Have you heard this one? Many of you have and it makes you wonder where exactly this came from and what it’s based on. Having hunted several states during the last 40 years and doing a little research on the people making this claim I’m confident they could not be less educated/experienced. I’ll prove it here.
The people who wrote this are looking for some much needed attention and I’m not going to give it to them. I won’t list their website or mention the name, it isn’t worth it. I checked them out and can tell you they appear to be nothing more than a bunch of ignorant kids with about 6 years combined hunting experience. Not to mention the fact they’re from Texas which pretty much disqualifies them from talking about anyone’s hunting. For example they listed Wisconsin and one of the worst deer hunting states , do we need to say more? Still it got me thinking mostly because we have enough people here complaining about the hunting and I’m going to explain why they’re mostly wrong and misguided.
These days it seems the only thing people consider when measuring the hunting of any state/province is how many Boone & Crockett bucks do they put in the book. Well if that’s all you look at then you’re missing a lot of what truly matters when it comes to deer hunting. Ask yourself how much you know about hunting in the real popular states in this country and why do they kill more B&C bucks than others. There’s a lot of factors and not all of them are what many people would want believe it or not. Let’s take a look.
When talking about the “great” deer hunting states today we mostly hear people talking about Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and a couple others. We could all agree these places have some great hunting. So why them and not NY? There’s a lot of reasons and no one ever seems to talk about them when passing judgement on NY or any other state that doesn’t make the “top 10 list”. One thing you will find with all these places is what I consider the single most significant difference between those states and NY. The best deer hunting states in this country have hardly ANY rifle/gun seasons. Did you know this? Let’s take a look just to add a little perspective to the discussion.
Iowa: 14 day gun season in late December.
NO rut hunting with any gun
3 months of bow hunting -good for the bow hunter, the gun hunter can go somewhere else
tag draws/preference points for tags
Illinois: 6 days of shotgun hunting split into 2 seasons 3 days each.
31/2 months of bow hunting
Missouri: 10 day gun season
4 months of bow hunting
You get the picture but this is the case with all of the states who are on TV every night. You want THIS kind of hunting? Not me! I’ve been bow hunting since 1977 and haven’t missed a season since I started , don’t plan to either. Still, ask ourselves how many people DON’T bow hunt and imagine being in one of these states with almost no gun season. Sure, bow hunting is more popular than ever and that’s a good thing. It shouldn’t mean bow hunting is going to rule every season and severely limit opportunities for so many people who love to deer hunt. The reason these states have so many great deer is simply because of the lack of gun hunting opportunities and nothing more. If you think it’s all that QDMA/antler restriction nonsense then you are completely missing the picture.
Back to NY and what residents complain about. It will surprise no one to hear the talk these days is mostly about antler restrictions. It’s treated as though it’s the greatest thing to ever come along. If antler restrictions are so effective then please tell me about your latest hunt in Vermont. They have antler restrictions and the hunting there is as lousy as it gets. It’s always been horrible and always will be. Antler restrictions have done nothing to improve it and never will. In NY we have some of the longest gun seasons in the country I would bet. Our northern tier (Adirondack) rifle season opens around the 3rd Saturday in October and ends the 1st Sunday in December. We hunt the rut with rifles every year and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I haven’t heard anyone who lives here say differently. Prior to rifle season we have our archery/muzzleloader seasons while cover about 31/2 weeks during the nicest weather you can imagine. Some areas up north have another week of muzzleloader after the rifle ends. The opportunities seem endless.
The southern zone in NY has a longer archery season that kicks off October 1. The gun season(rifle/shotgun depending on area) will begin around the 3 week of November and end around December 10. After that there’s a week plus of bow and muzzleloader hunting. As for tags , we buy them over the counter, so do non residents! If you have an archery permit, muzzleloader tag and your regular big game tag you can kill 2 bucks and a doe every year! Not to mention antlerless tags that are handed out every yr. Some areas you’re guaranteed to get an antlerless tag in addition to all the other ones I mentioned. NY is the land of opportunity when it comes to deer hunting and we have room for every hunter no matter what season he/she wants to hunt.
I look back on my 40 years of living/hunting this great state and I wouldn’t trade it for any other place. We have a hunting heritage here very few places can match. I’ve hunted out of a deer camp in the Adirondacks since I was 14. Yeah it was illegal to hunt at that age back then but we’re so far in the woods no one would find us. Our club has existed for decades and dates back to sometime in the 40’s I think. Year after year we head north and spend our time hunting areas where we never see anyone, no utility poles for miles ,abundant deer every single year ….. freedom! We kill bucks every season and eat the venison in camp every evening after we hunt. We play cards , drink beer and tell stories for hours on end. Countless others do the same up north and in the southern tier. You think these opportunities exist in these great deer hunting states? I doubt it.
So we have every opportunity in the world for a deer hunter but we don’t make the top 10 list. So what. We still put bucks in “the book” every year and we don’t really care who notices. If a person wants to rank states based on quality of deer, numbers of deer, the experience, opportunities for difference seasons, youth hunt seasons , remote hunting or urban hunting, tremendous weather during the seasons and on and on , NY ranks at or near the top. There are places where you can get some of what we have but you will be hard pressed to find many who have everything we have.
The people who complain about the hunting here I would bet complain about most things in life. Imagine if NY adopted all these ridiculous tag limit rules of other states and how people would react to that. Imagine being allowed to take your rifle out for a few days a year. If you aren’t a bow hunter it isn’t even worth trying to get a tag. If NY changed the rules and tried to become a state like Iowa it wouldn’t make any difference in the quality of bucks we kill. It would make an enormous difference in the opportunities available to us who live here. What would happen if we had all these great bucks roaming the woods of NY? Outfitters and all that comes with it. Wait until the people who complain find out their hunting grounds have been leased to someone else ,maybe someone out of state. This would be happening all over the place and would have an enormous impact on a lot of hunters. Can you imagine the complaining then?! How about paying taxes every year and find out you have to enter a draw for a tag. Sound fun? Think about how it’s going to feel when you don’t get a tag or end up with one for some place you’ve never even hunted. Yeah, that sounds like a helluva lot of fun.
Take a long, honest look at NY and ask yourselves how many states have it better than us. I would submit there aren’t many. My guess is there are more who would rather be like us than the way they have it now. The people who claimed NY is the worst deer hunting state have obviously never hunted here. Let’s hope they don’t come here because their next article will be about what a great deer hunting state this really is and then everyone will be coming here. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to visit. As always , questions/comments , even wiseass remarks are always welcome. Stay warm and stay in touch. mj