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Archery How to Prepare for an Out-of-State Whitetail Hunt

How to Prepare for an Out-of-State Whitetail Hunt

Heading to a new place can extend your hunting season, expand your opportunities, and give you a shot at a bigger buck than anything your home state has to offer. Here’s how to do it right.

Research the tag situation: Some states offer over-the-counter tags for non-residents, while others require you to accumulate points or enter a lottery for a chance at a tag. Plan ahead and start purchasing points early. If you’re getting a late start or didn’t draw a tag, consider a state where you can easily buy one at the last minute. And be prepared to pay non-resident premiums.

Scout it out: Getting boots on the ground is always best. But even if you don’t have the time or resources to scope out a new hunting area in person, do some e-scouting to zero in on public land and locate potential stand sites. Aerial photos and apps like onX can be great tools for getting the big picture. You can also look up landowner information to potentially knock on some doors when you get there. 

Expect problems: At some point in your bowhunting career, you’re bound to bend a cam, lose a release, or break arrows. Take the necessary tools to make repairs on the road and pack any extra equipment you have. And look up the closest archery pro shop or sporting goods store near the area you’ll be staying just in case.

Nail down accommodations: Whether you’ll be taking a camper, staying in a motel, or booking an Airbnb, solidifying your lodging plans early will help you set your overall budget and determine how long your morning commute to the stand will be.

Time it right: Different season dates in different states can make planning complicated but also allow you to hit more places and notch more tags. Research the historical peak rut dates in the places you plan to hunt and build your fall schedule around this information.

Give yourself options: Even the best-looking spots on paper can turn out to be duds, and sometimes a dozen other hunters will find your potential honeyhole too. Have backups for your backups and expect to have to switch up your game several times as you learn what and where works.  

1 thought on “How to Prepare for an Out-of-State Whitetail Hunt”

  1. The Bow Bully,
    I hear what you’re saying, but sometimes there are good opportunities in your own backyard…if you are polite and professional in how you ask about them.
    Our a/c and heater guy was here a couple of months ago, and he noticed some high vegetation with trails cut through it. He asked, and I told him that we have a lot of does that live on our property year round; I notice what they eat, and I started letting those areas grow; I also cut a mile of trails for my wife to get around the property on her golf cart, and the deer also use them to get to the pond to drink, and to go from the pine forest to the dense hardwood section to bed down. He said he was a bowhunter, a stick and string guy, and asked if we got a lot of bucks in the Fall, and if he might be allowed to hunt here.
    I told him the does were totally tame; I can get with 15 feet of most of them; but I said the bucks, and we get some good-sized ones, were transient and skittish and that if he agreed to hunt bucks only, he was welcome to hunt here, and that, if he agreed, he would be the ONLY hunter allowed to hunt here.
    He most happily agreed (always a good thing to keep your heating and a/c guy happy =>).
    This is a case where common courtesy and a professional inquiry paid off for him. 🙂
    Keep up the good work,

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