Check out Antler Nation's 2022 grades for Idaho, Montana, Washington and more
Elk, mule deer, black bears and other big game are the most sought-after animals of the Northwest. Whitetails tend to drop down on the list of importance. Still, in the isolated pockets with whitetails, the region cranks out some eye-popping deer hunting opportunities. Although hunters shouldn't expect Midwest-esque antler sizes, the region offers plenty of deer and good racks. And you can't beat the scenery. That's why hunters come here, after all.
Idaho might be the undervalued crowned jewel of the Northwest. The northern region of the state is exceptional. Although hunting can be tough, those who find ground, locate a good buck and work hard can be rewarded with a filled tag and fine adventure.
Those who plan to hunt Montana should expect similar results as in recent years. The state doesn't produce a lot of Booners, but it's packed with Pope & Young opportunities. If you can find a place to go and get a tag, it's a dream hunt for many deer enthusiasts.
Oregon once fared much better than the failing grade it currently receives. It has great whitetail hunting in small pockets, but there aren't many deer. And even if you have access to whitetails, it's hard to get a tag. Plus, nonresident fees are some of the priciest in the nation.
Most deer hunters don't think about Washington as a good state for whitetails, but it can be, especially if you find an overlooked spot that's tucked away. Although deer hunting seasons and laws are complex here, when you've figured it out, you're well on your way to a Pope & Young buck. That should remain true this season.
Most hunters think of elk or mule deer when Wyoming comes up. But it has solid whitetail hunting, too. In fact, whitetails often go somewhat overlooked because mule deer are so popular here. Find a pocket of ground to target, and it might result in a great whitetail hunt this season.
Overall, the Northwest is still a great destination for whitetail hunters. Expect to work harder to find pockets of ground that hold huntable populations, and plan to pay more for tags. But get excited for fall. It will be here soon.