This past October, I enjoyed a terrific deer hunt in western North Dakota, which is a state many hunters overlook in their planning. There are several reasons why they shouldn't. For starters, this state allocates about 700 statewide any-deer archery tags to non-residents every year. These tags are good for one whitetail or mule deer. The state also sells an unlimited number of non-resident whitetail and antelope bow tags. North Dakota produces good trophies of all three species. As for firearms hunters in search of these animals, they are missing a good bet if they don't look into the outfitter tags that go on sale here each year. The outfitter I used on my own recent hunt gets some of these tags and he doesn't have a waiting list of any sort. I'll have more to say about them in a moment. First, though, let me give you my outfitter's name. He's Billy Freitag and the name of his company is Little Missouri River and Badlands Guide Service. He is based in Dickinson, North Dakota, west of Bismarck, but he has leased private lands in several areas of the state, which allows him to cater to the goals of a variety of hunters. He offers both stand hunting and spot-and-stalk hunting, and can get even the latter hunters into reasonable archery range.
One reason he can do that is, he really studies his hunting areas closely. During my hunt, I remember, Freitag pointed out what he said was a favorite escape route of deer. Sure enough, no more than a few moments later, two bucks that had been bedded nearby got enough of our talking and ran straight for the escape route Freitag had just shown me. Had I been posted there, I would almost certainly have gotten a shot. The goal of my trip was to take a respectable whitetail, but I had an any-deer permit and I couldn't resist a few stalk attempts on the mulie bucks we were seeing. I was able to get to within 40 yards on two occasions, but I need to get to within 20 yards to........(continued)