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Planning an Out of State Hunt – Part 1


Many hunters dream of traveling out of state to hunt whitetails and other animals. For many it seems like a far off dream, however as we will see over the next few posts, it is really more obtainable than many think. With a little planning hunting for whitetails or other species is a lot more affordable and do-able than many realize.

As an example, I have hunted many different species in many states, all on public land, unguided and have been successful doing so. Much of this was done and is still done at places that I cannot scout. But for many, a neighboring state is still an adventure. As we look at planning out of state hunts we will look at the obvious opportunities and from there we will look at more adventurous hunts. But to keep it simple, the further you go, the more planning is needed to have a great hunt. Some hunts are planned years in advance; others are thrown together in a few weeks. Again, the further it is the more planning is needed.

Neighboring states are the first places to start your search, for me in south Carolina, that would include Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and spread out from there. I like to consider things that are within a day’s drive. If I can be there is six to ten hours that is close enough and what I would consider a neighbor. For me, that covers a wide area. I have hunted Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and have trips planned for this season to Tennessee and Arkansas. All of these are close enough to drive to in a day. These states offer millions of acres of public land access, camping facilities and lower priced hotels that make these very affordable and accessible with little planning. I will provide a list of things at the end of this that will cut costs and offer opportunities.

Here are three tips to getting to hunt in a different state

  1. Network – in today’s mobile society many of us do not live close to where we were born, went to school or began our career. Many hunts are available by simply picking up the phone and calling a classmate, old colleague, or cousin that lives near (within a few hours) of where you want to hunt. I have been able to hunt Washington, Idaho, Texas by using this technique. It’s easy and very affordable. Two of these restored some long lost relationships that have become some of the best I have now.


  1. Forums – swap hunts – while some care needs to be taken here, some good research had led to some great opportunities by swapping hunts with fellow hunters in different parts of the country. I have swapped whitetail in South Carolina for Moose in Alaska, whitetail in Pennsylvania, and even bow fishing trips here for Desert Mule deer in Texas. Being flexible and willing has led to meeting some great people and opening opportunities I never dreamed of. For example, I was able to spend twenty one days in Alaska hunting moose with a resident on a swap hunt. This whole hunt cost me just over $1.400. Compared to a five day guided moose hunt that will cost $10,000 easily. All I had to purchase was my plane ticket, license and my share of food. In exchange I got lifelong friendships, and hosted a new friend for a southern whitetail hunt. I killed a great moose and he got his whitetail.


  1. Team up with a buddy. We all have favorite hunting companions, sharing the load opens wide opportunities. The cost is shared, and the work load is shared. Suddenly the public land elk hunt in Colorado seems more obtainable when the cost is shared. This year I will be traveling to the vast expanse of the Grand Mesa National forest of Colorado for an archery elk hunt. Having a companion to share this with makes it possible. This entire hunt will end up costing us about $1,300 each. Travel, license, food and miscellaneous expenses. Many whitetail hunters spend more than this on their lease payments and extra items annually.

Out of state hunts are affordable with a little planning and some desire to make it happen. As mentioned above, by tapping into these resources it is all possible. In the next week we will look at effective planning and hone in on how to make these happen.