8 Great Muzzleloader Hunting States This Season

Brow Tines and Backstrap

8 Great Muzzleloader Hunting States This Season

Posted 2016-10-19T23:49:00Z

Do You Ever Pack a Smoke Pole to the Deer Woods?

Tiffany Lakosky with a big muzzleloader buck. (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Lakosky)

The smell of burnt black powder in the air on a crisp fall morning is something to live for. There are millions of hunters across this country who dream of heading afield each season with muzzleloader in hand. If you're among that crowd, these eight states are arguably among the best for you to hunt in.

1. Iowa

The land of big bucks. Iowa fits that description. It's rampant with them. And if you like hunting with a muzzleloader, this is a great place to go. Muzzleloader season runs from October 15 to 23 and December 19 to January 10. That's a big window of opportunity. And with the deer population and great age structure, a crack at a mature buck is definitely possible.

Antler Nation grade: B

Click here for more information on deer hunting in Iowa.

2. Nebraska

This is another state that people often overlook. Big mistake. Nebraska offers a lot of good deer hunting opportunities. The muzzleloader season runs from December 1-31, allowing for plenty of late-season deer hunting with the smoke pole.

Antler Nation grade: B

Go here for more information on deer hunting in Nebraska.

3. Kansas

The Land of Oz is a fantastic state for deer hunting. It continues to rank high for Boone & Crockett bucks each year and the harvest reports continue to rise. Furthermore, the muzzleloader season runs from September 12-25. Granted, that's a not long period or during the rut, but it does offer a great opportunity to pattern and kill an early season buck.

Antler Nation grade: B

Click here for more on deer hunting in Kansas.

4. Wyoming

Good ol' Wyoming has a muzzleloader season that runs from October 1 to December 31. That's a very large window for success. It spans from the early season, through the rut and into the late season. Simply put, Wyoming offers great opportunities to muzzleloader hunters.

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Learn more about Wyoming deer hunting.

5. Tennessee

If you haven't ever hunted in Tennessee with a muzzleloader, you should. This is a state that doesn't receive the credit it deserves. The likelihood of success in this state is much higher than it once was. Regulations and season dates vary by unit, but for most, the muzzleloader season dates range from November 5-18. So the odds of downing a rutting buck with a smoke pole are high.

Antler Nation grade: B

Go here for more detailed information on deer hunting in Tennessee.

6. North Carolina

Season dates vary by zone, but for most, it runs from October 29 to November 11, November 5-18, or October 3-15. This state doesn't have a lot of Booner bucks. But it does harbor a population with mature deer. So if it's not on your list of muzzleloader states to try, it should be.

Antler Nation grade: C

Click here for more on deer hunting in North Carolina.

7. Virginia

Virginia muzzleloader deer hunters enjoy a season lasting from October 31 to November 13 and December 12 to January 2. That's a great window of opportunity. It gives those hunters who only have a handful of days to hunt the ability to find and kill the caliber of deer they're looking for.

Antler Nation grade: A

Click here for more on deer hunting in Virginia.

8. New Hampshire

One might not immediately think of New Hampshire when talking about deer hunting. But for muzzleloader enthusiasts, it offers a prime chance at killing a deer with the smoke pole. Season dates last from October 29 to November 8. That allows hunters to take advantage of the first one third to one half of the rutting activity this fall.

Antler Nation grade: B

Click here for more on deer hunting in New Hampshire.

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