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Where to hunt bear/whitetail with trad muzzleloader

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G'day,

I have a few dream hunts, some more realistic than others. AKA moose or fall for $40k aussie dollars all told? No thanks.

I am building up points to diy hunt Mule deer, elk and antelope out west in a few years but I would also love to hunt whitetail and black bear someday.

If people are willing to part with the information what states are best for hunting whitetail/bear with caplock muzzleloaders? I would be probably looking at diy public land.

I have two goals with both species, one is to bring home a nice skin/rack the other is to taste both. I've heard black bear in the fall and whitetail are hard to beat in terms of eating quality. That opens up the next question, obviously I can't eat an entire deer or bear while on holiday so what options are there for utilisation of the meat?
 

Ames

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The horned toad says we should go to Mexico.
Bear meat should be iced down quickly as possible. The fat will turn on you quickly.
There are plenty of places like Hunters for the Hungry that will take donations of game if it is fresh and in sound condition. Call a game warden for contact info.
Unfortunately up here in the Northeast interstate transport of game is getting tougher regulations imposed all the time. Read up on all the current laws before you try it.
 
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Bear meat should be iced down quickly as possible. The fat will turn on you quickly.
There are plenty of places like Hunters for the Hungry that will take donations of game if it is fresh and in sound condition. Call a game warden for contact info.
Unfortunately up here in the Northeast interstate transport of game is getting tougher regulations imposed all the time. Read up on all the current laws before you try it.
I'm not an American so taking meat interstate isn't an issue, it's what to do with meat that I can't bring back half way around the world.
 

SDSmlf

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Well, you probably will not get hides or horns past customs, never mind the meat. I've shipped Caiman skin boots over seas just to have it seized.
Didn’t find it a big deal to ship horns, hides or skulls internationally. Used a broker/importer to ship from Namibia to my taxidermist in North Carolina. You pay your money and a few months later everything arrives. Imagine it’s similar shipping from the United States to another country, depending on the regulations of the destination country.
 

retrieverman

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For bear and whitetails, eastern Oklahoma or western Arkansas would be a place to start your search.

I know A BUNCH of people that hunt around the world and don’t have issues getting their trophies shipped home. You will probably have to pay a “professional” to get it accomplished, but it should be doable.
 

Phil Coffins

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Minnesota has bear and white tail so you might look at there. I’d be willing to help with the the meat. We have cut and eaten both and can set and talk with you till you’ve had your fill.
 

Crow-Feather

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Please do not forget the bear fat rendered down makes some of the best oil for a muzzle loading rifle.
I have to say that Canada has some monster whitetails and great black bear hunting also.
 

nhmoose

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Think Food Banks for the meat so it won't go to waste.

The CWD problem has a whole new set of problems however frozen/de-boned is one way. How much dry ice and shipping cost will be the EXPENSIVE part
 
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That’s the reason I suggested using a broker/importer. They are paid to know the rules and regulations. International shipping is not a good ‘do it yourself’ project to undertake.
I've brought trophies back into Australia from NZ, it is possible but was definitely a pain in the A.
 
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That's where I ran into the problem. The guy buying it did not know his own regulations.
Australia is surprisingly lenient on it's importation laws for hunting and gun related things. In point of fact, I recently tried importing some projectiles from the US. Getting them into Aus was as simple as filling out a couple of forms, getting them out of the US was a nightmare to the point where I couldn't find any bullet makers that were willing to go through the process.
 
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For bear and whitetails, eastern Oklahoma or western Arkansas would be a place to start your search.

I know A BUNCH of people that hunt around the world and don’t have issues getting their trophies shipped home. You will probably have to pay a “professional” to get it accomplished, but it should be doable.
Thank you for the suggestion, I'll look into those states.

A mate of mine did a guided Whitetail hunt in Wisconsin and had no issues getting his back.
 

Rawhide67

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Adirondack Mountains in way upstate NY. Something in the neighborhood of 2 million acres of public land tlthat anyone can hunt. It's rugged hunting but has deer and bear with some big ones of each species taken annually.

I love venison, and have taken multiple deer in the Adirondacks. Have taken 2 bears, and wouldn't shoot another. Not a fan of bear meat.
 
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Black bear in Oklahoma? I'm rather ignorant of that state, but that seems like the last place I would choose to bear hunt unless I was a resident. I'm not sure If you wanted to hunt both bear and deer at the same time, but I can't think of any states where the seasons overlap in any firearms/muzzleloader seasons.

If you were looking for a trophy black bear, I would look to Canada. There are good areas in the USA, but most of them require many years of preference points. In the USA, one great option is Minnesota. Much of the best areas are many years to draw, but there is a lot of great hunting to be had in the no-quota area (most of the state), with no draw for tags. You can buy them at any time. The season runs from September 1st until I think the second week in October. Baiting is the common method, and recommended. There are very few restrictions.

For whitetail, there are very few bad states. Basically any state in the eastern half of the USA has huge bucks, and tons of deer numbers. For obvious reasons, you could discount the super urban states and areas on the east coast. There are some states that are known mostly for high dollar hunting leases, and some more known for public land. The high dollar states would be Texas, Illinois, Iowa, and a few others. Good public land states would be Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and more. In general you can use a muzzleloader during the firearms season if you wish, and there is also usually a special muzzleloader only season too. Wisconsin is often considered the best state in the nation for record bucks, and for good reason. There is also decent competition in the state, but also fair amount of public land. Minnesota is also top tier, but doesn't have the same reputation. There is lots of competition for the two week firearms season, but the muzzleloader season is very free. Minnesota is unique in that the firearms season happens during the peak of the rut. Most states are archery seasons during the peak. Minnesota muzzleloader season was November 28th to December 13th this year. Half the time you luck out with warm weather. The other half it turns out to be brutal. If you can't handle hunting in heavy snow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, this isn't the season for you. The MN firearms season is early November, and is rarely that cold.

The plains states, ND, SD, NE, KS are a hidden treat. They are very open terrain, but hold great deer. It has more of a western style hunting feel. ND and SD especially have a tremendous amount of public land. ND doesn't technically have that much public land, but any land that is not posted "no hunting" is open to public hunting. Of course you can always ask land owners for permission, which is a great way to go.
 

fleener

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Iowa has very nice whitetails, however no bears.

Iowa's tag are not cheap for non residents. That is due to the demand of non residents wanting to come to Iowa and hunt.

Iowa also does not have a huge amount of public land.

However, Southern Iowa is hilly and has some very large tract of public land with very good deer populations. Shipping a tanned deer hide should not be a problem. It is simply leather goods.

If you are wanting to hunt Iowa you can hunt during shotgun season with a ML. I dont recommend it as there are a lot of people hunting and IMO it is not safe. There is a late season ML and it starts just before Christmas and it ends on 01/10 this year.

I hunt the late ML season and there is very little pressure. The down side is that it is cold and can be very cold and the deer have been hunted hard during the prior shotgun seasons.

For bears you will need to hunt over bait or hunt in a location that you can see to spot and stalk.

Fleener
 
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Iowa has very nice whitetails, however no bears.

Iowa's tag are not cheap for non residents. That is due to the demand of non residents wanting to come to Iowa and hunt.

Iowa also does not have a huge amount of public land.

However, Southern Iowa is hilly and has some very large tract of public land with very good deer populations. Shipping a tanned deer hide should not be a problem. It is simply leather goods.

If you are wanting to hunt Iowa you can hunt during shotgun season with a ML. I dont recommend it as there are a lot of people hunting and IMO it is not safe. There is a late season ML and it starts just before Christmas and it ends on 01/10 this year.

I hunt the late ML season and there is very little pressure. The down side is that it is cold and can be very cold and the deer have been hunted hard during the prior shotgun seasons.

For bears you will need to hunt over bait or hunt in a location that you can see to spot and stalk.

Fleener
I would try northeast wildness outfitters web. sight they have everything, state of maine.
 

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