10 Worst states for deer hunting…

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To me hunting has always been "fun". I would hunt with my now departed brother on his 120 acres in Maine. No competition and good deer country made it easy to take deer. Then bringing up the three sons into hunting. Then the grandkids. What a thrill when each one took their first deer. The family hunts NH, Maine and Mass each year but the camp in Maine that we built is the go-to place. Still plenty of deer. And cards. And beer. For a long time I held the family record for first deer at age 12. Then came along grandson Little Jack. At 10 yo he drops a deer in NH with his bow. Then another in Maine with shotgun. Then another with rifle in NH. He's a "natural" like his dad. Jack.
Hunting with my family in Minnesota is one of the things I miss most about moving to New England. Deer hunting to me was always a family event, my father, uncles, grandfather, cousins. It was an absolute blast at the cabin in northern MN in November. It's a totally different event here now that I'm hunting deer solo, not nearly as fun.
 

edmorseiii

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Hunting with my family in Minnesota is one of the things I miss most about moving to New England. Deer hunting to me was always a family event, my father, uncles, grandfather, cousins. It was an absolute blast at the cabin in northern MN in November. It's a totally different event here now that I'm hunting deer solo, not nearly as fun.
I feel that. I didn't grow up hunting, and all I know about it is what I learned at hunter safety, so it is hard for me sometimes to find the fun it. I am trying to learn so my kids can grow up with it, and now that I have local friends that know what they are doing it is getting easier, but deer season for me usually means I take my rifle for a walk alone and take a nap under a tree. The closest I got to shooting a deer this year was while I was cooking on my deck and saw a buck in the tree line, by the time I got my rifle up he was already in to thick.
 

PatMcD

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Hunting with my family in Minnesota is one of the things I miss most about moving to New England. Deer hunting to me was always a family event, my father, uncles, grandfather, cousins. It was an absolute blast at the cabin in northern MN in November. It's a totally different event here now that I'm hunting deer solo, not nearly as fun.
I think that's how we all grew up hunting. I miss it too.
 

Mark from MA

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Hunting with my family in Minnesota is one of the things I miss most about moving to New England. Deer hunting to me was always a family event, my father, uncles, grandfather, cousins. It was an absolute blast at the cabin in northern MN in November. It's a totally different event here now that I'm hunting deer solo, not nearly as fun.
Same here.....grew up hunting shotgun season with my dad and uncle and friends. We didn't have a camp, but a local hotel and it was pretty fun. I'll admit, there were more deer back then in that part of MA. When we stopped hunting that area, we were lucky to see a few in a week long hunt. That's on posted private land. But it was still fun hunting with family, and it made you really not think of not seeing deer....it really didn't matter.

Now I'm pretty much solo til the my son is done with college which is this year. I hope to buy some land, and him and I build a deer camp and start a yearly tradition and invite a few friends and family that can make it. It won't be in the Northeast, as my family is moving mid South to the Carolinas, Virginia or Tennessee. But it will probably be up in the mountains, where the hunting might not be as good, but it won't be built up around there either.
 

fencer

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I grew up hunting in rural Georgia. Mostly the Northern part of the state, but did get around a little bit.
We saw deer just about everyday we were in a tree stand, and in many places, saw packs of wild dogs just as often.
It wasn't uncommon to see dogs chasing deer through the woods.
 

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IDK man, I am building a "hunting blind" out back for next year so I can spend more time "hunting" in a "blind". It will have a mini wood stove, a reclining chair, a small table to put my whiskey glass on, and a rifle rest built into the window. I am going to start to love hunting. [laugh]
I worked with a guy, that knew a guy (I know..... [laugh]] that had a permanent rest on the railing on the back porch of his NH house, and a salt lick a short distance away. Opening day, he'd go out, sit in his chair, wait a bit, use one shot, go in, have coffee, go out and dress out the deer.

He saw it as another crop, like corn, or tomatoes, I guess.
 

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Well I like to both hunt and shoot deer. Before my brother passed away I would go bow hunting in Colorado and while I had to find the deer, there were plenty of them and I knew I was going to shoot one eventually. Growing up in NH I almost never saw a deer in the woods. In Colorado they were everywhere where we hunted and I would pass on deer in the first week because I wanted something bigger. In NH you shot the first thing you saw because you might not see another all year.
 

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I worked with a guy, that knew a guy (I know..... [laugh]] that had a permanent rest on the railing on the back porch of his NH house, and a salt lick a short distance away. Opening day, he'd go out, sit in his chair, wait a bit, use one shot, go in, have coffee, go out and dress out the deer.

He saw it as another crop, like corn, or tomatoes, I guess.
My uncle does this....no salt luck though. Fire arm season in nh it takes him anywhere from 1 to 4 morning sits on the back deck to harvest his deer with his winchester 94 in 30 30. He drinks his coffee while he's waiting though lol. I see nothing wrong with this at all. He buys his license and it's legal.
 

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you should try to lasso one
 

chindogg

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You call it shooting, I call it awesome. I don't particularly enjoy spending my entire fall in a stand/blind. I'll take MN deer hunting over New England every day of the week.
Agreed. Unless you have an ton of free time or private land to hunt on good luck. When you add in the fact the best part of the rut takes place during Archery season it really sucks. Shotgun season is too late compared to states with good deer hunting.
 

Jason m

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Agreed. Unless you have an ton of free time or private land to hunt on good luck. When you add in the fact the best part of the rut takes place during Archery season it really sucks. Shotgun season is too late compared to states with good deer hunting.
This X1000, to late in the rut is huge deal, daylight savings burns an hour off the day in a snap of the finger, can't hunt Sun so its really 12 days and not "2 weeks" as they claim it is.

After all the kick in the ass this state does to suppress us hunters, they now are going to raise the cost of the Lic to an outrageous price for 2022. Way to go Mass!!!
 

chindogg

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This X1000, to late in the rut is huge deal, daylight savings burns an hour off the day in a snap of the finger, can't hunt Sun so its really 12 days and not "2 weeks" as they claim it is.

After all the kick in the ass this state does to suppress us hunters, they now are going to raise the cost of the Lic to an outrageous price for 2022. Way to go Mass!!!
Seriously. Shotgun season is way too late. Sadly , I'm about ready to give up deer hunting because of this. Also crossbows are a no go unless you obtain a medical pass. One of the larger areas around me, the prison camps, will probably be closed in a few years because they don't want to maintain the roads. Then they proposed jacking up all the fees and stamps through the roof. They settled on lower amounts and expect the peasants to be pleased. I could go on but I'll just get myself pissed.
 

Mark from MA

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This X1000, to late in the rut is huge deal, daylight savings burns an hour off the day in a snap of the finger, can't hunt Sun so its really 12 days and not "2 weeks" as they claim it is.

After all the kick in the ass this state does to suppress us hunters, they now are going to raise the cost of the Lic to an outrageous price for 2022. Way to go Mass!!!
I'm not really a fan of the more and longer seasons mainly because I've seen a lot better herd management in the old days. That type of herd management actually brought the herd up, no kept it level or declining....talking Central/West here. Everyone knows the East is just because of lack of hunter access, deer have plenty of sancturary.

LOL.....when I started hunting, Archery season didn't start til Nov 5th, the shotgun season was 1 week only, Muzz season was 3 days and they barely gave out doe permits and you had 1...yes 1 buck tag. There were NO coyotes, and fewer bears.

Yet the hunting was a lot better....... I killed a deer every year with the bow, (usually my recurve) and saw many more nice bucks in my area of zone 5/zone 8.

Honestly, I don't see the reason to extend your seasons if your deer herd can't support it, and your quality is so low you have to sit in the woods everyday for 2 weeks just to see a deer.
At that point the state is just charging you for tags you'll never use.

I mean.....hunters have to decide....do they want more time to see nothing.......or less time, but actually might see quality deer numbers when they do hunt? I choose the latter.

Again, anything to push people East where the deer need to be killed and no one wants to hunt (even me) I'm all for......but the central/west needs to go back to 1970's regs to bring the herd back to where you see deer more regularly. There is plenty of land to hunt, reducing seasons should not be an issue to improve quality.
 
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Dennis in MA

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1. Good news - inflation has eaten into that F&G fee increase. Now it isn't as bad in comparison to a tank of gas, etc., LOL

2. Remember, in order to obtain MORE Pittman/Robertson (Robinson) and Hanging/Dingle money, the state has to raise funds. They haven't raised lic fees in 15 years. Which means the MASSIVE increase in PR/JD $ is NOT going to Massachusetts.

3. They HAVE to use all of this $ for conservation/hunting/fishing/etc or risk LOSING all future PR/DJ money. So while we complain about the fee increases, what we SHOULD be doing is finding out what they plan on doing with the added income and how much leverage we have on their spending habits. I mean, we could act like a lot of Western states' hunters/fishers in this regard.
 

Jason m

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I'm not really a fan of the more and longer seasons mainly because I've seen a lot better herd management in the old days. That type of herd management actually brought the herd up, no kept it level or declining....talking Central/West here. Everyone knows the East is just because of lack of hunter access, deer have plenty of sancturary.

LOL.....when I started hunting, Archery season didn't start til Nov 5th, the shotgun season was 1 week only, Muzz season was 3 days and they barely gave out doe permits and you had 1...yes 1 buck tag. There were NO coyotes, and fewer bears.

Yet the hunting was a lot better....... I killed a deer every year with the bow, (usually my recurve) and saw many more nice bucks in my area of zone 5/zone 8.

Honestly, I don't see the reason to extend your seasons if your deer herd can't support it, and your quality is so low you have to sit in the woods everyday for 2 weeks just to see a deer.
At that point the state is just charging you for tags you'll never use.

I mean.....hunters have to decide....do they want more time to see nothing.......or less time, but actually might see quality deer numbers when they do hunt? I choose the latter.

Again, anything to push people East where the deer need to be killed and no one wants to hunt (even me) I'm all for......but the central/west needs to go back to 1970's regs to bring the herd back to where you see deer more regularly. There is plenty of land to hunt, reducing seasons should not be an issue to improve quality.
Im not asking for more time in a way ( yes Sunday would be nice ) I'm asking to move shotgun back a week or two so I can hunt the rut and get an hour extra before sunlight savings kicks in ( which is another sh*t ball of idea ).

Duck is great I have a lot of fun doing it, but I rather be hunting deer as I love doing that more, obviously the yield is larger.
 

Sparkey

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Im not asking for more time in a way ( yes Sunday would be nice ) I'm asking to move shotgun back a week or two so I can hunt the rut and get an hour extra before sunlight savings kicks in ( which is another sh*t ball of idea ).

Duck is great I have a lot of fun doing it, but I rather be hunting deer as I love doing that more, obviously the yield is larger.
chances of any changes coming to mass hunting season that benefit hunters are slim to none unfortunately. Best thing I have done is get into Archery deer hunting. Give it a try I will bet it will make your deer hunting experience better.
 

Mesatchornug

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chances of any changes coming to mass hunting season that benefit hunters are slim to none unfortunately. Best thing I have done is get into Archery deer hunting. Give it a try I will bet it will make your deer hunting experience better.
This is the reason I'm hoping to buy a front-stuffer before next year. Increased season length.

I can't say I see the problem with DST - the actual hours of sun are the same, just shifted on the clock. But then, my difficulty is entirely self-imposed - I just need to be better at making time to go out.
 

Mark from MA

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chances of any changes coming to mass hunting season that benefit hunters are slim to none unfortunately. Best thing I have done is get into Archery deer hunting. Give it a try I will bet it will make your deer hunting experience better.
This is the reason I'm hoping to buy a front-stuffer before next year. Increased season length.
Both these ideas are good and I did them 25 years ago to increase my season length for deer hunting. As i said before seasons were once very short.

Archery a lot better than Muzzleloader, as the rut is on and the deer are moving more, just sitting a good spot in Archery season your sightings will be way higher than the same spot in gun season.

Muzzleloader your hunting very pressured deer from shotgun season and it can be brutal cold.

Better idea is go out of state and hunt if you can. CT or NH are both better than MA. CT alot better as far as deer numbers go, the further south the better, private land even better. But almost any state south and/or west of MA is WAY better deer herd numbers per square mile than the Northeast states.
 

Jason m

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chances of any changes coming to mass hunting season that benefit hunters are slim to none unfortunately. Best thing I have done is get into Archery deer hunting. Give it a try I will bet it will make your deer hunting experience better.
I used to do a lot of Archery got a nice ( older ) bow, but I muffed up my shoulder and have a hard time not pulling but holding it steady after a few seconds. I have put in for the "cross bow" exemption only to be denied, I will try yet again but I can't understand why I need an exemption if i'm killing a deer with the same thing as a bow an arrow or bolt. I get its more accurate and easier to shoot but we shouldn't have to jump threw hopes either to use it.

ETA, and yes I agree changing mass laws is not going to happen and I live and hunt in zone 8.
 
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