&Y whitetails: the easiest opportunities to kill whitetails meeting the P&Y minimum are west of the Mississippi. That's it.

The really big trophy whitetails are known to come from Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, etc, but we're not talking about those. We're talking about just those that make the P&Y minimum (125). The states west of the Mississippi have a great combination of public land, less hunting pressure, and a relative abundance of whitetails that will make the P&Y minimum.

A serious bowhunter could hunt public land for years in SC, AL, or most any other southern state and never kill a P&Y whitetail, mostly because of their scarcity. When the hunting season is 3-4 months long a buck on heavily pressured public land rarely survives long enough to grow big enough antlers. This has little to do with nutrition or genetics.

A very good friend of mine lives in AL. He is an avid bowhunter - no he's not TBM. He is not on Bowsite. He is about 50 and has been hunting since he was 10. His family has owned 1000+ acres that he's always had access to. He also goes to hunt in Nebraska for a week every year. He kills a P&Y in Nebraska about every other year and has yet to kill a P&Y in AL. (He is not in the physical condition to hunt in the mountains.)

Also, those western whitetails are safe from most of us in the east. If we're going to the trouble and expense of driving for 30 hours or flying and renting a car then most of us are going to hunt something different than a whitetail that we hunt all the time at home.

Ike, I'm baffled by the guys that you met also. Maybe they didn't want to try something new? Maybe they were intimidated by the perceived cost of gear?

From: elkstabber
11-Apr-18
I was typing while Ike was typing but I've got one more point. I think it was Barry Wensel that jokingly said he bowhunts whitetails because there aren't many other sports where an overweight middle-aged bald white guy can excel.

Or, maybe he wasn't joking.

11-Apr-18
"the easiest opportunities to kill whitetails meeting the P&Y minimum are west of the Mississippi. That's it."

I agree 100% and I've been saying that all along. And yet people are saying, "yeah, but in Pennsylvania..." Yeah, it's widely known that most states it's damn near impossible to do it... From my very first post, I specifically qualified my stance as based off of the the very best places to hunt WT.

From: elk yinzer
11-Apr-18
eas·y ??z?/ adjective adjective: easy; comparative adjective: easier; superlative adjective: easiest

1. achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties. "an easy way of retrieving information"

We're quibbling over the interpretation of easy is all we're doing here. This is what the dictionary has to say. Is it easier to travel to some far off destination? To climb a mountain or sit in 1000 hours in a treestand? What's easy for Ike may not be easy for Joe. This is all fascinating stuff and incredibly pointless at the same time. In other words, perfect forum topic.

From: BOWUNTR
11-Apr-18
Xanex is your friend.... Ed F

From: ELKMAN
11-Apr-18
You guys have to admit though: The second you remove the words "Public Land" from this debate, Ike is 100% correct and it's not even close...JMO

From: Drnaln
11-Apr-18
Guys that hunt private land pronghorn seem to do pretty well. Not too many mountains to climb, rivers to cross or 11 foot bears to fight!

11-Apr-18
Incorrect, Ed. Xanex is not even a thing. Xanax, on the other hand... :)

I've gotten a lot of PMs from people thinking that I'm all worked up or upset. I'm really not. I am, though, having a great time with this thread. I've been on the night shift the past week and this thread has been a great pass-time.

11-Apr-18
ELKMAN... yep, agreed!

From: Nick Muche
11-Apr-18
I agree as well, if there is an animal out there that money 'can buy', it's the whitetail.

From: Genesis
11-Apr-18
Ike,I will take your admonishment and try to learn not to drop names and hide behind people in regards to the whitetail public vs private debate.I leave a better person.

From: elk yinzer
11-Apr-18
"I agree as well, if there is an animal out there that money 'can buy', it's the whitetail."

Aren't there some animals you basically can't get without "buying" them? I'm really not sure how to go about planning my DIY polar bear hunt but I'll start looking into it right after I move to Alaska so I am allowed to hunt sheep and goats without a babysitter.

From: 12yards
11-Apr-18
I don't know. A lot of species get a lot easier when you hunt private land. I've watched some elk hunts on private land where they are passing up P&Y elk on multiple occasions. Killing a P&Y elk in DIY CO units is no easy feat. I've got a friend who has killed a huge pile of whitetails that has hunted with outfitters on managed private lands and he has yet to kill a P&Y buck in two well known whitetail states. Lot's can go wrong even if the big boys are there. Weather, nocturnal, out of range, etc.

From: Nick Muche
11-Apr-18
My comment was based on the context of "easy" in that if you wanted a P&Y whitetail you could lease up the best land, go with the best outfitter/guide, etc...and sit on your butt after walking a few hundred yards. Not quite the same with most of the other species, they still require you to be in good physical shape and for the most part a good hunter.

From: Ambush
11-Apr-18
What would the answer be if you took money and time out of the equation? As in, if your boss gave you the money and your family gave you the time. The only criteria would be you have to return, from your ten day hunt, with a P&Y animal. No guide, just pick your species and place. All hypothetical of course, but so are many of the other assertions.

Or lets go the other way and say you can only hunt weekends with the odd three day'er thrown in and that includes your travel. And your budget only accommodates one relatively cheap non-resident tag. Then it really comes down to location.

Too many ways to look at "easy" or even "most likely" to Book, DIY on Public. As has been mentioned, the vast majority of NA hunters, target whitetails and many not very diligently. Not many Book deer per ten thousand hunters simply because they're not trying to Book. Heck, many are probably more interested in just killing a day or two than killing a deer! So stats can be and are misleading.

I will probably shoot one or two 18" plus bears in May, OTC, diy, public land, spot and stalk. The toughest part is a sore butt and stiff legs from driving around looking for bears. No pressure, no anxiety and little physical effort. So that definitely fits the dictionary definition of easy, but not available to most NA hunters. On the other hand, I don't see many whitetail, never mind a book buck.

So "Easy" as in effort, or "Easy" as in most likely with enough effort. (and time/money)

From: ELKMAN
11-Apr-18
It's not even close... Again JMO

11-Apr-18
Elkstabber: Wisconsin and Illinois year in and year out are the top P&Y Whitetail entry states. Ohio is also in the top five.

Those states are East of the Mississippi.

Ike: What is Rocslide? We’ll look forward to seeing your P&Y qualifying public land whitie kills. The first one is tuff but man o man that second one is really really hard:)

11-Apr-18
Rokslide is an online hunting forum like this one, but it's not just archery and I'd say the % of guys that hunt DIY and are younger is higher than Bowsite. And it's BB code so you have to read every post 3-4 times because everyone posts with a quote ;)

As far as my WTs, I never really wanted one before this thread, but now... :)

Just kidding :)

From: Pigsticker
11-Apr-18

Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Here some stats but they will be piecemeal.

From: Pigsticker
11-Apr-18

Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Pigsticker's embedded Photo
State Licensed hntrs P&Y entries P&Yentry hunters Land mass Hunters/sq.mile

From: Pigsticker
11-Apr-18

Pigsticker's embedded Photo
Pigsticker's embedded Photo
State Licensed hntrs P&Y entries P&Yentry hunters Land mass Hunters/sq.mile

From: elkstabber
11-Apr-18
Charlie: Oops! I meant to say public land whitetails. I realize that what I stated ("the easiest opportunities to kill whitetails meeting the P&Y minimum are west of the Mississippi") is debatable but I've heard it from too many of my friends that are whitetail nuts. Of course there are some good places to hunt P&Y whitetails on public land in the east (Kentucky) but there are significantly more opportunities west of the Mississippi. Most hunters in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana just don't care about whitetails so there are a lot of opportunities. Their experiences have been very similar to Ike's. In fairness, these guys aren't killing 160's either, as could be possible in the WS, IL, OH, etc.

From: Michael
11-Apr-18
North Dakota has a bunch of public land as well.

One of my favorite areas to hunt in ND was the Tewaukon refuge area. Used to have a good supply of big bucks in that area. I haven’t hunted out there since the late 80’s early 90’s.

From: 12yards
11-Apr-18
Nice stats pigsticker. And remember this includes private land. Too bad public isn't separated out.

From: elkstabber
11-Apr-18
Those are nice stats. But it's strange that OH, ID, and CO are noticeably missing.

From: Treeline
11-Apr-18
No white tails in Colorado! Nothing here but stunted elk and dinky mule deer;)

From: Pigsticker
11-Apr-18
Elks tanner Ohio was not included because of crossbows skewed the data. Only 38 states were analyzed. Idaho and Colorado would appear much better because there was no separation of mule deer tags and whitetail tags. The states above included mule deer tags so in the states that had both the data is not perfect but the vast majority would not be affected. The main thing here is based on shear numbers statistically it is extremely hard to kill a P&Y whitetail.

Statistically speaking Bowsite is not your best random study group. You take twenty regular posters and someone has killed multiple species, Brown bear, sheep, and probably a Booner too. This is not your average Joe’s forum even though we consider ourselves average or below because of who we associate with.

  • Sitka Gear