Hunters travel far and wide during deer hunting seasons in order to bag the most game, have a more challenging hunt, and to have fun testing their skills as an avid whitetail hunter. If you plan on making a trip and spending your hunting season testing your skills, take these hunting hot spots into consideration!
Here are the Top 3 deer hunting locations in the United States that you must consider for your next deer hunting season.
1. Kentucky’s 14-County Land and Purchase Region between the Lakes
There is a 14-County region between the Lakes in Kentucky, in the far west of the state, where Kentucky’s top area for hunting trophy bucks, flourishes. This is a part of the reason this swatch of the state won the 2013 Outdoor Life rating and was determined to be the top deer hunting state in the United States.
Louisville is a nice hub for deer hunting in particular. A close bordering neighbor to Indiana and Ohio, it is also well within reach of two other deer-rich states. Indiana and Ohio also have two of the best deals for out-of-state licenses. If you hunt around Louisville and anywhere else near the border, you can easily fill your Kentucky buck tag and continue the hunt in two fellow states.
The Bluegrass state has been one of the best deer hunting states for a long time, but just how plentiful whitetail are here has become more widespread to hunters from elsewhere in the country. Now hunters everywhere plan trips to Kentucky during hunting season to take advantage of the world-class deer hunting. Make sure to check out our post on essential hunting gear before heading here!
Kentucky is beloved as a hunting state as it has long seasons with hunter-friendly regulations as well as reasonable pressure and a well-balanced population of deer. In some areas of the state, hunters can harvest as many does as they are willing to buy tags for. So, if you are looking to challenge yourself as a hunter, this state of plentiful public hunting land and potential for excellent trophy bucks is a must-go.
Kentucky ranks second to Indiana in the likelihood of harvesting a Booner, at 0.82% (Indiana is first with 0.84%), however, Kentucky still ranks number one in a lot of hunter’s personal lists for the best places to hunt whitetail in the U.S.
2. Jackson, Genesee, and Kent Counties in Southern Peninsula of Michigan
According to HuntStats.com, Michigan has topped the lists for the states with the highest record season harvests and average season harvest in deer hunting around the U.S.
The three counties of Genesee, Jackson, and Kent in the Southern Peninsula of Michigan are known for their excellent deer hunting. Deer hunters who are familiar with the Great Lakes State of Michigan are fervent in their opinion that these areas of Michigan are the best bet for hunters to nab themselves some trophy bucks.
Michigan itself has over 7.3 million acres of public hunting land that is simply ripe for the picking. There is also approximately 2.2 million acres of private land that is managed as commercial forest and is open to the public for hunting. With a hefty seasonal harvest of deer and a large and well-balanced whitetail population, this state also has a generous series of deer hunting seasons. For bows, there are typically 2 timeframes open for hunting—around 6 weeks and 4 weeks towards the end of the year. For firearms, hunters get a good 2 solid weeks at the end of November to hunt and fill their tags.
While Genesee, Jackson, and Kent are three particularly generous deer hunting counties, there are plentiful areas that offer excellent whitetail in the state of Michigan. If you want somewhere specific to make your next deer hunting plans, this swatch of the Southern Peninsula of Michigan is a guaranteed to offer you one of the best hunting experiences you could hope for.
3. Harrison-Crawford State Forest, Indiana
Indiana is one of the Midwest’s best states for hunting deer that has been flying under the radar. Many homeowners and hunters who live there are content to keep Indiana one of the best kept secrets in hunting, but no other state offers a better chance at record whitetails—Indiana offers hunters a 0.84% chance of taking a Booner, which is the best statistical chance in the entire United States.
Boone and Crockett (B&C) has also been in the top 10 list for the last decade. What makes Indiana sit at this Top 3 list of Best Deer Hunting Locations in the U.S. is the challenge. Indiana Deer Hunting offers copious whitetail but it also offers a fair amount of pressure. Hunters have a 50% success rate hunting on the respectable amount of public land available.
The best place in Indiana to hunt is the Harrison-Crawford State Forest. This State Forest offers prime hunting for whitetail deer. In fact, in 2013, deer hunters harvested 125,635 deer. You can explore the vast Harrison-Crawford forest and even use a canoe to travel on the Blue and Ohio rivers in order to get to deer-rich backcountry.
Whether you are strictly a deer hunter or you hunt additional game and small animals, this is an excellent location for it. Turkey and squirrel are also highly sought after in this part of Indiana as well.
Honorable Mentions: Appleton and Alma, Wisconsin
The cities of Appleton and Alma, Wisconsin are both top whitetail deer spots that hunters love. The Boone and Crockett Club (B&C) awarded Appleton, Wisconsin with a Number 1 whitetail rating in the U.S. Alma, Wisconsin is another generous area for huge whitetail bucks. With rolling hills, bluffs, and a high concentration of deer, this city in Buffalo County.
Many hunters already know of these areas, and it is difficult to find a hunting spot due to competition for hunting access. Like the popular “Golden Triangle” of Illinois, the competition has caused most properties to be leased up already or owned by serious deer hunters. So, if you can nab a hunting spot or two, Appleton and Alma, Wisconsin are guaranteed to give you memorable and incredible hunts.
Whether you choose to take a trip to your neighboring state, in-state, or prime hunting area a bit further away from your home, these Top 3 hotspots will offer you the best hunting experience you will have in your life. Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin are not the only places to find copious whitetail during hunting season; however, when you factor in harvest numbers, hunting season rules, deer population, and the quality of the land, these states make for the best locations for any serious deer hunter to strongly consider for a great challenge the next time hunting season comes around.
Get online and find your next hunting location destination and be sure to read up on the hunting license laws, tagging rules, weapons permitted, scent eliminators, open season dates, and do your research to book yourself the ideal place to hunt that will be one for your record books.