4 Must-Try States to Hunt Whitetail OTC

Oct 28, 2020 | Whitetail Hunting | 0 comments

A Wildlife Conservation Success Story

From boom to bust, and back to boom again. The whitetail deer story in North America is one of our most successful modern wildlife conservation efforts. Estimates of pre-colonial whitetail deer numbers reached as high as 30 million. During the post-colonial era, whitetail were exploited for trade, market hunting, subsistence, leather, and many other uses. Adding to this was the deforestation and habitat alterations eventually leading to an estimated 99% decline as history approached the 20th century – 30 million to 300,000!

Through the emerging conservation ethos of the 20th century, science-based hunting regulations, legislation outlawing market hunting, and reintroduction programs, we now enjoy an abundance of whitetail deer again across North America again. We live in the good ‘ole days of whitetail deer hunting TODAY. Much of this conservation weight was lifted on the backs of hunters. In honor of those efforts, we urge you to take advantage of the hunting opportunities and reap what was, and is continuing, to be sown through hunter-led conservation.

BaseMap User Conner Brockhouse with his 2020 OTC Archery Whitetail

Our Top 4 States

#1 NEBRASKA: Great Location

Do an internet search for great whitetail opportunities and Nebraska floats to the top repeatedly. Several reasons exist as to why this is. Firstly, Nebraska is centrally located in the contiguous U.S., so any hunter can get here in a reasonable amount of time. Secondly, over-the-counter (OTC) tags are available. Archery tags can be purchased OTC and some gun tags can be bought online on a first-come-first-served basis.
While Nebraska does not have the huge tracts of public land other states do, it has an awesome private land access program and many state and federal wildlife areas. Combine this with the available public ground and you have a fair amount of land available to hunt.

#2 OKLAHOMA: The Land of Opportunity

Oklahoma is more than okay for deer hunting – it is excellent. The Sooner state continues to make the top lists of best states to whitetail hunt in. The terrain is extremely variable and boasts a lot of open land. Public lands accessible to hunters are abundant, with 3.8 million acres of public-owned land.
Although Oklahoma is not leading the country in Boone & Crockett entries, if you are willing to hold out, put in the time and dedication, a 150” to 170” buck is very doable. Also, buck tags are available OTC.
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#3 KENTUCKY: The Land of Giants

The bluegrass state is no longer a secret. Kentucky continues to gain traction as a whitetail hunting destination year-after-year. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, OTC opportunities exist. Secondly, Boone & Crockett bucks harvested continue to increase year-after-year. Lastly, access to public hunting is plentiful.

Kentucky is another one of those conservation success stories. With estimates of deer numbers reaching as low as 100 individuals in the past, it now boasts around 900,000 deer. On top of this, the state has great genetics and ranks in the top 10 for all-time Boone & Crockett entries.

During the rut whitetail bucks move around like crazy so using BaseMap to quickly determine if a buck is on public or private land is key.
— Conner Brockhouse

#4 ARIZONA: The Coues Whitetail

Arizona is NOT thought of, or discussed, as a whitetail destination often. In fact, most people do not even know whitetail exists here. If you have ever heard of a Coues deer then you know the Arizona whitetail. The Coues deer is simply one of many subspecies of whitetail deer in North America.
This subspecies is truly a remarkably unique species of whitetail. They live in the southern desert portion of the state in hilly and mountainous rocky terrain. Their small size and ability to blend in have given them the nickname of the ‘gray ghosts’.

Archery tags can be purchased OTC and hunts run through the months of December and January, a beautiful time to head to the mild climate of southern Arizona and chase one of the most unique whitetail subspecies alive.

The Good Ole Days Are Now

Whitetail hunting is one, if not thee, most popular hunt in the country. Turkey hunters might argue with us whitetail people who are more popular, but we know who is right. This popularity can seem a little overwhelming if you do not consider yourself an expert whitetail hunter. We put this list together of great whitetail opportunities, some obvious, some not so obvious, for first-time hunters, recently started hunters, the novice, and those who consider themselves experts alike. Opportunities abound in the U.S. and the whitetail deer story is as American as the founding of this Country. Take advantage of the good ‘ole days of whitetail hunting happening now.

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