If you were asked to name the hunts you wanted to go on most before you called it quits, you might well list a bunch of species—and any number of faraway places—before the thought of whitetails ever crossed your mind. There are many glamorous big game animals to hunt, and most live far from what we tend to think of as “the deer woods.”
It’s natural for a hunter to fantasize about watching a leopard bait or stalking a mountain goat instead of going on another hunt for an animal readily available back home. But the whitetail’s range is so broad and diverse that it’s actually simple to come up with a cool “bucket list” for this familiar species.
If you want to sample some of the most memorable experiences our common deer has to offer, consider the following list of great whitetail hunts before you die. I’ve been blessed to hunt nearly 40 states and provinces over a five-decade whitetail career, and the hunts mentioned here are among those I’d gladly do again. Of course, they’re just one guy’s opinion, so feel free to go to the “comments” section and nominate your own whitetail dreams.
You can have a long, fulfilling whitetail career without ever venturing farther than your local woods. Most deer hunters do. But should you find yourself yearning for something more, consider the best whitetail hunts on this list. Even if you never fire a shot, they can help you hang some amazing whitetail memories on the walls of your mind. And in the end, those are the greatest trophies of all.
<h2>Rattling in Texas Brush Country</h2>Have you ever rattled a big buck in close while hunting on the ground? Have you ever seen 10 good bucks in a single day? It regularly happens in the fabled Brush Country south of San Antonio. And the rut here takes place in mid-December, when hunting is tough in most other regions. <p> This makes South Texas a place you should visit before handing down that favorite deer rifle to your grandson. Almost every bit of the region is private land, and it’s either outfitted or leased to private parties for hunting. Unless you have a generous friend who owns a ranch, or you can get a nearly-impossible-to-draw permit to hunt the state-owned <a href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=45" target="_blank">Chaparral Wildlife Management Area</a>, expect to pay good money to hunt here. But even if it takes five years to save enough for a good rut hunt, do it. <p> This relatively flat thornbrush country is unlike anything else in the whitetail world. Mild—sometimes downright hot—temperatures, unique wildlife species, interesting plant life, great local cuisine and getting to see mature bucks do their thing in legal shooting light combine to make the Brush Country perhaps the most obvious bucket list entry of all.