Jim Bennett

Best Places to Hunt

Whitetail deer hunting traditions weigh differently in different places.  The James Jordan Buck, long standing World Record taken in 1914 was on top for what seemed like forever. But Wisconsin deer hunting has changed according to onX Maps. They have the top whitetail deer states ranked as Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa and Mississippi. The reason are the number of trophy deer harvested, number of total deer that can be harvest and lack of hunters and abundance of public land in those states.

The top duck hunting state goes to the Bayou State of Louisiana. Between the delta, flooded timber and coastal wing shooting Louisiana has arguably the best duck hunting in North America. The reason is that the south is where all the ducks from up north end up so what a better place to hunt. Starting in Canada and following the ducks south is a dream serious waterfowlers have. Other top states are Missouri, Washington, South Carolina, Texas, North Dakota and Colorado according to wide open spaces dot com.

If you want to choose the best places to hunt Canada geese try these favorites listed by Ducks Unlimited. Dwight, Illinois is a top spot in the Land of Lincoln when it comes to goose hunting. Just 50 miles south of Chicago is an area that many people say is better than any province in Canada. Located in the Mississippi Flyway is Minnesota following next with its numerous lakes and abundant agriculture that provides ideal staging habitat for birds.

The Central Flyway that begins with an abundance of honkers coming south from Canada say that historically North and South Dakota have been at the top but recently Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas have tipped the scales. In the Pacific Flyway Oregon has lead the way.

Pheasant hunting has what’s called the Great 8 according to Pheasants Forever. South Dakota is the KING of pheasant hunting bagging over a million birds each year. Iowa is known as the where the tall corn grows has topped the list a few years, Minnesota has been right behind when weather and CRP grass programs are high in set aside lands. Next is North Dakota with 2.5 million acres of public lands. Kansas is 4th in the northwest and north central regions, blessed with lots of public lands. Montana is a big surprise in the northeast and around Great Falls and Lewistown.

When it comes to the best states states to hunt ruffed grouse it has be decided by the most flushes per hour. Minnesota leads the way with 2.26 flushes per hour followed by Wisconsin with 1.99. Michigan rolls in with 1.73, Pennsylvania reported 1.52 flushes per hour, Vermont 1.47, New Hampshire 1.31 and Maine had .83 according to Birddogs Afield. I want to look at more species later.


Jim Bennett is an outdoorsman who lives and worked in the St. Croix Valley and can be reached at james bennett24@gmail.com

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