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Bowhunting Trip, Where To?

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I am doing a little research. Thinking about making a future trip to bowhunt during the rut, maybe the first week of November. I would hire a guide/outfitter. Where would you recommend? I would like to stay in the midwest. Some of the frontrunners are Buffalo County Wi, Southern Iowa, or Western IL. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Jason Erlandson

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All kinds of choices. If you watch some of the hunting shows they will usually say where they are hunting at. I suspect they pay less for the hunts that way.

Iowa would be awesome. Kansas is known for huge bucks. Illinois has huge bucks. Those are pretty much core areas especially if your paying to hunt.

South Dakota has some great big deer whitetail, or muley. From what I've heard from friends that have hunted South Dakota I don't think it's the easiest for hunting with a bow.

I've also seen some beautiful whitetails taken out of Eastern Montana on the Primos videos. I think that is where I'd be tempted to go but it's a bit of a drive. Probably less competition for those hunts out their but I could be completely mistaken on that score.


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You're going to spend a minimum of 3500 bucks to go guided, usually for 6 days. When you're done, you may or may not have a trophy buck to show for your money.

Figure out how much time you could take off work for 3500 bucks. Spend that time in a state where you want to hunt knocking on doors trying to get free hunting permission, it is not impossible. The key is to get as far away from major cities and freeways as possible. Last year we obtained permission from 5 different landowners in a state that everybody wants to hunt. There is good hunting all over these states, you don't need to use an outfitter to access quality ground.

If you don't have time and figure outfitted is your only option, I would go Iowa or Kansas, and I would book for the later half of November, only because these states have a Decenber gun season, and you are more likely to have colder weather later in the season. It doesn't matter what state you're in, the bucks don't run when it's 75 degrees out.

I should warn you, you will not like deer hunting in MN when you get back.

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Since you are willing to travel I would not put a limit on the distance. Here is the order I would go in.

1. Iowa. But if you don't have 2 preference points, you probably won't get in.

2. Illinios

3. Kansas

4. Wisconsin

5. Ohio

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I agree with checking out other options instead of guided hunts if you're on the fence about spending that kind of money. There's a lot of public land in some of the great deer hunting states. You read about it and see it profiled in the mags all the time and bow pressure will be much less than if you were rifle hunting. But if you have the dough and want to go, by all means, there have been some great suggestion on here for states to check out outfitters in.

I may have hit the jackpot at work this year as I was casually talking with one of our customers in Kentucky who I barely know. In fact, I hadn't talked to him in 3 years when he called with a question yesterday. We got into talking about hunting and he told me I should apply for an Illinois tag next year and come down and hunt various spots on their leases for free. Of course I'll throw some sort of gift, compensation his way if I do it. But that's also a good point. Start talking to friends of friends, relatives, etc., who may be in those states and chances are, you may get to access land for free.

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