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Coach1310

Which state would you choose....WHITETAILS.....

27 posts in this topic

I would like to plan a hunt in a different state in the next few years and am looking for input as to where you would recommend. I would really like to hunt a state with good trophy potential in the chance I may take a real bruiser. It would be a do-it-yourself type hunt as I can't justify, much less afford any guided hunt through an outfitter. I am looking for states with decent public land opportunities and some clout in the whitetail world....my favs would be Kansas, Illinois, Iowa .... Thanks for any response.

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Bow or rifle? For a DIY hunt with rifle I would go to Kansas. Second pick for bow or rifle would be Pike Co. Illinois. Kansas would be a good place to spot and stalk and hopefully look over a few animals to find the one you want...that's how they do it on tv anyways!

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I personally would hunt the Milk river area in Montana. I hunted there a few years back and am now planning another trip for next season. They do have some beautiful county there and some awesome whitetails also.

Iowa would be my second choice. Iowa is a little high on non res licenses though.

Bufflao county in Wisc. would also be a great choice as many book bucks are taken there. Problem with this area is land access. License fee isnt to bad for a non res either.

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I have seen the Milk River on TV and can't argue with that. I have hunted Mulies in Central Montana near Lewistown. I did notice that the river bottoms were full of whitetails and there were some bruisers in there but mostly on private land. Lewis and Clark National Forest is the bulk of the public land.

My second choice: Saskatchewan, Alberta

Third choice: Iowa

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If the key really is do it yourself, then Montana is the answer. They have enough public land to make your idea of getting a real trophy all on your own a reality. Kansas and Iowa have some real nice bucks but getting on good property is the hard part. I hunt Montana for coyotes and see a lot of really nice bucks when I'm out there... all on public land.

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I agree with Montana. All the other choices thrown out here are great trophy producing states, but access is tough. Montana has tons of public land in great areas. Check out all of the Eastern part of the state. Milk River and Powder River areas would be a great place to start.

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I can't believe that nobody has even mentioned southwestern Wisconsin!!!! This is one of the top producing areas for big bucks in the whole U.S. and believe it or not, there is a good amount of federally and state owned land. Just to name a few.....the Tiffany state wildlife area, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, the LaFarge Reservoir. These public lands are crawling with bluff-dwelling monsters. You gotta be a smart and in-shape hunter to hunt them though, this land ain't easy to hunt. But then again, that's why these old mature bucks are there. Good luck finding decent land to hunt on in Iowa!!!! Unless you have 5,000 to 15,000 dollars to shell out. Kansas too. Montana would be my second choice, but then the cost goes up with gas and travel costs. Another bonus about wisconsin, you can do the gun hunt and still gun hunt in minnesota because the seasons are at different times. Hope this helps you with your decision. wink.gif

GoggleEye

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My home area, NE Iowa, Allamakee County, on the ridges and bluffs, there are der there that has never seen a person before

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Thanks for all the responses. Keep them coming. Has anyone done a DIY hunt that they would or wouldn't do again? My hunt is probably a few years off, but I figured it is never too early to start doing some research. I am just excited about hunting whitetails in a new place. Thanks again.

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Boy, the public land criteria has me stumped...get back to ya later!

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I had some friends that went too IA a couple years ago too try too get permission too slug hunt. They finally did find a place and did well. The 3 guys that went all had opportunities at wallhangers. But everywhere they went they got similiar anwsers. People said "well our family gun hunts the land, but if you want too bowhunt you can". So if anyone is looking too IA too bowhunt keep this in mind.

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Have you hunted wis. before??? Where???

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Thanks for all the posts. If anyone has some tips as to where to start researching let me know. I have been to countless state sites looking at public tracts of land, license fees, lottery dates etc. so if anyone knows of way to make it easier I am all ears. Thanks again!!

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not a lot of land in NE IA that is public, there is some, unfortunately it is all bluffs and bear to walk. You could probably find some private land that would let you deer hunt for bow hunting or for a small fee. I will ask around the next couple days, I am at my folks in Waukon and I will head to the local sporting goods store tomorrow and ask

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Great. Thanks a lot. IA is close that would make some scouting easier. Thanks again!!!

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I'd go to Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Matt F, I am originally from Wisconsin and have been hunting there all my life. In fact I am still hunting there in Polk County right now for the bow season. I work in WI, so I hunt there before and after work because I have no land to hunt here in MN. I grew up in the southern part of the state though, so most of my deer hunting has been done in Crawford, Vernon, Rock, and Jefferson county. I hunt private lands back home in Rock County and lots of public in Southwestern Wisconsin. There are some monsters in Southwestern WI, but my biggest buck to date was taken right outside of my hometown of Milton, in Rock County.

GoggleEye

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coach, I just stopped at the local sporting good place, and the guy behind the counter said that Iowa does produce a map that shows public hunting areas. you could contact the Iowa DNR or go to their website and start your search there. I know there are some areas north of Waukon that is public but it is all bluffs, straight up and straight down. I am squirrel hunting in yellow river state forest tomorrow, I will ask the CO's there about deer hunting in that forest. That would be a great place, lots of land, there are deer there that have never seen people before and if they have, the people just said "Ooooooooo a deer" not "thwack" grin.gif

Good luck, what ever state you decide on, contact the state DNR and even the local CO's in the areas you are interested in

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If there is a public spot in Iowa that is all bluffs and what most would think is "too hard" to hunt due to the physical challenge of it, I hear the sound "Chaaaaching!!". Those are the areas where you are going to kill an animal of a lifetime. Get a good game cart for hauling your kill out and you are good to go. I just may take a road trip and check this place out for a possible future Iowa hunt. PicksBigWagon, How many acres is this public area north of Wahkon?? smile.gif

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goggleEye, It is about 6 miles south of the town of dorchester or one mile north of the upper Iowa river. Not sure of the acres I don't know how you would climb that ridge, as I drove by it I could only see 60' up the ridge without craning my head through the window of my truck, it is right on Highway 76. By the way, that town near mille lacs spelled it wrong, it is WAUKON!!! grin.gif

Yellow river state forest would take some time to scout and familiarize yourself. I would start this winter in that park with a map of the hiking and horseback trails( I now have one, and a gps to mark your way. Definately a scout trip before the snow get in there, the scenic point road was pretty steep in parts and the firetower road was an adventure in F150, only one lane wide. It is a state park so there is camping, not sure about hook ups but it does have at least 3 seperate campgrounds. Oh yeah, a trout stream runs through it too. Yellow river state park is about 13 miles southeast of waukon on highway 9.

okay just looked it up online, two areas around waukon in Allamakee county, French creek area, NE of waukon, 1300 acres. and waterloo creek north and south sections 1800 acres. add to that the 8500 acres in Yellow River state forest and there is about 12,000 acres of public land to hunt, trout fish, and camp on. Guess I was wrong about there not being a lot of public land in my county. I would suggest hunting during the week, it is public land afterall. Good luck and if anyone is going to try this area for hunting, keep us updated. French Creek area is unbelieveable. I would start there, I have seen some bruisers while trout fishing there

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what are the odds that someone would draw a tag in Iowa? I have family down there and have thought about tring to hunt it.

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Picksbigwagon, WOW! Thanks for all the detailed info. and help. This sounds like it could be a very worthwhile DIY hunt. Do you know if you have to apply for a bow tag in Iowa or can you just buy one over the counter? I know gun is definitely an apply thing, but I have never asked about bow.

GoggleEye

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ya got me on the bow thing, I would assume there is some kind of process for it, I am sure their dnr website would have something on, oh wait I have the regulations right here, let me check (tick tick tick tick......)ugh, can't find them, let's try the website (tick tick tick....) no luck, I would contact them and see what they have to say, they are pretty helpful

ya know the really bad thing? I never hunted when I was a kid, my dad used to in his youth but I think mom stopped that for him. So I spent about 18 years in Allamakee county and never hunted until I moved to MN. Man what a waste of time, it is now tooooo expensive for me to go back an hunt there, at least for deer with horns that is

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That's too bad Picks. I'm sure you would have had some memorable moments hunting the bruisers of Iowa. At least you are a hunter today and able to do it now. Better late than never! I am sure grateful for a buddy of mine getting me into hunting when I was younger. If he hadn't done it, I would probably not have picked it up myself. My dad didn't hunt either as he was a city slicker from Chicago. In fact, I think I am the only hunter in my entire family, both sides included. That kind of sucks too when you need land to hunt and all your family members are a bunch of city dwellers with no land. Not to mention there is no way I could afford any hunting land with the prices today!! Thanks for all the info! grin.gif

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Picks...thanks so much for all the info. I may have to make my way down there to check it out. I have some in-laws who just moved to Iowa and I may have to swing in there on my way down to check it out. Thanks so much for all the info. I didn't expect all the detail. I think my first DIY out of state whitetail hunt will have to be in Iowa due to the proximity and reputation.

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