Best Books About Deer Hunting in 2023
Whitetail Savvy: New Research and Observations about the Deer, America's Most Popular Big-Game Animal
Sidetracks: 40 True Stories of Hunting and Fishing on Paths Less Traveled
Shooter's Bible Guide to Deer Hunting: A Master Hunter's Tactics on the Rut, Scrapes, Rubs, Calling, Scent, Decoys, Weather, Core Areas, and More
Deer Hunting for Kids (Into the Great Outdoors)
Wyatt's First Whitetail
The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 1: Big Game
Deer Hunting with Daddy
The Deer Hunting Book: Short stories for young hunters
The Ghosts of Autumn: A Season of Hunting Stories
The Total Deer Hunter Manual (Field & Stream): 301 Hunting Skills You Need
Drawing a Western Big Game Hunting Tag: How to Increase Your Odds
The difficulty of drawing a big game hunting tag in western states can be quite discouraging. The odds are stacked against you. To increase the odds of drawing a tag there are some tactics to use. The following is a review of some methods.
With so many Boone and Crocket entries coming from Utah, the number of hunters applying for tags has increased. With hunters competing for the few limited entry hunting opportunities, the chances of drawing a premium tag are getting very small.
In order to secure a good future of hunting opportunities a hunter must plan well in advance. Here are my suggestions.
Home State Big Game Hunting Tags
Be sure to take full advantage of the big game hunting opportunities in your home state. There are several regulations that limit how many different species can be applied for. Know these regulations and make a plan. I have been applying for a premium area elk tag for ten years. I've also applied for a once in a life time opportunity to hunt Rocky Mountain goat. Because of my dedication to these two Utah species, I cannot apply for a limited entry mule deer tag. I continue to hunt deer through the general season tags available for public land hunts. To better my chances at drawing tags for limited entry areas, I had to look outside the state.
Consulting Services for Big Game Hunting Tags
For those not wanting to put the time into researching the odds, application deadlines, and requirements, a consulting service may be the way to go. Cabelas® has a service known as TAGS or Trophy Applications amp; Guide Service. This service pairs you with a consultant and walks you through the application process from start to harvest. Several outfitters of this same type of consultation service for obtaining hunting tags. One example in Utah is High Top Outfitters. Once a client lets them know which species they would like to hunt, the outfitter send emails reminding clients of the requirements for applications. They also offer to bid on your behalf at tag auctions.
Apply by Yourself for Big Game Hunting Tags
For the hunter willing to do a little research on the odds, it's possible to obtain limited western big game hunting tags on an almost yearly basis. One of the best sources of information to do this is the Membership Research Section (MRS) in the Eastmans' Hunting Journal. The editors at Eastmans put together a wealth of information and time the printing of the magazines so that hunters get the copy before its time to apply. I have to give a big "thumbs up" to Eastmans for this great resource. Using the MRS a hunter can build bonus points that increase the odds of drawing across multiple western states. Bonus points are obtained annually either through an unsuccessful big game drawing or through the purchase of a point in a year that you elect not to apply for a tag. Bonus points increase the odds of drawing. Each addition point is one step closer to a great tag opportunity.
Hunting EXPO for Big Game Hunting Tags
Getting a coveted western big game hunting tag is somewhat like winning the hunting lottery. Although odds are not great, you can't win if you don't apply. Just as more lottery game pieces increase the odds of winning the lottery, more application opportunities increase the odds of drawing a great tag. Hunting expos have been offering hunting tags for participants who attend and apply. The Expos are very fun and the give a hunter a few more chances to obtain hunting tags.
Remember to be persistent in your pursuit of each big game species. It may take several years to reach your hunting goals. Several states are going to test the fortitude of applicants by wiping out bonus points if no application is made within a certain number of years. If you keep applying you'll reach your goal. It may feel like you make an annual wildlife donation each time after you receive an unsuccessful letter, but eventually you'll get there and at least the money does benefit the wildlife we all love. Good luck and happy hunting.