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Best States for Bow Hunting

Best States for Bow Hunting

Posted by Bridget Donnellan on 4th Aug 2023

There are many factors to consider when looking for a place to bow hunt. Generally, if you don’t have your own property to hunt you’ll want to find somewhere with a significant amount of public land. And for a bowhunter, you’ll want to consider places that prioritize giving license to bowhunting over gun hunting. Between having space to spread out, and less competition from noisier gun hunters that may spook your prey, this will give you the highest chances of success. But, where might you find that perfect combination? Just take a look at these four states:

West Virginia

If you’re willing to work for your shot, then you’ll find plenty of luck in West Virginia. Specifically, the counties of Logan, McDowell, Wyoming, and Mingo are all bow-only areas, and have been for around 40 years. Thanks to the lack of gun hunting in this area, there’s a strong population of local fauna including whitetail and turkey.


They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and you may find the bucks are too. The state has around 92,000 acres of bow-only public lands, providing plenty of room for whitetail deer to mature.


The great Bluegrass state has around 143,000 acres of wildlife management areas throughout the state. While the state does have a very limited gun season, you’ll still find plenty of success with a bow as well.


Deer in Arkansas only get exposure to gun hunting for a brief two days in early November. Besides that, bow hunters will find plenty of opportunity on the roughly 47,000 acres of wildlife management areas. The state does have specific drawings for certain areas though, such as the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie multi-use area which has a drawing for 40 tags.


If your main priority is whitetail deer, consider the 100,000 plus acres of bow-only pristine Missouri whitetail habitat. Missouri is a big draw for out-of-state hunters looking to harvest top-quality bucks.

While we couldn’t add every state to the list, these four options provide a good overview of some great places for bowhunting. Wherever you choose to bow hunt, make sure to apply for the proper license, stay safe, and know the local hunting laws. And of course, enjoy your time in the great outdoors.