Black Hills National Forest
: northeast Wyoming
Size: 175,471 acres
ZIP: 82729

Whitetails number only 51,000 in Wyoming, small potatoes compared to muleys, antelope and elk. (The big three combined outnumber whitetails 10 to 1.) Most top-of-the-crop 150-class bucks come off wooded creek bottoms, which are all privately owned, says Jeff Obrecht, public information office for Wyoming Game and Fish. However, bucks with a 20 to 22 inch outside spread are possible in the Black Hills, especially on steep slopes and rocky outcrops where few hunters are willing to venture. Whitetail numbers on the rugged federal spread (which encompasses another 1 million acres in neighboring South Dakota) have soared from 40,000 to 60,000 in the last five years. A dry summer likely means that hunters will find deer concentrated on available watering sites during the September archery season, though fall rains should make water a non-issue by the November firearms opener.