The South’s Best Spots for Hunting
Much of the hunting you will find in the South will be in wide-open spaces. A lot of it is public land, spanning from the forests of Texas, which has more than a million acres of public land, to the mountains of Virginia.
Having the right tools for hunting animals such as deer, ducks and hogs will make all the difference and help ensure that you fill the deep freeze after a trip.
Rifle hunting in broad spaces requires a fast-action, dependable First Focal Plane reticle scope for hold overshooting. Whitetail deer and hogs (don’t forget this destructive beast) are hunted on private farm and ranch land. For this type of hunting, a hard-hitting round like the .308 Winchester is going to be key, offering plenty of good energy delivery at mid to longer ranges in every dedicated hunting cartridge choice. Some rifle manufacturers even offer the .308 in lever-action, with a solid top strap to mount optics, and of course, the AR10 or AR15 platform guns are fantastic as well for this style of game.
Optics for hunting in this environment need to be reliable. Dialing-in for elevation and windage may work against you, but hold overshooting is right where it’s at for whitetail deer.
The ranges and distances in the South are not going to stretch as far as out West, where you can shoot across a canyon, so high magnification is not as critical. With the South having much more dense areas, an illuminated reticle is helpful for lower light and will assist the shooter in distinguishing the sight picture faster and getting on target.
The great state of Kentucky is the place to go in the South for whitetail hunting. About 20 years ago, Kentucky’s secret of monster whitetail deer was leaked to the world on the Internet. How can you not brag when you are taking game the likes of those scored in Kentucky?
Sorry to the locals about sending more hunters to their well-kept secret, but Kentucky is widely known in the top five states for trophy bucks. Over 200 Boone and Crocket bucks have been found in the last five years, and they hang out in alfalfa fields, the perfect grassfed and open range catch.
Just remember not to combine Kentucky bourbon with hunting. Save the hooch for dinner or an evening around the campfire.
Mississippi is not known for huge deer, but lots of deer—so many they have very liberal limits. The estimated deer population is around 1.8 million, so the state needs to thin that a bit, and lucky for those of us that enjoy hunting, we can get them and eat well all winter long.
If taking free-range, high-quality venison is your goal, Mississippi is your destination hunting state. Mississippi is not overly populated with hunters and populated with plenty of game. How can it get better than that?
For gear, make sure your rifle is good to spend some time in a humid climate, and your scope needs to be able to fight the elements because, down South, the weather is volatile.
Your clothing will need to fit the climate during hunting season as well, along with survival and game processing gear.
Lastly, make sure you are in shape to hunt in this part of the U.S. It may be hotter and much more humid than you are used to and conditioned to hunt. Take the time to read about the area, watch the weather, talk to locals and find out what the standard hunting conditions are, so that you can show up prepared for some good hunting.