Whitetail Hunting Trends and Tips

Top 2017 Whitetail Hunting Trends and Tips

It’s no secret to serious hunters that the whitetail deer is the most widely discussed hunting topic. Contrary to what you may have heard, whitetail hunting is a sport that is growing fast in popularity in America although there are a few states that have seen a decline. Here are some demographics and trends in whitetail hunting, along with a few hunting tips and why winter is an excellent time to hunt whitetails.

The Top States for Whitetail Hunting

If you live in Pennsylvania and Ohio, you’re living in two of the top five hunting states. The other states include Texas, Michigan and Wisconsin. Together, these hunters invest over 62 million days each year pursuing whitetails, which is 50 percent of the entire deer hunting activity in our country.

Who’s Hunting? Trends in Gender, Age and Nonresident Hunters

Surprisingly, more and more women are hunting whitetails even though males make up about 91 percent of the hunting population. The largest percentage of females who hunt come from the western part of the United States. There’s a smaller population of women hunters in the South.

There’s also an increase in nonresident whitetail hunters. The part of the country attracting the most nonresidents is the Midwest, which is followed by the Northeast and then the Southeast. It’s estimated that nonresident hunting could be as high as 30 percent more than during the 1980s, which is a decade that experienced a boom in hunting.

Trends in Hunting Attire

As for hunting apparel, layering is a fairly recent change. In other words, whitetail hunters are trading in their thick, heavy parkas for layered, thinner garments that are offer more flexibility. Consider how easy it is to simply add one or more layers when temperatures get colder. Another trend is the elimination of scent from deer hunting attire.

Trends in Hunting Apps

A huge trend in whitetail hunting is the use of hunting apps with new ones being produced nearly on a daily basis. Some of the most popular hunting apps include GPS maps, moon phase planners, trail camera inventory, sunset/sunrise tables, windage charts and others.

A Change in Land Access

Today, hunters can access private land, and there’s continual rapid change in how much public land is available for hunting whitetail. Each year, there are new programs that are being introduced. Almost daily, the government buys, sells and exchanges land.

Late Season Hunting

If you think it’s too late in the year to hunt whitetail, you’re wrong. Although it can be more challenging to hunt in cold weather, whitetail hunting during late fall and winter can actually be beneficial. Consider how during cold months deer become less active and just try to survive so that they can conserve energy.

In fact, winter is the period when mature whitetail bucks in the northern and central states are the most stressed because they’re tired from running, breeding and defending themselves. As a result, it can be easier to hunt them down. Therefore, late-season hunting can be an ideal time to tag bucks.

Hunting Tips, Considerations and Warnings

  • Because whitetail deer consume a huge around of forbs, it’s important to find where these plants are located and hunt there. Often, forbs are found near thick cover or close to deer sanctuaries.
  • On very cold days, don’t hunt during mornings as deer may not return to their beds until daylight, and you don’t want to bump into them. Instead, schedule your hunting trips for afternoons.
  • Look for water sources when hunting in winter. This is because water can become scarce in freezing weather when it freezes over. Thus, finding a water source can mean snagging a whitetail.

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