The second week of the NAW Power Rankings saw plenty of shake-ups, as well as a couple newcomers cracking the Top 20.
Kentucky has proven to be an early season hotspot with three trophy bucks, plenty of overall activity and a fair share of other solid bucks pushing the Bluegrass State up to the top spot. One of those bucks was posted by Nick Brown, who knocked down a 195-inch (unofficial) trophy buck in velvet.
Ohio has also proven to be a hotbed of hunting activity, jumping up four spots to No. 5, which was the highest move of the week. More than any other state so far, Ohio has continued to produce in the state rut reports, helping it make a strong push this week. It could be a huge player in the weeks to come.
On the other end of the spectrum, Indiana dropped five spots, the week’s biggest drop, while Alabama and Michigan cracked the Top 20, as Georgia and South Dakota made their exits.
There’s still plenty of time left for your state to move up a few spots. To see how your state is doing, head over to the NAW Community to track the latest whitetail action across the country. While you’re at it, download the Whitetail+ App for your iPhone and update your state’s rut report straight from the field.
|1||Kentucky||3||Kentucky had a great week, with three solid bucks and Nick Brown's 195-inch bruiser to back up a No. 1 ranking.|
|2||Missouri||1||1.3 million deer statewide, 2 million acres of public land, and a history for producing record bucks. The only knock is probably the pressure in gun season, and that it happens in the middle of the rut.|
|3||Oklahoma||2||Oklahoma is one of the very best states to hunt whitetails, though it often doesn't get that kind of consideration. Over the counter tags all around, great opportunities, great population and low pressure. 500,000 population, 150,000 licenses sold annually. $45 res, $280 non-resident.|
|4||Wisconsin||2||Wisconsin is regularly one of the top deer kill states each year. Even more impressive, Wisconsin also leads in B&C trophy production over the last decade.|
|5||Ohio||4||Ohio has proven to be a hotbed of hunting activity, jumping up four spots to No. 5—the highest jump of the week.|
|6||Arkansas||1||Tags are available over the counter, trophies production is solid, 1 million whitetails and only 260,000 tags sold—there's not a lot bad to say about Arkansas.|
|7||Idaho||1||With 200,000 whitetails, Idaho has one of the best deer populations in the West. Tons of public land, most deer tags are reasonably priced and available over the counter. There is also a 40 percent success rate.|
|8||Virginia||3||One of the best deer hunting locations on the east coast, Virginia has about 1 million deer, 72,000 licenses annually sold and tons of deer kills all around.|
|9||Illinois||1||Especially in areas like Pike County, Illinois has a reputation for producing trophies. 711 trophies produced in the last decade. That said, most of the hunting here is private land, and opportunities can either be expensive or hard to come by.|
|10||Kansas||2||Getting a license out of state is not that hard, but the price tag is certainly not small ($419). Kansas regularly produces a lot of great bucks and is a well-known whitetail hot spot.|
|11||Texas||4||With 4 million whitetails, 3.6 deer to hunter ratio, 1,100,000 licenses sold, Texas is a true powerhouse. It is a whitetail Mecca, but 97 percent of the state is privately owned, so you pretty much have to pay to play. On the upside, combo hunts can be found for relatively low prices.|
|12||Mississippi||1||Progressive deer management, 52 percent of trophies killed since 2000, 1.75 million deer, 222,000 licenses sold. Great deals for residents, steeper for non-resident.|
|13||Indiana||5||About 950,000 whitetails, 275,000 licenses sold annually, and affordable licenses. So it's got a ton of deer, lots of public land, and some of the most affordable tags in the nation.|
|14||Nebraska||--||Nebraska has 350,000 deer, 140,000 licenses sold, and hangs under the radar because it doesn't get a ton of national attention. There are some old deer in Nebraska, which means big—the state record non-typical is 284 B&C.|
|15||Minnesota||--||1 million whitetails, 800,000 licenses sold. There are a lot of great hunting opportunities in Minnesota. Let's just say the outlook for whitetail hunting is much brighter than it is for the Vikings.|
|16||Iowa||1||Iowa is known for producing homegrown megabucks, and it doesn't hurt that it gets quite a bit of pub in the hunting world. The downside, of course, is that it's great for residents, but not so great for outsiders (the draw is notoriously difficult).|
|17||Pennsylvania||1||With a 1.2 million deer population, and 800,000 licenses sold annually, Pennsylvania is a deer hunting hot bed. The only problem? Hunter density is extremely high and the hunting world can be quite charged.|
|18||Alabama||--||With over 150 rut reports and some nice-sized deer in the NAW Community, Alabama makes it on to our list at No. 18. Just goes to show you what your involvement here means.|
|19||New York||1||Deer numbers are around 1 million, 800,000 licenses sold; it seems to be a bit of an underperforming state, pressure can be high and access low in many parts.|
|20||Michigan||--||Michigan was another state that got on our list this week because of NAW Community involvement. Rusty Bender posted a nice 160-inch buck, showing just why Michigan had to be on our list.|