Top 10 Worst States for Deer Hunting


If you are a lover of whitetail deer hunting, it is quite obvious that you are in search of a good trophy animal that will be worth your trip. Some states are better at producing trophy animals than others. Kentucky, Indiana and Iowa are among the best there is. There are a lower number of hunters, and the bucks are big and mature.

Some states on the other hand are not to be looked at with enthusiasm. This is usually because there is a higher density of hunters who tend to also take out yearling bucks which in turn results in fewer mature bucks.

Here we wish to take a look at the top 10 worst states for deer hunting. While there is no specific procedure to selecting these, we do base our judgment on the density of hunters, number of bucks harvested, type of weather as well as the number of mature bucks.


When it comes to hunting, Michigan has a rich tradition. The weather is not the best however and it is among the coldest states.

One of the reasons why Michigan is on our list is not mainly about the adverse weather but the rate at which the yearling bucks are harvested. In the US, Michigan is the second with the turnout of 59 % of all the bucks harvested being yearling bucks.

To paint a clearer picture, just 17% of the bucks hunted were above 3 years old. Couple this with having to deal with cold and snowy weather and you can see why Michigan isn’t the best state for hunting whitetails.


Wisconsin has a reputation for being among the best states for going after whitetails. So why is it on this list you might ask? Well, in 2013, Wisconsin had 54% of the bucks killed being yearlings. This without question is not ideal.

Wisconsin also cannot boast the best weather. Temperatures drop quite low and there is a lot of snow that the intrepid hunter needs to deal with.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a small state. However, when it comes to the number of deer it produces it ranks in the same category as Texas and Pennsylvania. That is shocking considering its size isn’t it? That is why Rhode Island finds itself on our list.


Massachusetts has been experiencing an increase in the number of deer. However, hunters report failures consistently which means the numbers are not high enough.

In fact less than 20% of hunters in 2013 were fortunate enough to come out of the woods with a trophy buck. And this is why it is on our list.

New Hampshire

The size of New Hampshire is also quite small. Considering the number of deer hunted every square mile that lack antlers, it is easy to see why New Hampshire not the best place for hunting white tails.

Not only that but New Hampshire is among the coldest states in the entire US. That combined with the fact that out of the total number of bucks harvested, 49% are yearlings or younger.


Pennsylvania can come up with quite a large number of bucks. In the year 2013 208,660 deer without antlers were taken including 127,540 large trophy bucks.

The keystone state also provides milder weather. If it is so good then why is Pennsylvania on our list? Well because it has among the highest density of hunters in the whole of the United States; A staggering 20.3 per every square mile. It also has a large harvest of yearling bucks with up to 50%.


The statistics on deer hunting in Maine may not be clear. But we can expect being successful in deep snow and extremely thick wooded area to pose a bit of a challenge. With low temperatures of 41 degrees and high rainfall, it also has a yearling deer harvest of up to 54%.

However, Maine does have a low harvest of deer that do not have antlers. Thick woods mean that it becomes difficult to glass through them in search of your prey. Hunters normally need to take extra effort to get their prize. Baiting is illegal making hunting that much more difficult.


Many Americans will agree that Vermont is among the prettiest states in the country. This is especially so during the fall. It also has a reputation for producing large and excellent trophy deer with big antlers.

The weather is however quite challenging and hunters here experience lower rates of success mainly due to the low population of deer.

New Jersey

This state boast among the highest success rates in the country; upwards of 63%. There is also quite a high density of deer in New Jersey. As far as hunter success is concerned, New Jersey is listed among the top 5 states.

New Jersey produces around 3.6 deer without antlers per square mile. Considering the national average stands at 2.1 deer without antlers in 2013, you can see why it catches the attention of most hunters.

The reason why New Jersey is near the top of our list is due to the high number of yearling bucks taken. This is high with upwards of 62% of all the deer taken.

New York

New York is at the top of our list. When we consider the density of hunters, New York is the third highest with numbers at around 15.1 hunters per square mile.

When it comes to yearling bucks taken in 2013, this was as high as 54% of all deer taken in New York. The number of mature bucks taken was low at only 18%.

The weather is not ideal either. In fact the empire state experiences the highest snowfall in the entire US. Politics does little to assist hunters either. You will have to part with more money for a bow hunting trip. The herd of deer in New York is also quite imbalanced.

Taking all these factors into account, New York rises at the top of our list for the 10 worst states for deer hunting.

So, enjoy your hobby of deer hunting and have fun with your deer hunting scouting with trail cameras to ensure the best success.


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