Ahhhhh, do you smell that? The smell of fresh air and evergreen trees, the glistening earth after a morning rain. That’s the very smell of deer season among us, friends. We know you are just as excited for this season as we are, so we wanted to share all of our top insights for the 2021 deer hunting seasons in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, and Kentucky. Below you will find our simplified forecast, dependent on the state, with additional resources to brush up on before climbing up into the stand.
Why, you ask? Because just like us, you’re a difference maker. Coming into this season as prepared as possible with the most local and strategic information will help you get the most bang for your buck. The choices you make before your season dramatically increase your herd potential. We believe that too, which is why we made Buck Grits. A good feed can make or break your season, and with Buck Grits you never have to worry about the health of your herd. Not only does Buck Grits attract whitetail deer, but it packs the herd with rich nutrients that sustain and grow it year round. What more could you ask for in a deer feed? While we let you ponder that question, we will leave you to our 2021 deer hunting forecasts below. Happy hunting, friends!
With deer numbers across the state at historic highs of 1.5 million whitetail, your chances of scoring big this deer season in Missouri are fairly high if you play your cards right. Jason Isabelle, cervid program supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, agrees that this season provides the opportunity to harvest some trophy bucks. He also addresses the antler-point restriction in many northern Missouri counties, and how this will significantly help increase the age structure of the buck segment of the population.
One thing to note though, is this is dependent on what area you plan on hunting in. Recent research indicates that Northeastern Missouri and Southeastern Missouri show the lowest number of deer, but that is not cause for concern. For hunters in these two areas, we recommend using a deer feeding chart to track the best times you need to be ready to guarantee you have the best luck possible during your hunt. For more information on feeding times, visit https://www.deerfeedingchart.com/. The potential is still great in these two areas, just with steeper competition. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you are on your a-game.
To learn more about Missouri’s 2021 deer hunting forecast, visit
In the last several years, trophy potential has been slowly improving for Arkansas, making it a pretty solid state if you’re planning on hunting some big bucks this deer season. During the 2020-2021 season, Arkansas saw a record deer harvest of 216,835, so we are predicting the 2021-2022 harvest is going to be even greater.
Ralph Meeker, deer program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, states that even in these growing seasons, it is still vital to prepare for your season as soon as possible. This is due to the growing demand of hunters, as well as the need for outdoor equipment, ammunition and hunting land. Because of this, we think it’s important to check out the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regularly to stay up to date on game news in your region. To learn more, you can visit at https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/deer/.
To learn more about Arkansas’s 2021 deer hunting forecast, visit https://www.realtree.com/deer-hunting/antler-nation/2021/arkansas-deer-hunting.
During the 2020-2021 Illinois deer hunting seasons, hunters harvested a total of 162,752 deer which was the most statewide since 2012. Experts believe that the 2021-2022 season is shaping up to be just as good, if not better. This is great news for Illinois hunters across the state. Peter Schlichting, deer project manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, agrees and even more so believes that Illinois firearm hunters should start to expect rutting behavior especially during the first firearm season, November 19 through 21.
One thing to keep an eye on though, region permitting, is the drought slowly increasing in Northeastern Illinois. These conditions have the ability to influence deer behavior and herd conditions across these particular regions, and hunters should be aware of this and spend extra time scouting and setting up locations closest to water for the most action. To keep an eye on the situation, visit https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?IL.
For more information regarding Illinois’s 2021 deer hunting forecast, visit https://www.realtree.com/deer-hunting/antler-nation/2021/illinois-deer-hunting.
Oh Kentucky, our old home for trophy bucks. With an estimated population of 1 million whitetail deer, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife specialist, Kyle Sams, says to expect an even greater deer season this coming year. So good, that we’re predicting a successful harvest in every region of Kentucky. This prediction is following the 2020-2021 deer season, which harvested 141,630 deer, allowing Kentucky its fifth-highest harvest total on record, surpassing the 10-year average of 137,008.
Our tip for the best possible chances of securing that trophy buck in Kentucky this season is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. The more educated and secure you are about the area you’re hunting in, the more successful your chances are this season. If you are still unsure about your hunting location, we’ve provided a link to check out some of the most underrated public spots in Kentucky. You can thank us later 😉 . Visit https://kyoutdoorstv.com/five-underrated-areas-for-kentucky-public-land-deer-hunting/ to learn more about these spots.
For more information regarding Kentucky’s 2021 deer hunting forecast, visit https://www.realtree.com/deer-hunting/antler-nation/2021/kentucky-deer-hunting.