If you are wondering what the Best Deer Hunting States in America are, you’re in the right place. There are ten different states that we’ll be looking at. If you are a seasoned deer hunter or just starting out, it’s a good idea to know where you can find the best success.

Furthermore, there’s one thing that is on the mind of each deer hunter. Where can they possibly find a ‘big one’ and hang it up on their wall after all is said and done. While there are deer hunters that are looking for that trophy buck, others are snagging one for the purpose of filling up the freezer with some mouthwatering venison.

If you live in one of these ten states listed below, you should consider yourself lucky. If you don’t live in these states, you better make plans to travel to one of them. Especially if you are a deer hunter in search of your next best successful hunt.

Statistics provide by the 2021 NDA Deer Report.

Let’s get right to the list and why these states are among the best in the country:

1. Wisconsin

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 138,297

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 22

We begin in America’s Dairyland. If you are looking to get a big buck, you’re in the best place in the country to get them. Wisconsin produces some pretty monster deer and it could be a trophy hunter’s paradise. Furthermore, they are large enough to fill a freezer for quite a while. Even better news is that Wisconsin has plenty of public land that allows hunting. If permitted, you could check out state or federally owned land for these monster bucks as well. If you live in this state, you’ve probably had some better luck than most in recent years.

2. Minnesota

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 97,960

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 21

Heading right next door to the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’, Minnesota has plenty of land that is open to the public. More specifically, the northern half of this large state is a great place to snag a big buck. In the past decade, more than 200 bucks that were large in size were bagged by hunters. So if you are looking to make a deer hunt a lot more successful, spend some time in Northern Minnesota. If you haven’t found luck in Wisconsin, you’ll think that the deer eventually moved west and are just hanging around places near the Canadian border or near Lake Superior. Also, the southeastern part of the state that borders Wisconsin is also a good place to scout out the big ones as well.

3. Texas

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 460,242

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 62

They say everything is bigger in Texas. And sure enough, so are the deer. Most of them are usually found in the southern half of the Lone Star State. Most of the Texas ranchers are usually avid deer hunters. So if you don’t live in Texas, you may be able to give them a hand by killing white tails yourself while they deal with other wild animals such as wild pigs and javelinas. Or maybe you already live there and have gotten the job done.

4. Missouri

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 134,092

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 27

The ‘Show-Me State’ has a two deer per season bag limit. So you may want to make the most of it if you live here or plan on making a trip out here. But there’s a catch regarding this. One of the deer you kill will need to be done with archery gear. Not to mention, there is an antler-point restriction that you need to follow. Specifically, it needs to have four points on one side. There are a few counties in Missouri that will produce big bucks. Two of them are in adjacent counties to the northwest of St. Louis (Lincoln and St. Charles counties).

5. Kansas

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 40,718

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 35

Heading west into Kansas, there have been close to 240 big whitetail deer that have been killed in the last decade. If you are a non-resident, you will need to apply for a tag. The state has plenty of public land, but there are landowners that are part of an access program that will allow hunters as well. Hundreds of thousands of acres of owned land in the Sunflower State are open to hunters. Kansas may be down on the list. But it is emerging as one of the best kept secrets in the country when it comes to whitetail deer hunting.

6. Illinois

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 71,186

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 29

Moving back east and passing through Missouri, we have the Land of Lincoln. If you are more of a bowhunter, this is a place that will make you happy if you hunt whitetail deer. Bowhunters will take advantage of the long deer hunting season here in Illinois. Thus, it gives them the time advantage to hunt the big ones compared to those who kill whitetails with guns and muzzleloaders during their slightly shorter season. A good amount of deer are bagged by gunhunters. But that hasn’t stopped bowhunters from achieving success in their own right. Three of the counties (with two bordering Missouri) is a prime area for snagging whitetail deer in this state.

7. Iowa

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 44,093

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 26

Iowa is one of the states that produces a lot of corn. But what not a lot of people know is that it’s also a big-buck producer as well. However, there is a deer tag lottery. If you are a non-resident, you will need to spend three to four years building up what is known as preference points. Once you build up enough, you will be able to draw a tag in the state. You also must purchase an antlerless permit on top of that. So it can be complicated, even for someone that doesn’t live in the state. Counties like Clayton, Warren, and Winneshiek are a few that are known for having a good presence of big bucks. In fact, more than 260 whitetail buck were killed in the previous decade in Iowa.

8. Ohio

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 80,138

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 17

More than 370 bucks have been taken here in the Buckeye State in the last ten years. Like the Midwestern states, bowhunters will have an advantage because of the lengthy time period of the season. Bow season in Ohio starts before rutting while gun season starts post-rut. However, Ohio is a state that will only allow you a one deer bag limit. So if you are looking for a big one, you may want to settle for nothing less than that. Especially if you are looking for a trophy or even a freezer full of meat.

9. Kentucky

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 70,362

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 20

Like Ohio, Kentucky is a one deer state. So if possible, find a big deer if you must. There are half a dozen counties in the Bluegrass State where you can be able to find a big one. They include Ohio, Pulaski, Whitley, and Shelby counties. Antlerless deer is unlimited in Zone 1. And bow season goes from September to January. That’s plenty of time for you to scour Kentucky and bring a big one home.

10. Indiana

2019 Antlered Buck Harvest - 51,646

Antlered Buck Harvest Per 100 Hunters - 27

Lastly, we’ll take a look at Indiana. While it may be low on the list, it’s a big buck state that is emerging. It has plenty of public land open for deer hunting. Specifically, there is 55,000 acres of land that is currently open for this purpose. Archery season is open during the rut and firearms season is open during the latter half of it. With 290 bucks taken in the past decade, it’s only a matter of time before the Hoosier State climbs the ladder on this list. Indiana is worth watching, especially if you are a non-resident.

Additionally, check out our own article comparing the Best TenPoint Crossbows