Deer Hunting the West
Deer hunting the West is considerably different than deer hunting other regions of the US. Although the Mid-west may offer some of the finest whitetail deer hunting in the world, it cannot offer what deer hunting the West can. First, there are several Western Whitetail sub-species including several unique trophies such as the Columbian whitetail, Coues whitetail, Carmen Mountain whitetail and Texas whitetail found in the West. Second, the west offers other hunting opportunities during the deer hunt. In addition to whitetail deer, a hunter may be able to pursue mule deer, elk, bear, and even mountain lion during the deer season, depending on the state hunted.
Hunting the West often requires the hunter to traverse steep and rugged terrain, far away from major roads; which requires the hunter be in optimal shape. Most of the West is public land, offering all hunters easy access to millions of acres in which to hunt. The majority of public land is administered by the US Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In contrast, some western states like Texas are almost entirely private and access to hunting location can prove to be difficult. If you are hunting your home state or traveling across several states in pursuit of a western whitetail trophy, utilizing important hunting resources can determine the overall success of your hunt.
The ultimate hunting resource the hunter should utilize is the website or annual publication of the state Game & Fish department. Knowing and understanding the rules and regulations of the state is important and leads to strong hunting ethics. Additionally, several states offer “insider information” on where to hunt and how to hunt. Another valuable hunting resource is a quality map. A standard USFS or BLM map is useful, but the addition of a topographic map or aerial map will prove to be invaluable. In addition to a paper map, several software topographic map solutions are available as well. One of the best aerial mapping solutions is Google Earth. Utilizing these specialty maps allows printing of specific locations.