Out Of State Archery Hunts

#2717

JW
Participant

Cole, you are a man after my own heart when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, no pun intended. When it comes to archery hunts, I’ve got experience with only a few states, other than Georgia, from either hunting in those states or extensive research related to future hunts there. I’ll try to rank those based on my perceived value and not necessarily overall cost.

(1) Iowa

You’re looking at a minimum of three year waiting period to draw a non-resident archery tag. Iowa offers many options for the DYI public land hunter with very high success rates (a lot of public ground). Hunting pressure is as low as you will experience in any mid-west state. Average antler size remains to be better than any other state on public lands due to the restrictions on non-resident tags. Total cost of Iowa archery hunts, including tag, license, travel (based on driving 1,000 miles one way) & lodging is estimated at $1,400 for a five day trip.

(2) Kansas

Kansas requires non-residents to enter a lottery for drawing tags. I’ve never experienced a waiting period of more than one year, and have even been drawn on the first try several times. Much like Iowa, Kansas offers many options for the DYI public land hunter with even more public ground to choose from. Hunting pressure is manageable, but it is a major factor contributing to much lower success rates than Iowa. Average antler size has been slowly getting lower due the number of non-resident tags that Kansas allows during its archery hunts (but you still may see a 200 incher at any given time – I’ve personally seen two in my time there). Total cost of this trip including tag, license, travel (based on driving 1,000 miles one way) & lodging is estimated at $1,200 for a five day trip.

(3) Ohio

Non-residents can purchase tags and licenses over the counter which makes planning a trip easier. Again, much like Iowa & Kansas, Ohio offers many options for the DYI public land hunter with the largest tract being in the southwest part of the state – Shawnee State Forest which encompasses over 60,000 acres. Hunting pressure is manageable due to the acreage. Success rates will fall between that of Iowa and Kansas. Your expectations shouldn’t be as high for average antler size as in Iowa or Kansas, but there is still plenty of potential to harvest a big buck in Ohio. Total cost of this trip including tag, license, travel (based on driving 1,000 miles one way) & lodging is estimated at $750 for a five day trip.

(4) Illinois & Missouri Archery Hunts

Like Ohio, non-residents can purchase tags and licenses over the counter which makes planning a trip easier. They also offer many options for the DYI public land hunter with many different public hunting areas. Hunting pressure is high but manageable if you find those “off the beaten path” spots – don’t be afraid to take a canoe for more options here. Success rates aren’t bad, with the potential for a big buck always being a reason to visit the Midwestern states. Total cost of this trip including tag, license, travel (based on driving 1,000 miles one way) & lodging is estimated at $1,000 for a five day trip.

(5) Indiana

This is my sleeper state. I’ve never been to Indiana, but have researched it quite a bit and will likely go there one day. Again, non-residents can purchase tags and licenses over the counter which makes planning a trip easier. They also offer many options for the DYI public land hunter with many different public hunting areas. Hunting pressure is not high because most non-resident hunters will be on archery hunts at one of the states mentioned above. Success rates are good. From what I’ve read, average antler sizes vary, but are generally smaller on average than any of the states listed above. Total cost of this trip including tag, license, travel (based on driving 1,000 miles one way) & lodging is estimated at $800 for a five day trip.