Sitka Mountain Gear
Which State?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
ghost stalker 26-Mar-18
WyoBowHunter 26-Mar-18
160andup 26-Mar-18
HUNT MAN 26-Mar-18
JTreeman 26-Mar-18
ghost stalker 26-Mar-18
swampokie 26-Mar-18
LKH 26-Mar-18
Pigsticker 27-Mar-18
buc i 313 27-Mar-18
beckerbulldog 27-Mar-18
Brotsky 27-Mar-18
Michael 27-Mar-18
midwest 27-Mar-18
ghost stalker 27-Mar-18
Michael 27-Mar-18
elkmo 27-Mar-18
Bigdan 28-Mar-18
buc i 313 28-Mar-18
EmbryOklahoma 28-Mar-18
ROUGHCOUNTRY 28-Mar-18
Mule Power 28-Mar-18
ghost stalker 28-Mar-18
Shawn 28-Mar-18
Thornton 03-Apr-18
Nick Muche 03-Apr-18
Shawn 03-Apr-18
Thornton 03-Apr-18
Nick Muche 04-Apr-18
Pigsticker 04-Apr-18
12yards 04-Apr-18
Thornton 05-Apr-18
Thornton 05-Apr-18
Twinetickler 05-Apr-18
Cazador 05-Apr-18
Nick Muche 06-Apr-18
TreeWalker 06-Apr-18
Thornton 06-Apr-18
Shawn 07-Apr-18
ryanrc 07-Apr-18
Cazador 07-Apr-18
Michael 07-Apr-18
Thornton 07-Apr-18
bighorn 08-Apr-18
David A. 15-Apr-18
26-Mar-18
From Oregon and gonna do a diy public land whitetail hunt next year, but not sure which state I should choose? Was thinking about Ohio, Missouri or Oklahoma. Gonna drive out from Oregon. Just looking for any info anyone feels like they want to offer. I was pretty set on SE Ohio, but the more I look at it NE Missouri looks good and I haven't looked to hard at Oklahoma yet. Anyone thinking about doing a diy southern Oregon blacktail id be happy to offer info for any good info given back on a public land whitetail spot in the states I am looking at. Just send me a pm.

From: WyoBowHunter
26-Mar-18
You might consider either of the Dakotas too.

From: 160andup
26-Mar-18
If you choose to hunt it, you may be shocked at the hunting pressure that SE Ohio gets, I know I was. First couple weeks of November are crazy, worse than opening weekend of gun season in some areas of public. I have hunted it several times and it gets really frustrating, but all part of the game. I will hunt Oklahoma and North Dakota in the near future.

From: HUNT MAN
26-Mar-18
I agree the Dakotas or Nebraska !!

From: JTreeman
26-Mar-18
If I were gonna do OK Public I would stay way west. Not a lot of public in OK. I honestly would follow some of the other suggestions of NE or the Dakotas.

If you have a good private land hook-up in OK then it can be great, but public is pretty tough here.

—jim

26-Mar-18
Thanks for the responses so far. I will defiantly look at the Dakotas. I did look at Nebraska, but the non res fees seemed kinda steep. Another note this would be a late October 2019 hunt probably around Halloween.

From: swampokie
26-Mar-18
Three rivers wma in se Oklahoma. 200000 acres of bowhunting paradise. You can bowhunt till your heart is content. Very rarely see anyone as long as you avoid muzz or rifle seasons. Middle of November is crazy with rutting rods! Also honobia creek is just as good only a few miles west of three rivers yet its only around 75000 acres. I would definitely look into these.

From: LKH
26-Mar-18
Went to the U of ID 1973-1977. Rifle hunted a lot of whitetail on public.

Why are you not looking at Idaho? Wolves?

From: Pigsticker
27-Mar-18
I wouldn't drive past Ohio to get to Missouri or Nebraska. I wouldn't drive past Missouri or Nebraska to get to Ohio. You have not stated any other goal than to hunt whitetail. I hunt Ohio every fall and consider it a premium hunt. If you state a goal it would change where I would go. I can kill any deer anywhere...

From: buc i 313
27-Mar-18
I hunt Ohio, and if I had the option of going to Missouri, I believe I would go there for the obvious. Much closer (drive) the bucks are of the same quality, an under estimated state to hunt.

I would not pass on western Kentucky, southern Illinois, or southern Indiana. Equally as good as Ohio, just isn't advertised as much.

If you decide on Ohio, it can be a great hunt or not so great of a hunt. Experience here says there are a lot of variables.

Just one more word to the wise, contrary to what you may hear or read, there isn't a record buck behind every tree.

:^}

27-Mar-18
I hunted Missouri 3 years ago. We hauled a camper and stayed at Rebels cove conservation area. We saw lots of deer and not to many other hunters. Don't get me wrong we were far from alone but we found a good spot with deer and no one bothered us.

From: Brotsky
27-Mar-18
You're driving by some excellent whitetail hunting to get to some overrated whitetail hunting in my opinion.

From: Michael
27-Mar-18
The states I would look at are ND, SD, Ne and Kansas. All 4 states have very good hunting atlas on there web sights that show there public ground.

I am curious why you think Ne fees are high. $242 for a tag and $20 for a habitat stamp isn’t terribly steep. South Dakota deer tag will be $286. North Dakota is $250

Since your wanting to go late October I would hunt some into November as well. It’s amazing how buck movement can change by turning the calendar to that month.

From: midwest
27-Mar-18
"Just one more word to the wise, contrary to what you may hear or read, there isn't a record buck behind every tree."

Duh, everyone knows that's only in Iowa. ;-)

27-Mar-18
I wanna get farther east than Idaho haha. Plus the archery season in Idaho runs the same time as our late season for blacktail in Oregon and I definitely want to be back for that. Also, part of this is for an adventure. I wanna see some country and don't mind the drive. Basically my plan for 2019 will be Eastern Oregon elk then come home for a couple weeks and head out for the whitetail hunt and then get back in time for the late season in southern Oregon. I looked at Nebraska, but not sure on what the difference in the non resident deer tag for $242 as that is reasonable but they also have a statewide whitetail tag that is over $500. I know there isn't a record buck around every tree. That is not what I am looking for. Yes I would like to shoot a big buck like everyone else would but I'm more looking for opportunity. Thanks for the responses.

From: Michael
27-Mar-18
Ghost stalker, the statewide deer tag for $500 is a rifle tag. Ne has zones you have to put in to draw for rifle. To avoid that you could buy the statewide tag.

There Archery tags are $242.

From: elkmo
27-Mar-18
Ditto..."You're driving by some excellent whitetail hunting to get to some overrated whitetail hunting in my opinion".

Speaking of Missouri...if a 2.5 Year old is the goal, go for it. Rifle season in the peak rut should tell you all you need to know.

From: Bigdan
28-Mar-18
Good whitetail hunting in Eastern Wa, Idaho, Montana & Wyoming why go that far

From: buc i 313
28-Mar-18
DUH,

When did they plant "IOWA TREES" in Ohio, ?

I wasn't aware that Iowa, had any tree's to spare ?

;^}

28-Mar-18
You should try Alabama. I hear if you kill a 120" buck it's actually like a 160" Midwest whitetail.

From: ROUGHCOUNTRY
28-Mar-18
The western states have great whitetail deer movement in September and October. There is something a little strange about the Midwest and probably has to do with standing crops, acorns, warmer temps etc........but it can be really slowwwwwww in October and most Midwest states don't have seasons going in September anyway.

With the exception of Kansas where baiting is legal, I would not hunt the Midwest in October. It's such a difference when the light turns on in November. And if you're hunting public land in Kansas, you can't bait anyhow.

Take all the information above into consideration and good luck on your decision. The good thing about the Midwest is the rut tends to get going in early November and the western states tend to be later in November.

From: Mule Power
28-Mar-18
NE Wyoming

28-Mar-18
Thanks for all of the reply's and pm's.

From: Shawn
28-Mar-18
I would do Kansas and go early, you will have a lot of WIHA to yourself and may even knock on doors and get some permission. Bucks are still on a good feeding pattern and you may just kill a bomber. Nebraska and the Dakotas can be very good the first couple weeks of Nov. as well. You could also hunt Iowa by buying a point this year and look at the right areas to hunt, I know of several guys who draw quite often with just 1 point and they kill some real good bucks. Shawn

From: Thornton
03-Apr-18
Most guys can't burn a month to try to kill a buck Shawn.

From: Nick Muche
03-Apr-18
I'd definitely go to KS, super easy to get a tag and plenty of land to hunt. A week should be a good amount of time if you have a few spots in mind before hand.

From: Shawn
03-Apr-18
If I am doing a DIY hunt and driving for me 1500 miles, I am not going for a week. I would want 10 days of hunting at least. Two weeks with travel can do it. Shawn

From: Thornton
03-Apr-18
Next year I'm going to start a thread on Kansas public hunting and invite all NR who come to post their opinions after hunting here. My bet is most that actually hunt public when everyone else is hunting public, will have some interesting things to say. My bet is also that at least 40 % won't return the next season.

From: Nick Muche
04-Apr-18
Shawn, ten days would be a great amount of time to invest in a public land hunt in Kansas as a NR. I think you'd have a great time, there is some incredible hunting to be had if you are a go-getter. Kansas certainly offers NR an opportunity with exceptional trophy quality. Good luck and I hope you make it happen!

From: Pigsticker
04-Apr-18
Thornton, That is basically the same comment about Ohio and I have been going public land every since 2011.

I am not sure but I would think many hunters would say the same thing about Nebraska but I know several Bowsite peeps that hunt it every year.

Hell, I remember in the late 70s and early 80s that outdoor writers made it seem nearly impossible to kill a good Coues buck in Arizona. The first week that I hunted it in 1985 I killed one that scored 1015/8ths.

The bottom line is that most states will produce if given adequate time to hunt. It is hard to be successful on a week long hunt hunt especially if you are passing on immature bucks. I plan to hunt Kansas within the next two years.

P. S. I find that people who hunt larger racked animals tend see more deer that others would shoot. My guess is that it is because of additional time invested in research.

From: 12yards
04-Apr-18
I'd be going to MO, NE, ND and SD. In the meantime I'd be applying for IA points.

From: Thornton
05-Apr-18
I've shot my biggest on public- a mid 160"s that would have been higher if not for a broken point. I live here in SC KS and my farm is near a 10,000 public hunting area. I know what it takes to even see a big one and I only hunt mature deer. Most that come here go home empty if they are truly holding out for a big one. If you're into shooting seed bucks in the 120"s, it's usually not hard to get one of those.

From: Thornton
05-Apr-18

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
If this helps with your decision. I'm sure the outfitter has thousands of acres of prime, private land. And only a 42% success rate! How do you think public would be any better?

From: Twinetickler
05-Apr-18
Not KS.....OVERRATED. Check out a few of the threads in the KS forum. You will drive through much better country than what KS has to offer, I've learned the hard way three times

From: Cazador
05-Apr-18
Funny, I've hunted KS public land 4 times for deer and shot two P&Y bucks, and two decent 4x4s . KS is a perfect DIY state but the tag price is high. I'll be there this year hoping to arrow # 3.

I wouldn't let the BS above deter you from considering KS. It's a great place to hunt.

From: Nick Muche
06-Apr-18
Exactly Caz, KS is a great place and they treat NR pretty well with regards to opportunities for tags. Excellent public ground available as well. Good luck!

From: TreeWalker
06-Apr-18
KS or northern MO if you want to see 150 class bucks and better. Some public land in each state. Private land may hold better bucks that have not been pressured. Less hate for non-residents than a lot of the West. This will be a flat-lander type of hunt so will not see mountain ridges and cascading streams full of trout. Consider a portable stand to get up above a trail. The crops will likely still be in the fields and when is corn you will not see the horns even if they are walking through that corn field.

From: Thornton
06-Apr-18
Cazador- No BS here. I live and hunt two wildlife areas in SC KS totaling 16,000 acres in two counties and very few mature bucks are shot off them with a bow. Your description is vague and it doesn't take much to get P&Y minimums. Like I said earlier, 120" bucks are easy to come by here. What did all your bucks score?

From: Shawn
07-Apr-18
To comment on the difference from Thornton is that an outfitted hunt like he mentions above with tag and getting there it will cost over 5 grand. I can drive from NY and hunt 3 times as long and it only cost me around 2 grand!! I also agree that 120" ish deer are fairly common on public and that is the problem. Guys come from states where 120" deer is a 4.5 year old and they see one the 1st or 2nd day of their hunt and shoot it. You gotta let them walk if ya want to shoot a 135" plus deer which are not all that rare on public. Kansas app. is open now, apply and start using their interactive walk in access on their web site. You may do well! Shawn

From: ryanrc
07-Apr-18
I like hardwoods for whitetail hunting. Just what I grew up on. You can hunt them closer, but if you want that Midwest feel I would go to MO or WI or OH. Not that you can't kill a deer much closer to you, but hunting in a stretch of hardwood timber near a cornfield is where it is as for me. I would say IL too, but the price tag is steep for a crowded hunt. MO seems the closest for what I like in terrain.

From: Cazador
07-Apr-18
Thornton,

FYI The two P&Y bucks average net higher than your screen shot above.

If I recall, bowhunting for you is secondary to your rifle hunts and I can see why 125 inch net bucks are passed on public land. I've never hunted more than 4 days in a row there for deer or turkey but hope to spend a week this year.

From: Michael
07-Apr-18
The problem with large tracts of public is they attract people. Think small tracts and pieces that will get overlooked. The buck you want to kill doesn’t have to live on public only pass threw it when your there.

I prefer 2 week hunts counting drive time. So much can change over them 2 weeks. The weather is one of the bigs ones to change. Last year the first week of November had cold temps, bucks were running around every where I looked. The second week buck sightings dropped off. Lots of lock down was going on.

The year before was the opposite. The first week of November was very warm with minimal movement. 2nd week was better with a good front that came threw.

From: Thornton
07-Apr-18
I was bowhunting rabbits at age 6 and deer age 14 due to state restrictions. The bowhunting for deer started 23 years ago. I enjoy all hunting and shooting generally bowhunting 4 times as much as rifle because I actually pass up the 120"s and 130"s. If you are shooting mid 140"s, you are doing better than most. I would never shoot a 125" regardless if it was bow, rifle, public, private, or the last day of season. They are simply too young. I tried to help a group of Bowsiters on here in 2010 and 2011 and they hunted a week with no shots at anything 140 the second and third weeks of Nov. at Fall River WA. Public land turkeys has always been easy and I've shot almost all my gobblers off public the last 15 years.

From: bighorn
08-Apr-18
Southern Indiana, and Southern Illinois are some real sleeper states.

From: David A.
15-Apr-18
NE Washington, Idaho, or Dakotas. Find your hotspot there.

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