Whitetail deer hunts all across North America with the best outfitters in the business.
Whitetail deer hunting is King of North America big game hunting. With a population of some 15 million, whitetails are North America’s most common and most widespread big game animal. In fact, more whitetail deer are shot each year than all other big game species combined. Yet, despite this fact, it is difficult to obtain a truly fine specimen…they are difficult to hunt.
There’s a difference in hunting deer and hunting mature bucks.
Antler growth is dependent upon good minerals, food sources, and genetics and few areas produce top quality racks. This combined with the fact that few areas exist where hunting pressure is light enough to allow for a significant number of bucks to reach full maturity and you can understand how challenging trophy whitetail hunting can be.
We work with some great deer hunting outfitters.
Our hunts take place in areas that are known to produce trophy bucks, and we only work with outfitters with a proven track record. If you have questions or would like to go whitetail deer hunting yourself, just contact us. Give us a detailed description of what you are looking for, so our hunting consultants can match you with the right hunt. Whatever suits you, we can help you find it. So if you’re looking for a great deer hunt, you’ll love working with us.
We’re here to help you book the perfect trip, and our advice doesn’t cost you a thing.
The best places to go deer hunting.
Whitetail deer are found from southern Canada to South America. But when it comes to serious hunters targeting the biggest trophy bucks it really boils down to the Midwestern States and the Canadian Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.
There are several Midwestern states to consider and they are namely in no specific order: Kansas, Iowa and Illinois are top choices, while Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio come in secondary choices. The reason being is that the former manages their herds better by “limiting the tags sold” while the latter are “unlimited-over-the counter” states.
Alberta has extremely high trophy quality for whitetails and mule deer.
Alberta has been known as a whitetail hunting mecca for a years. Your chance for a Boone and Crockett buck is as good, or better than almost anywhere on the planet. Alberta whitetail deer hunts are in high demand, and usually book years in advance. There is a very real chance of taking a 170+ class buck with our outfitter, with bigger deer than that taken every year….even a few monster bucks over 200 inches!
OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL clients get access to prime deer hunting habitat – a mix of prime farm land, fringe and heavily wooded areas…and because of that, our outfitters consistently take B&C bucks. Another great thing about Alberta is you can combo your whitetail hunt with a mule deer or a moose.
Illinois is well known through out the whitetail hunting community as the land of the giants, and is always on the short list for top deer hunting destinations. For the trophy of a lifetime, look know further. Hunting Illinois deer in the Golden Triangle in Adams, Hancock and Pike county.
Iowa deer hunting is considered by many hunters as the heavyweight of Midwestern whitetail states. It ranks #2 according to both the Pope and Young and Boone and Crockett records, even though it gives out the least amount of tags of any other state excluding Kansas.
Iowa hunters are chosen by a draw system, and they do have preference points. Hunter safety certificate may be required if born on or after January 1, 1967.
Archery Season: 4th week October, through November
Shotgun and Muzzleloader Seasons:
1st Season begins the first Saturday in December
2nd Season begins the second Saturday in December
Late December through early January (muzzleloader)
No rifle hunting is allowed in Iowa.
This state only allows shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun and archery seasons. The archery hunt is possibly the best in the world, but it has gotten very difficult to draw a tag (but it’s worth the wait). Because it’s become so difficult to draw an archery tag, the gun hunts have been exceptional because some farms go nearly un-hunted until the firearms seasons.
It is no secret that Kansas deer hunting produces some of the Midwest’s best Boone & Crockett qualifying whitetails. Kansas deer hunting is by draw only, but if you book two years in advance and get a preference point, you’re typically guaranteed to draw.
No draw! Missouri tags are available over the counter. Hunter safety certificate may be required if born on or after January 1, 1967. Missouri deer hunting ranks #5 according to Pope and Young and Boone and Crockett entries. There are “undiscovered” farms in this state that are just about unhunted. Don’t overlook it Missouri!
Archery Season: Last week Oct through the first few weeks of November.
Montana license application is literally a draw. License application deadline is March 15 for the same calendar year. While literally a draw, Montana non-resident deer hunting licenses have not been selling out. For a long time there have been licenses available over the counter even after drawing. Depending on age, Hunters Safety card may be required. In some areas of Montana, you can combo with mule deer or antelope.
Nebraska deer hunting permits are over-the-counter with no draw required, and permits are cheap when compared to other states. Another good thing about hunting in Nebraska is that you can hunt whitetails and/or mule deer, and you can take two deer per season.
Ohio deer hunting is some of the best in the country, and tags are available over the counter, since it’s a no-draw state. License and permits can be purchased online. All hunters and trappers must complete an education course.
Ohio has Over-the-Counter Deer Tags. Your Ohio deer hunting permit is good for an antlered or antlerless deer and is valid statewide.
Great trophy quality. Ohio ranks #4 for the number of record book whitetails in the record books.
Ohio has a statewide bag limit of six deer (only one of which can be antlered).
Hunt with archery, guns or muzzleloaders.
Our Saskatchewan deer hunts are a slam dunk, and for that reason, they’re one of our favorite hunts to send our clients on.
Texas deer hunting is great! It’s is one of the top 10 states for Boone and Crockett whitetail entries, so depending on where/how you’re hunting, trophy quality can be good to amazing. Texas has over the counter tags and license, but you must have taken a hunter education class if you were born after September, 1 1971.
You’ll see a lot of deer. For some reason Texas is crawling with whitetails, and actually has one of the largest deer herds in the country with three to four million animals. It doesn’t look like it could hold as many animals as it does.
The Northeastern Corner of Washington state has long been known as a deer hunting hot spot. Washington state whitetail hunting and is fast becoming known nationwide. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you will.
Wisconsin deer hunting is recognized as one of the premier states for trophy whitetail hunting. Harvest permits and licenses are not available online, but can be purchased at a variety of businesses and locations throughout the state. Resident and nonresident licenses are available; prices vary by residency, season, bag method and special designations. Hunters need to have proof of hunter education if born after January 1, 1973.
If you haven’t been considering Wyoming whitetail deer hunts when you’re planning your hunting season you should. You’ll see a lot of deer every day, and trophy bucks are a real possibility. Plus, you can use your tag for either a whitetail or a mule deer, AND you can combo with an antelope! In recent years, whitetail hunts have 100% draw odds, so preference points are not needed. *Wyoming allows compound bows or crossbows during archery season.
Not all areas are created equal. Be very clear with us about your expectations so we can be sure to send you on the right hunt.
You can’t kill a big buck unless you hunt where big bucks live.
We do our best to thoroughly vet our outfitters to make sure that we can give our hunters realistic expectations. A quality buck means different things to different hunters, and not all areas are created equal. Be very clear with us about your expectations so we can be sure to send you on the right hunt.
Another thing to consider is this: you can’t expect to tag a monster deer for a discounted price.
Unfortunately, the cost of doing business for outfitters is high, and getting higher every year.
Field Judging Whitetail Deer on the Hoof
Countless books, videos, podcasts, and seminars have been given on scoring a whitetail on the hoof, so I won’t go into all of the tedious details.
However, if you want to take a big buck, you need to know how to tell if a buck really is big. Here’s a rough breakdown on field judging a whitetail deer on the hoof (assuming you’re after a record book buck).
Look for 10 points or more. There isn’t one buck in the top 300 of the Boone and Crockett record book that has fewer than ten points. *A ten pointer will almost always make Pope and Young.
Tine length. The length of each tine needs to be at least the length of the bucks ear.
Body size can trick you. A big bodied deer can sometimes look like it has a small rack…and vice versa. Deer tend to be bigger as you go north.
Look at the main beam. If the main beam extends past the end of the nose when viewing the buck from the side, you’re looking at a huge buck.
Mass adds up.
Inside spread. On an average sized deer, the deer only needs to be a little outside the ears (on alert) to have a good enough inside spread for the record books.
How to Score Whitetail Deer
A whitetail deer is scored by adding up the following measurements, rounded to the nearest 1/8 of an inch:
On late season hunts, temperatures can be very cold, therefore comfortable, warm, insulated clothing is a must. Dress in layers. Wool, Down, Fleece, Thinsulate, Gore-Tex, etc. are all appropriate choices, whichever is preferred. Be sure to take an outer-garment of “White” (Camo/Orange clothing is fine as well) is the preferred color choice with the appropriate amount of orange for the area you’re hunting. Your outer garment can be a simple oversized sweat suit to fit over your other clothing.
❏ Good pair of Boots. On cold weather hunts, in addition heavy insulated boots, you’ll want to also take “Boot Blankets” to keep feet warm when on stand.
❏ Underwear (1 pair per day)
❏ Base Layer Top and Bottom (2 – 3 pairs per week) *we suggest merino wool
❏ Lightweight Camo Jacket
❏ Windstopper Camo Jacket
❏ Midweight Camo Jacket
❏ Lightweight Camo Vest
❏ Lightweight Camo Shirt (3 – 5 per week)
❏ Lightweight Camo Pants (1-2 pair per week)
❏ Midweight Camo Pants (1 pair per week)
❏ Rain Gear
❏ Blaze Orange (rifle hunts) *check Regulations in the state you are hunting
❏ Lightweight Gloves
❏ Midweight Gloves
❏ Camo Cap
❏ Camo Stocking Cap or Camo Beanie
❏ Heavy Shirt
❏ Cold Weather Pants
❏ Insulated Parka (with hood)
❏ Insulated Bibs
❏ Balaclava and/or Neck Gaiter
❏ Wool Gloves
❏ Insulated Waterproof Gloves
❏ Hand Muff
❏ Hand Warmer Packets
❏ Day pack
❏ Anti-fog, lens cleaning pen and cleaning cloths
❏ Knife and sharpener
❏ Buck grunt, rattle bag
❏ Rifle (270, 280, 7mm, 30-06, 300 are all perfectly good calibers). “Flip-Open” scope caps are not necessary but nice if it starts snowing.
❏ Shells (at least one box)
❏ Scope (with rain cover)
❏ Rifle Sling
❏ Soft Rifle Case
❏ Hard Rifle Case
❏ Gun Cleaning Kit
❏ Bow *check Regulations in the state you are hunting
❏ Arrows (at least one doz.)
❏ Broadheads *check Regulations in the state you are hunting
❏ Release *an extra release is recommended
❏ Soft Bow Case
❏ Hard Bow Case
PERSONAL AND MISC. ITEMS
❏ Passport (if needed)
❏ Lip Balm
❏ Insect Repellent
❏ Moleskin for blisters
❏ Super Glue
❏ Prescription Medication
❏ Duct Tape
❏ Pain Reliever
❏ Extra Glasses and/or Contacts
❏ Quality Polarized Sunglasses
❏ Personal Toiletries
❏ Video Camera and/or GoPro
❏ Extra Batteries for all Electronics
*This is a sample/generic gear list. For more specific details for the time of year you are traveling to, we recommend checking with your outfitter, consultant or your destination’s local Wildlife Management Agency.