I suppose it stands to reason that after nearly 20 do-it-yourself, out-of-state whitetail bowhunts, I have some favorite places.
Most of them qualify not because of the bucks I’ve bagged there, but because of the hunting opportunities and overall enjoyment of the experience. For example, living as I do in northern Minnesota, where temperatures commonly dip below 0 in November, I find sitting in a Kansas tree stand in 60-degree weather at that time to be quite refreshing.
While I’ve driven home from all but one of these states with a buck in the truck, the reasons I’ve picked them have more to do with cost, availability of tags, the amount of available land to hunt for free and the opportunity to shoot a mature buck.
If you’re wanting to head out of state on a DIY whitetail expedition in 2014, now’s the time to start planning. Pick a destination from the following list and commit to go, and I’ll help you get started:
- <h2>Missouri</h2>My top pick might surprise some people, but I love <a href="http://www.northamericanwhitetail.com/community/report/missouri/" target="_blank">Missouri</a> as a DIY whitetail destination. And there are several reasons. First, you can buy permits over the counter, and they are a pretty good value. For $225, a nonresident gets an either-sex archery tag, an antlerless-only tag and two turkey tags. Just show up, buy a permit and hunt. <p></p> The northern tier of counties along the Iowa border and the Missouri River bottoms in the central part of the state offer great opportunities to shoot good bucks. These areas have an abundance of public land, including some large tracts that are restricted to bowhunting only. <p></p> An additional plus is that motels in this region’s small towns tend to be very reasonably priced. You even can camp for free on most public lands.
When it comes to putting together a DIY whitetail bowhunt, the more planning you do, the better your odds. And that certainly applies to the states on this list. In fact, with several of them having lotteries with early application periods, it’s high time to start working out the details of a 2014 hunt. Come fall, the payoff for that preparation could be big.