Looking to hunt whitetails

Oneye

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Joined
May 26, 2015
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615
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Utah
I've yet to ever hunt whitetails in my life and would like the opportunity over the next few years. I live in Utah and have hunted Mulies all my life but have done all my hunting in Utah. Now I am looking to go out of state to hunt a whitetail. I don't have money to pay guides, large trespass fees, etc. I would like to hunt on walk in access areas/block management areas/ public land in Montana, Idaho, Colorado, or Wyoming. I've looked through the states websites and have gained some information on areas but still don't quite understand or know what areas would be good for whitetails. I'm not looking to kill a giant buck or anything I would just like to have the opportunity to at least see and have an opportunity to hunt whitetails. My questions are what state or states would be the best for how I am able to hunt? And how does their state program work exactly? And how hard are tags to get for whitetails between the different states?

I appreciate any help, PM me if you'd like that better. Thanks to anyone in advance.
 

cornfed

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Mar 19, 2006
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1,113
If you want to leave the west Kansas would be a possibility if not your on the right track with Montana and Idaho for a public land hunt.
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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Where the Wild Things Are
Washington, Idaho, Montana, all have plenty of walk in hunting. What type of terrain are you wanting to hunt in? Mountains, river bottoms, prairies?
 

VAspeedgoat

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Sep 4, 2014
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Timberville, VA
Eastern wyoming has a two month whitetail season. They have special whitetail only tags for bucks and does. I know you said you wanted to be public but a lot of ranches hate whitetails and are more open to letting guys hunt if you put in the time. Trophy bucks are hard to come by given that they are trying to reduce the population to try and help mule deer numbers.

Also states in the east like Georgia have tons of public land and tons of deer on them. Good luck
 

Speeddmn

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Aug 1, 2013
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525
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Helena, MT/ Opheim, MT
What is your timeframe? If this year it might be a tad late for tags. If next year I might be able to help you out. I have access to hundreds of thousands of public/private land in north east MT. I also live in UT thanks to the Air Force. I always enjoy getting back home to see my aunt/uncle, Grandpa and friends. We could always plan a good trip next season, let me know.
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
Each time I've bear hunted around the Swan & Flathead valleys, I've seen tons of whitetails... hunting those mountain clear cuts in November would be a blast.

Indiana has some tremendous deer hunting if you have a private land hook-up. Public, not so much.
 
B

big28hunter

Guest
Lots of public land here in PA. Our bucks are getting bigger too with the implantation of antler restriction several years ago. No matter where you roam I wish you luck. Good huntin'
 

belly-deep

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Oct 31, 2009
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3,465
MT info:

I'd forget about the BMA stuff right now. Eastern MT has been struggling a bit for various reasons. Good bucks still around, no doubt. But...

But there's TONS of NF and state land west of the divide. Lots of it hardly sees a boot print. Hasn't been dealing with near the EHD stuff like in the east. Maybe got some predator problems in some areas though.

The thing I've seen with BMA land is, often times it is hunted harder than adjacent public just because everyone assumes private is always better. Truth is, private is not always better.

Personally, I'd take HWY 2 west out of Kalispell and just go wherever my curiosity took me from there. Anytime from Veterans Day to Thanksgiving is a good bet.
 

1_pointer

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Joined
Dec 20, 2000
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18,114
Location
Indiana
The Orofino area of Idaho has a lot of whitetails and I think the season lasts long enough to hunt the rut. It's about a 10hr drive to Orofino from SLC. Lots of timber company and USFS ground.

OR, shoot one in Cache Valley, UT with your general deer tag... ;)
 

rjlefty3

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Joined
Dec 28, 2013
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476
Location
Maine
I know it wasn't on your list, but the Black Hills in SD would be a good place, depending on if you wanted to rifle or archery hunt. You can get an archery tag every year, but you'd have to wait a while for a rifle tag. There are plenty of deer there, but it's not really a trophy area. Although I did see some monsters while I was out there.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
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572
If you want to leave the west Kansas would be a possibility

This, I would really recommend Kansas because of their walk-in hunting. Download their google earth file and figure out where you want to go next year. The early muzzleloader season can be very good. KS rifle is after the rut, so NE maybe a better bet if you don't bow hunt.
 
M

MN Public Hunter

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I understand you want to hit certain states, but if I were you I would add Nebraska to the list. It's over the counter (well, it used to be) and they are getting some nice deer with plenty of public land.
 

dwm4375

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Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
114
I have very seriously thought about a whitetail deer safari back to the eastern US. It might not be a bad idea.

Anybody that wants to hunt deer in PA send me a PM. We've got lots of public land in my county alone and I'll gladly show you around.
 

Oneye

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Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
615
Location
Utah
I appreciate everyones replies, I've been looking into a lot of your suggestions.
 
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