Rank these hunts by difficulty
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Bowfreak 28-Dec-21
bigeasygator 28-Dec-21
KHNC 28-Dec-21
Bowfreak 28-Dec-21
brettpsu 28-Dec-21
cnelk 28-Dec-21
Shiras42 28-Dec-21
Bowfreak 28-Dec-21
JayZ 28-Dec-21
IdyllwildArcher 28-Dec-21
ahunter76 28-Dec-21
Buffalo1 28-Dec-21
Grey Ghost 28-Dec-21
wytex 28-Dec-21
Quinn @work 28-Dec-21
Straight Shooter 28-Dec-21
Willieboat 28-Dec-21
Bowfreak 28-Dec-21
bigeasygator 29-Dec-21
pav 29-Dec-21
Bou'bound 29-Dec-21
Treeline 29-Dec-21
creed 30-Dec-21
Bowfreak 30-Dec-21
WYelkhunter 30-Dec-21
Native Okie 02-Jan-22
DanaC 02-Jan-22
From: Bowfreak
Assuming you aren't limited by cost or location and you can pick the best of the best. Rank these hunts from most difficult to least difficult to fill the tag. Also....where are you going to fill your tag...state, province or ranch? These are all for males species.

1. Public land whitetail DIY

2. Public land P&Y whitetail DIY

3. Outfitted B&C whitetail

4. Public land elk DIY

5. Public land P&Y elk DIY

6. Outfitted B&C elk

7. Public land pronghorn DIY

8. Public land P&Y pronghorn DIY

9. Outfitted B&C pronghorn

10. Public land mule deer DIY

11. Public land P&Y mule deer DIY

12. Outfitted B&C mule deer

From: bigeasygator
It kinda depends where these hunts are taking place. Plenty of outfitted hunts are in units where B&C animals don’t exist. Plenty of DIY hunts take place on great units where P&Y or even B&C animals are common even on public land.

From: KHNC
Slick way to find hunting spots. lol

From: Bowfreak
That is why you get to pick where you hunt BEG.

From: brettpsu
#11 my nemesis

From: cnelk
I'll play - but only DIY hunts

Hardest to Easiest - PnY

1- Public Land DIY PnY WT

2- Public Land DIY PnY Pronghorn

3- Public Land DIY PnY MD

4- Public Land DIY PnY Elk

Top 4 - Public Land - Easiest to Hardest

1 - WT

2 - Elk

3 - Pronghorn

4 - MD

From: Shiras42
I think Brad has it pretty well nailed.

From: Bowfreak
I'm curious where the outfitted hunts fall into place? I have no experience with them.

From: JayZ
B&C anything is generally really hard even on outfitted hunts. A small fraction of critters even have the genes to get to net B&C.

B&C with Archery equipment is very tuff. Guided or DIY. B&C elk and white tail are top of the list. 6 3 9 12 2 5 8 11 4 1 10 7

We had one of these “most difficult” hunt discussions a few years back…

“Difficult” is a highly subjective term with multiple meanings.

From: ahunter76
I've been fortunate to have bowhunted most but all DIY, Public. 1-hardest for me was ELK, P&Y would just be a bonus. I made many a trip to Co. & never a bad trip as as I recall always seeing Elk but once. Oh how I wish a few misses had connected as they "were" P&Ys for sure. Always DIY, Public too. 2-Whitetail, for me is next hardest & again P&Y is always a bonus & my home state is Ill & now live in Ia.. 3-Antelope would be next as with my knees I am restricted to waterholes & RAIN can make or break a bowhunt. As far as DIY, Public, the best bowhunt going 4-Mule Deer was always easy for me. I only ever bowhunted high altitude Mountains & numbers/sightongs were always good & always great hunts. I have bowhunted over 60 years. I have arrowed near 150 biggame critters. I have bowhunte 15 states + Ontario & Quebec. I have 5 animals that would qualify for P&Y (2 WT, 2 Bears, ! Caribou). I have a friend on DIY, Public 5 times has 3 P&Y Antelope & 2 others very close. Yes, mine, his stuff measured but not entered.

From: Buffalo1
“Difficult” is a highly subjective term with multiple meanings."

Herein is the answer.

A lot of variables and questions. But given what you gave as perimeters. From most difficult to easiest in order With unlimited funding.

11 public land P&Y Mule Deer DIY

2. Public land P&Y WT DIY

5 Public land P&Y Elk DIY

8. Public land P&Y Pronghorn DIY

10. Public mule deer diy

1. Public WT diy

4. Public elk diy

7. Public pronghorn diy

6 outfitted B&C elk

13. Outfitted B&C MD

9. Outfitted B&C Pronghorn

3 outfitted B&C WT

From: Grey Ghost
Yeah, way too many variables to even attempt to rank that list, And it assumes we've done all of the listed hunts, which I doubt many of us have. I've never been outfitted, for example.


From: wytex
Wyoming has them all. I'd rank public land DIY B&C mule deer as hardest to fill. Oops, not on your list, lol.

Curious why you omitted B&C DIY mule deer, it is possible.

From: Quinn @work
Outfitted can mean so many different things but a B&C Elk or WT would probably be the hardest.

Wouldn’t even know where to start but the obvious.

Isn’t there a ranch in California with Rocky Mountain and Tule free range

Pretty sure if you have the money they have the B&C elk

From: Willieboat
Elk aren’t that hard Never hunted white tails so don’t have a clue Pronghorns have been a one day deal and that’s with archery tackle Mule deer a my flipping nemesis!

From: Bowfreak
Based on my limited experience on the animals I have hunted when considering the DIY P&Y category. I think from easiest to hardest is Pronghorn, whitetail and then elk. I didn't include mule deer because I have no experience but if I was ranking it based on my suspicion it would be most difficult.

From: bigeasygator
There are units out there where P&Y and even B&C animals are fairly common. Most of these are on public land. For example, think of all the hard to draw elk units in UT, NM, AZ, etc. if you don’t have experience hunting these animals, then an outfitter can help. On the flip side, someone who has been a DIY elk hunter all his life may not be the greatest whitetail hunter and so whitetail is going to be a lot harder.

At the end of the day, killing a B&C animal would still be the hardest, no matter the species. Then P&Y. Then everything else. I think the other factors are mostly irrelevant. I would also rank whitetail and antelope as easier than elk.

From: pav
Never hunted any of the above outfitted...so no comment on that.

I'm with brettpsu....#11 has been my nemesis.

Would have to agree with many above on P&Y pronghorn being easiest. Living in Indiana all my life, I've definitely killed more whitetails than elk, but a much higher percentage of my elk made P&Y than my whitetails.

I've heard many people say 125" net is too low for whitetails. When I look at a symmetrical 125-130" ten point, I understand where they are coming from. But symmetry just varies so much among whitetails...I think 125" net is a reasonable minimum. The whitetail I killed this year will push 150" gross antler, but may not make P&Y due to deductions. Some of you may recall my son's 2020 buck...nearly 180" gross antler...but barely made P&Y as a non-typical. So, yes...this flatlander from the midwest is actually going to rank P&Y elk easier than P&Y whitetail. Damn...hope I didn't just jinx myself!!!

From: Bou'bound
4 5 3 6 2 1 10 12 11 8

From: Treeline
Most difficult to least from my perspective:

12. Outfitted B&C mule deer (Colorado)

11. Public land P&Y mule deer DIY (Colorado)

6. Outfitted B&C elk (Utah)

3. Outfitted B&C whitetail (Iowa)

9. Outfitted B&C pronghorn (New Mexico)

2. Public land P&Y whitetail DIY (Iowa)

5. Public land P&Y elk DIY (Arizona)

4. Public elk diy (Wyoming)

1. Public land whitetail DIY (Kansas)

10. Public land mule deer DIY ( Colorado)

8. Public land P&Y pronghorn DIY (Wyoming)

7. Public land pronghorn DIY (Wyoming)

From: creed
Never hunted whitetails but have the others. #11 by far is the hardest for me. I have killed some good ones but low desert mulies have handed me my butt on a consistent basis.

From: Bowfreak
I like your list Treeline.

From: WYelkhunter
I only archery hunt and have never done guided so I will only list DIY P&Y and B&C would be in same order

11. Public land P&Y mule deer DIY

5. Public land P&Y elk DIY

2. Public land P&Y whitetail DIY

8. Public land P&Y pronghorn DIY

From: Native Okie
Some of you guys need to go hunt elsewhere.

From: DanaC
Native Okie, you said a mouthful there, sir.

  • Sitka Gear