A Booner buck is every deer hunter’s dream, and certain states seem to give an edge to seeing that once-in-a-lifetime trophy.  Typically, these states are in the Midwest or the South where genetics, mineral enrichment, and hunting regulations favor whitetails growing to maturity.

Age Most Important

Big-buck states like Iowa and Illinois are “shotgun” states where on shotgun slugs and certain straight-wall cartridges are legal for hunting.  No doubt these shorter range firearms allow many whitetails to reach another year or two in growth before harvest.  Other areas, like large Texas ranches have quality deer management systems that extend deer life to maturity.

Sanctuary Spots

Allowing bucks to grow to maturity isn’t the province of a few states.  Most states have properties or regions where deer life is extended by national and state parks, wildlife sanctuaries, private property, and other places where hunting is prohibited or greatly restricted.  During the rut, roaming bucks are more likely to pass from these sanctuaries and you may get a shot if you hunt nearby.

Lesser Known States

This post from the Realtree website highlights five states with big buck potential, yet do not have the reputation as a Booner state.  If you book a hunt in one of these sleeper states, you may well get a much better deal than in Iowa or Illinois.  Also, with lower hunting pressure, license costs may be less than high profile districts.

Check out these five states:

There are a handful of states that produce the biggest bucks year in and year out — places like Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky. These states have a reputation and deer hunters everywhere know it. They’re places where whitetail dreams come true at any moment, but drawing a tag or finding a decent place to hunt in many of these popular locations can be difficult and frustrating. There are, however, a few places left in this country that have been forgotten about since enduring events that would seemingly eliminate their deer herd or in some cases, places that were never given recognition in the first place.