Which State Has The Best Deer Hunters in America?

NY adirondacks 2018 3Hunters in the Southeastern region of the U.S. were the most successful in 2017, with 55% of hunters killing one or more deer, according to the Quality Deer Management Association’s 2019 Whitetail Report.

South Carolina was #1 in the nation, with 69% of hunters shooting at least one whitetail. Mississippi was a close second with 63% hunter success.

42% of hunters across the Midwest shot a deer. The deer-hunting in Michigan, with a 50% success rate, and Ohio (40% success) improved in recent years, while Indiana (35% success) and Iowa (30%) showed declines as compared to 5 years ago.

Not the least bit surprisingly to me, the Northeast remains the toughest place in America to kill a deer, with only 33% of hunters across the region tagging an animal in 2017.

Maine, with a hunter-success rate of only 13%, is the toughest place to kill a deer (much less a good buck) in the nation. That’s one reason I want to go back there and film another BIG DEER TV show.

Deer hunting is not supposed to be easy all the time. And it’s obviously not in beautiful and intriguing Maine, where I hope to be with a camera crew this November, slogging it out and trying to buck the odds to become one of the chosen few 13%.

Click here to download your free copy of the 2019 Whitetail Report, and scroll to page 23 for the hunter-success rate in your state.

qdma 2019 report

Use Trail Cameras For Predator Hunting

spartan coyote 2To shoot more coyotes use trail cameras to pattern the predators, just as you use them to track deer.

This field report from the BIG DEER HUNT TEAM’s predator expert Jack Hazel shows you how:

“Got two more coyotes last night! For several nights in a row, the Spartan Go Cam’s app gave me the exact time they showed up in the Dump Draw where we put dead cows. We set up 15 minutes ahead of time, and the coyotes came in right on cue. We hunted 30 minutes total.

The thermal image from my scope shows one of the dead dogs 100 yards away.

“The Spartan Go Cam is real deal, not just for deer but predators too.”

Note the time code on the Spartan images below for 2 of the nights, 3 minutes apart!

Smart and efficient and set up and hunting, and thspartan coyoteat is what it takes to fool coyotes.

 

 

 

 

 

coyote 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

coyote thermal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

coyote 1 spartan.jpg2

Top 10 Deer Bowhunting States

ohio gary nov 8 2018The QDMA’s 2019 Whitetail Report points out that bowhunting for whitetails has never been more popular. In 2002 only 15 percent of the total whitetail harvest in America was taken with archery tackle; that percentage rose to 23 percent in 2017.

Check out these numbers from 2019 report:

The 5 states with the most bowhunters are: 1) Pennsylvania (339,600 bowhunters); 2) Michigan (311,000); 3) Wisconsin (246,211); 4) New York (231,000); 5 Missouri (222,717).

The 6 states with the most bowhunters per square mile are: Pennsylvania (7.6 bowhunters PSM; 2) New Jersey (5.9); 3 Michigan (5.5); 4) New York (4.9): 5) Ohio (4.5); 6) Wisconsin (4.5).

The top 5 states with the highest percentage of annual deer harvest with archery tackle: 1) New Jersey (58% of total deer harvest in 2017); 2) Massachusetts (43%); 3) Ohio (43%); 4) Illinois (39%); 5) Kansas (37%).

I add that all the archery statistics above include both vertical bow (mostly compound) and crossbow. Love it or hate it, no doubt the modern crossbow has increased hunter numbers and the popularity of bowhunting, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.

 

 

 

 

Best & Worst Cities for Hunters

man cardI am fed up with the “wimp-ification” of America and the left’s cultural war on “toxic masculinity,” so let’s turn the tables.

Nashville, Tennessee is the “manliest city in America,” according to a survey done by snack-food brand Combos several years ago. Cities were given points for masculine traits such as professional sports teams, hardware stores per capita, popularity of hunting, and propensity to throw monster-truck rallies…points were subtracted for emasculating features like high minivan sales, an abundance of home-furnishing stores, and subscription rates to beauty magazines.

Other hunter-friendly cities were Kansas City, Charlotte, Oklahoma City and Toledo.

Least manly cities were predictable: Miami, Chicago, New York and a bunch out on the Left Coast, like San Francisco.  If you’re a hunter you might want to get out the hell out of there!

Deer Hunting Tip: Benefits Of Winter Scouting

winter rubIf you’ve got a free day this weekend or next, and if there is no snow on the ground in your area, go back out to the stands you hunted last fall, walk out from them in an ever-widening circular pattern and look for old sign. You will learn a lot about how deer used the terrain, structure, cover and wind when traveling from bed to feed 3 or 4 months ago. You will find spots where bucks rubbed and scraped the most. You will learn if you need to move your stand 50 to 100 yards…or maybe you’re in a good spot and should stay put…or maybe you should pull out of the area all together. All this will double your chances of whacking a big deer when you come back to hunt in 8 or 9 months.

Trails

Cut deer trails near your stands and follow them. They will all lead, if in a roundabout way, to food sources and bedding sites. The freshest trails in the snow, mud or leaves come and go to winter food sources. But older, drier, fainter trails are more important. They lead to and from food sources that deer hit back in the fall and during the rut, when most of your hunting took place. If you missed those trails by 100 yards or so when you hung your stands last fall, move them closer before next season.

As you follow the trails, note how they hug brush, cut through low spots, curve around fence corners—all potential funneling spots for stands next season. Also, use a map, compass and your imagination to visualize how the deer on those trails worked into the predominant wind, especially the closer they got to food sources and bedding areas. The more you can nail down how deer use the common winds in your area, the more bucks you will see and shoot.

Rubs

Take note of every “signpost” you run across in the woods. A dominant buck blazed that monster rub last October or November. A cluster of rubs as thick as your calf is really what you want to find. It is sign that the rubber spent a lot of time in a core area close by. He or another mature buck will be back in there rubbing trees this fall.

I’ve noticed that in some parts of the country, notably the Midwest and Southeast, bucks show a preference for rubbing aromatic cedars or pines. Look for trends like that. For example, if you find that 70 percent of last fall’s rubs were on evergreens, you’re on to something. As you scout, veer over to investigate every green patch or strip, especially those near crop fields, oak flats and creeks. You’ll turn up more and more rubs in those spots. You’ll know where a lot of bucks will hang out and blaze new rubs this fall, and you’ll want to hang some stands there.

Look for a rub-location pattern, too. Suppose you find twice as many scarred trees on the tops of ridges than on the sides or in draws. Well, the resident bucks are “ridge toppers,” and it reveals a travel pattern that they’ll use from September through the late season. Work that into your plan and set most of your stands on ridges and hilltops.

Scrapes

In moderate climates and after the snowmelt up North, old scrapes are visible for months. Look for clusters of scrapes, which are hubs of deer traffic and good spots to hang stands this September. Try to find a scrape line and follow it. Put yourself in a buck’s hooves. Scan the woods ahead and visualize how he prowled for does. See how he worked the wind, hugged brush, cut around points, etc. You might find great new spots for stands…or get a better idea of where to watch for bucks coming and going out of your same stands next November.

Sheds

As you hike on the freshest, muddiest trails between winter feeding areas and bedding sites, look for just-cast antlers. Find a big chunk of 4- or 5-point bone (and both sides if you’re lucky) and you know one thing—a shooter that you saw last season (or maybe you didn’t see him) survived the hunting season, and if doesn’t get hit by a car over the summer, there’s a good chance he’ll be on your land next season.

This all gives you a lot to think about as you analyze the old sign you just found and work it into a fresh hunting plan for the fall of 2019.