IOWA NUMBER ONE STATE
TOP ARCHERY OUTFITTER
BOW OR GUN 6 OR 5 DAYS $4000
8000 PRIVATE ACRES
If you are a serious whitetail hunter get your preference points in May (see below) and you will be able to start planning a hunt for trophy bucks at a very reasonable price.
Last fall his 2018 archery hunters tagged 5 bucks for 12 hunters and they hit and lost 5 bucks. Bucks taken included a 183, two right at 155, broken 151 and a mid 140 buck. Gun season had not started at press time.
2017 archery had 19 archery hunters kill 12 bucks with 4 bucks hit and lost. Top 3 archery bucks scored in the 160’s. First shotgun/muzzleloader hunt was 4 for 6, with the best bucks scoring 171 and 160; 2 bucks were hit and lost. Second gun season was 4 for 7 and best buck went 164. Late muzzleloader hunt in January went 7 for 9 and the top 2 bucks grossed in high 160’s.
2016 archery had 16 bowhunters kill 8 bucks with 4 scoring from 152 to 172; 2 bucks were hit and lost. First shotgun/muzzleloader hunt went 7 for 8 with the best buck grossing 178. Second gun hunt was 6 for 9 and top 2 bucks scored 176 and 174 plus a couple in the 160’s. Late muzzleloader season pro- duced 8 bucks for 13 hunters, nothing huge.
They have over 8,000 private acres that are enhanced with plenty of food plots in south cen- tral Iowa, Zone 5. They enforce a 140 inch mini-mum rule with a fine of $1,000 and take a very low number of hunters considering the large amount of property, which really helps the trophy quality. They use over 100 lock-on stands and a dozen ladders stands. They also have 10 blinds built on stilts for gun hunters. Archery hunts start the end of October and continue to about November 22. First gun hunt starts the first Saturday in December, second gun starts the second Saturday and late muzzleloader is December 26 to January 10.
Archery hunts are 6 days and gun is 5 days at$4,000 plus 5 percent tax, with a 140 inch minimum. Archers arrive Saturday, hunt Sunday to Friday and leave Saturday. Accommodations have been very nice state owned cabins located very close to the hunting properties.
Draw deadline is June 1 and it normally takes3 or 4 preference points to draw the archery tag and 1 or 2 points to draw a gun tag. CALL LICENS-ING AT 800-367-1188 DURING THE MONTH OF MAY TO ACQUIRE YOUR PREFERENCE POINT FOR $52, you do not have to name a unit or weapon of choice. HCU’s Scott Steinkruger has hunted with this outfitter. Hunt WD799. WD799 Hunt Photos.
100,000 PRIVATE ACRES
ARCHERY $3750 5 DAYS
RIFLE $4000 4 DAYS
2018 – BOW 6 FOR 10 (167, 160)
RIFLE 20 FOR 25 (3 OVER 160)
Why go to Canada when you can be more successful on good whitetails at a lower cost averaging over 140 inches!
This outfitter has over 100,000 private acres northwest of North Platte with over 8 miles of Platte River bottom. He has been EXTENSIVELY PROTEIN FEEDING THE PAST 6 YEARS and it shows.
The outfitter hunts out of 2 camps. The Island Camp has 7 miles of riverbottom with an explo- sive population of good whitetails. It has a remodeled ranch house and new bunkhouse for accommodations.
West Camp is located on 80 square miles in the hills for mule deer and 5 miles of riverbottomon the Platte River for whitetails.
2018 archery at the Island Camp over two hunts finished with 10 archers killing 6 bucks, including 2 trophy bucks grossing 167 and 160, but keep in mind this is a solid 125 to 140 inch hunt and they occasionally take some really top end deer.
2018 rifle season first hunt at the Island Camp produced 7 bucks for 9 hunters, including 2 in the 160’s. Second season the 8 hunters tagged 6 bucks and best buck went 164.
First week at West Camp produced 8 bucks for 8 hunters, including 5 whitetails and the top 2 went in the 150’s and 3 mule deer including a monster 205 and 2 in the 160’s. Second gun hunt had 6 mule deer hunters kill 6 bucks, including a high 170’s deer and 3 whitetail hunters tagged 2 bucks.
2018 season ended with whitetails averaging gross score of 140 inches with 5 in the 160’s and mule deer averaged in the mid 160’s, with 2 over 170.
.2017 archery at the Island Camp ended up with 12 hunters killing 9 bucks, including 4 in the150’s, overall average about 135. First rifle whitetail went 9 for 12, with 2 in the 150’s and averaging 140. First mule deer rifle at West Camp was 5 for 5, with best going 180 inches and overall a 160 average. Second rifle was 10 for 10 on whitetailsaveraging 140 inches. Mule deer camp produced 5 bucks for 5 hunters including a 184 and 2 in 170’s.
Archery hunters typically enjoy 100 percent opportunity on 125 inch or better bucks. Riflehunts normally run about 80 percent success onbucks averaging 140 inches. There is a $500 penalty with a 120 inch gross minimum. Mule deer average about 80 percent success on 160 inch plus bucks. Typically everyone has multiple opportunities to be successful.
5 day bowhunts are $3,750 and run October24 to 28 and November 1 to 5.
4 day rifle whitetail hunts in mid to late November are $4,000 or mule deer is $5,500.
Nice ranch house accommodations, meals and guiding are included. Licenses are over the counter, no draw. Fly to Denver and rent a car or if you fly into North Platte they provide airport pickup. Hunt WD/MD565. WD/MD565 Hunt Photos.
SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO BUCKS
PAST YEARS 100 PERCENT SUCCESS
5 DAYS $4500
This outfitter has rights to over 100,000 private acres. He normally allows one October deer hunter to take a whitetail for $5,500. The other 3 or 4 hunters are scheduled for early December closer to the rut for only $4,500.
At press time, which was this past November, they had not taken any whitetail hunters as of yet in the 2018 season and they were only planning on taking 3 hunters for the December rut hunt.
In 2017 all 4 hunters killed bucks. The best buck was taken on the October hunt, a 170 inch non-typical. All 3 December hunters killed and thebest grossed 155 inches.
In 2016 all 3 hunters tagged bucks, with the best scoring 180 (largest buck they have taken),150 and a 140. Hunters typically see 5 to 8 bucks per day.
5 day December hunts are $4,500 guided 2x1and include basic ranch house accommodations with meals, nothing fancy. Hunts start the first Saturday in December. The early hunt is about the third week of October. Hunters fly into Colorado Springs or Denver and rent a car for the 2 or 3 hour drive. Draw deadline is early April and has been100 percent. Hunt WD554.
KANSAS TROPHY WHITETAILS
TOP B&C RECORD BOOK AREA
$5000 RIFLE OR MUZZLELOADER
$4000 6 DAY ARCHERY
We feel Kansas is one of the top two whitetail states and this hunt takes place on 25,000 private acres located in the top area of Kansas known for producing Boone and Crockett trophy bucks. This outfitter has a high protein feeding program with mainly repeat booking clientele and this explains why so many 140 to 150 inch deer are passed up while the hunter is looking for true trophy quality.
In 2018 at press time they had taken 4 whitetail muzzleloader hunters and two missed bucks, with no kills. Archery ended with 4 of the 8 hunters tagging bucks and one big one was hit and lost. The bucks taken grossed in the 140’s, no big deer were killed. Rifle season had not started at press time.
2017 was one of those years that remind you just when you think you have trophy whitetails figured out, you really don’t.
First rifle hunt produced only a couple bucksfor the 10 hunters, nothing trophy class. Second hunt was about the same with only 2 bucks beingtaken out of 8 hunters. He had 12 archers kill 5 bucks, 2017 proved to be a slow year.
2016 first rifle hunt produced 3 bucks for 9 hunters, including a 190 inch 10 point and 2 bucks right at 170. Second rifle hunt went 5 for 9, best buck went 178 and the rest averaged 150.
In 2015 the rifle hunt produced 9 bucks for 16 hunters and 4 of those bucks scored in the 170’s.
5 day Kansas muzzleloader hunt is $5,000, 6 day archery is $4,000 and 5 day rifle hunts are $5,000. Hunt includes 2×1 guide service, lodge accommodations and meals. Hunt takes place in northeastern Kansas and this is arguably the best whitetail hunting area in Kansas. Hunters fly into Kansas City and rent a car. Draw deadline midApril. Limited 2019 openings. Hunt WDK565. WDK565 Hunt Photos.
MONTANA WHITETAILS $3450
BUCKS AVERAGING 140 INCHES
2018 – 6 HUNTERS 6 BUCKS
2017 – 7 HUNTERS 7 BUCKS
This rancher/outfitter takes only a handful of whitetail hunters each fall. It is a very small personal family operation located in the river bottoms of southeastern Montana. This is a no frills hunt with an old trailer on the ranch for accommodations and regular ranch meals. He has about 40,000 private acres, but most of it is used for mule deer hunting. Success typically runs 100 percent on whitetails in the 130 to 160 inch class. He also takes about 6 to9 muley bucks per year averaging in the 160 to 165class with a chance on a 170. Deer tags are good for either mule deer or whitetails.
In 2018 he had 4 archery whitetail hunters andthey killed 4 bucks ranging from 125 to 145. He had 2 rifle hunters kill 2 bucks, a 5×5 150 and a 4×4 with some stickers. He had 8 muley hunters kill 8 bucks averaging in the 160’s.
In 2017 he had 6 whitetail hunters and they killed 6 bucks from 140 to 160 inches.
In 2016 he only had about 3 whitetail hunters and they killed bucks in the 140 class.
4 days guided 2×1 is $3,450 and if you draw an antelope tag he allows you to take one the first 2 weeks of deer season at no additional charge.
Hunt dates are about October 20 to Thanksgiving. Hunters fly into Rapid City or Billings and rent a car for the 2 1/2 hour drive.
Montana has changed their deer license program and drawing a straight deer tag can be difficult. One way with better odds is by applying for a deer/elk combination tag. Purchase a $50 deerpreference point during the application process. Apply for your deer tag and the special elk tag in this same area, which is less than a 5% draw. This way when you don’t draw the special elk tag they send back the elk fee leaving you with the deer tag at the regular cost.
If you do draw the elk tag this is a terrific trophy unit and the outfitter will upgrade your hunt to include a bull on a $2,500 trophy fee only. Montana now allows you to purchase a deer point with your application to improve your drawing odds and we strongly recommend it. Deer/elk draw deadline is March 15 and pronghorn draw is about 30 percent with a June 1 deadline. Points can also be purchased from July to September, but a license must be applied for within 2 years of purchase.Reserve your spot now for the next available opening in 2020. Hunt WD427. WD427 Hunt Photos.
$5500 6 DAYS HEATED BLINDS
680 SQUARE MILES W/LODGE
2018 – 27 HUNTERS 24 BUCKS
At press time this outfitter had taken 27 whitetail hunters and 24 bucks were in the salt, 3 hunters passed. Best buck grossed a whopping 178, 2 in the 160’s and lots in the 150’s. They still had the last 2 weeks of the season to finish up.
This area consists of 4 outfitter units combined for a grand total of 680 square miles run by one outfitter. He is allocated over 120 deer tags, but normally only runs about 45 hunters per year.He has superb lodge accommodations and they normally use heated double bull blinds, fiberglass elevated box blinds and some treestands on bait sites. Bait stands are accessed by truck or side by side UTV’s often off old logging roads. There is also a good opportunity for archery or early muzzleloader hunters.
2017 was a tough season with 36 out of the 43 hunters tagging a buck. Best bucks only grossedin the low 160’s, no real monsters. He had 2 bowhunters the last week of October and one killed a 158 and the other passed on a good buck.
2016 season had 48 hunters take 45 bucks and all 3 hunters that did not kill reportedly passed on bucks in the 150 class. Best buck grossed 182 plus 3 more in the 170’s with an average of 154 gross inches.
2015 fall whitetail hunts produced 43 bucks for 43 hunters, with the top 4 bucks grossing between 170 into the 180’s.
6 day hunts are $5,500 plus a $455 deer license and about $304 in tax, arrive on Sunday and depart on Saturday. Hunters fly into Saskatoon andrent a car for the 3 1/2 hour drive or Edmonton forabout 5 1/2 hours. Rifle hunts typically run from early November up to and including the first week of December. They also offer archery or early sea-son muzzleloader hunts. HCU’s Scott Steinkruger has hunted with this outfit. Hunt WD304. WD304 Hunt Photos.
6 DAY HUNT ONLY $3900
Here is an inexpensive Saskatchewan whitetail hunt that takes place on the fringe of farmland and bush. This hunt normally produces about 80 percent success and the average buck grosses around 135 to 140 Boone and Crockett inches, with top bucks scoring up into the 160 class.
At press time 19 hunters had killed 13 bucks and two of those were still hunting. Top buck so far has scored 145. They have 3 nice bucks in the 160 class on camera, but they hadn’t taken any. The last week of 4 hunters will be coming in.
2017 season finished up with 20 hunters killing 15 bucks. Best buck was a 161, with the rest in the 140 to 150 range.
2016 season ended up with 20 hunters taking 15 bucks and the top buck grossed 162.
6 day rifle whitetail hunts from late October through November are only $3,900 plus license/tax. He has 25 heated box blinds about 8 to 12 feet offthe ground. Nice two story cabin accommodationsright on the lake with good fishing. This is a super priced hunt and airport pickup can be arranged from Saskatoon at a cost of $400 round trip that can be divided amongst hunters. Openings are very limited due to repeat bookings. Hunt WD577. WD577 Hunt Photos.
OHIO WHITETAIL HUNTS
Over the past 5 years HCU has looked at quite a few Ohio outfitters. Many of them over hunt small pieces of private property leading to poor success with very little quality Ohio is known for. We like a couple outfitters located in southwestern Ohio near the Kentucky border. This part of the state has produced many Boone and Crockett whitetails, but as any serious hunter knows big whitetails is arguably the toughest animal to kill in North America. On the plus side this area has produced many super bucks.
OHIO/KENTUCKY BORDER BUCKS
5 DAYS – PRIVATE FARMS
This small outfitter has 10 private farms close to the Ohio River about 30 miles southeast of Cincinnati. He plants several food plots, has some spin feeders and uses corn for bait.
2018 archery season had produced 6 bucks for 10 hunters, including a great 160’s buck and the rest went 140 or less. One buck was hit and lost and 3 were missed. Shotgun season and muzzleloader had not started at press time.
In 2017 he had 16 archery hunters kill 5 bucks including a monster 6×6 typical grossing 178 inches, a 160 plus, 2 in 140’s, a 130 inch and 3 were hit and lost.
His 3 shotgun hunters killed 2 bucks; both in the 140 class and the late January muzzleloader season produced 3 bucks for 5 hunters, all in the 130’s.
5 day hunts are $3,500 with accommodations either a remodeled farmhouse with 4 bedrooms or a couple cabins and hunters do their own meals.He has assorted stands from ladder stands, lockons, ground blinds and a couple elevated box blinds. He does not have an antler restriction.
Archery hunts are from late September to January 31. Shotgun/muzzleloader season is the firstMonday after Thanksgiving. Late muzzleloader season is a 4 day hunt usually starting the first Saturday in January. Hunt WD513.
ADAMS COUNTY OHIO
9000 PRIVATE ACRES
5 DAYS W/LODGING $2500
FULL SERVICE $3500
This family operation owns 9,000 acres in Adams County, which is considered one of the top trophy counties in Ohio. It is located in the south-central part of the state near Kentucky. This outfitis unique as they have some hunters assist in stand placement and come out at different times just to scout. They have over 40 stands with 180 acres of food plots and feeders on the properties.
Archery stats are typically 50 percent kill for about 40 bowhunters per season averaging around 140 inches. They prefer not to take hunters during the shotgun season and usually take about 6 or 8 hunters for the late muzzleloader season and about half are successful.
For accommodations they have several cabins at different locations equipped for groups up to 4 or 5 and they can accommodate a single or pair of hunters, meals is not included.
5 day bow hunts October to late November are priced at $2,500. They run a few, very limited late muzzleloader hunters in early January during the 4 day season also at $2,500. They also offer a full service hunt, where hunters stay at a nice lodge that can sleep up to 12 with 2 bathrooms, meals included and price is $3,500. Hunters arrive onSunday, hunt Monday through Friday and depart Saturday. Tags are over the counter, no draw. Extremely limited openings due to repeat clientele.HCU’s Cliff Graham and Bob Wodzisz have visited these properties. Hunt WD430.
SOUTHEAST MONTANA WHITETAIL
20,000 PRIVATE ACRES
TRESPASS FEE HUNT $2000
This private ranch is located near the town of Ekalaka in the southeast corner of Montana. The 20,000 acre ranch has about 5,000 acres of agriculture and riverbottom land that really entice the whitetails. Typically success has run at or near 100 percent on bucks grossing from 130 into the 150’s.Deer numbers are high and if you have a doe tag you can take one for meat at no additional charge, same goes for Merriam turkey if you have a tag, no additional cost. In fact, if you want to apply in the June draw for a pronghorn tag and are successful there is no additional charge to harvest a pronghorn if you are deer hunting.
Hunters arrive on Saturday, hunt Sunday to Friday, 6 days, and leave Saturday morning.Hunts start about October 20 and run to the end of November, pronghorn hunting is only good up to about November 5. They will take up to 4 hunters in a group with a minimum of 2. Hunters stay in a motel in Ekalaka only 18 miles away if they are lucky enough to get a room or they can rough it in an old schoolhouse with no cooking facilities.Remember this is a trespass fee hunt, no guides, no food, no accommodations and you will need a four wheel drive truck.
Deer draw deadline is March 15 and we recommend purchasing a deer point during the application process to increase your odds. Antelope draw deadline is about June 1. If you don’t draw make sure you purchase a preference point to draw for the following year either with your application or between July and September. Hunt WDUN534.
$3000 TEXAS WHITETAIL HUNT
Here is a great bargain, something not common for Texas whitetail hunts. This 1,200 acre private ranch under high fence is located in the Texas panhandle near the town of Clarendon. Arrive on a Thursday; hunt Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then depart on Monday. Three hunting days are priced very economically at $3,000 and that includes a buck of 8 or 9 points and gross scoring less than 150 Boone and Crockett inches, very nice accommodations, prepared meals and 1 on 1 guide service. Your guide will make the call on size and if he under es- timates there is no additional charge to the hunter.Deer grossing from 150 up to 169 Boone and Crockett points have a trophy fee of $2,500. Top trophy bucks scoring over 170 have a $4,500 trophy fee.This ranch has limited hunting and is very brushy where as some mature bucks are not seen all yearexcept for during the rut. Management hunts take place from September to early December. Trophy hunts for bucks exceeding 150 inches are conducted later in November and December to allow time forthe does to be bred. Cull bucks, mature bucks not up to management standards, can sometimes be added at a much reduced price with the guide’s discretion.
This ranch owner only allows a very select number of hunters each year to hunt his ranch. Fantastic accommodations coupled with Black Angus steaks grilling over the mesquite fire at the end of the day along with a cold beer or a glass of fine wine. It just doesn’t get any better.
They also offer superb inexpensive red stag hunting, along with trophy red sheep $3,000 and Sitka deer at $3,000. Texas non-resident license is $300. Hunters are met in Amarillo. Extremely limited openings, call for availability. HCU’s ScottSteinkruger and Cliff Graham have been on this ranch. Hunt WDP806. WDP806 Hunt Photos.