Deer hunters know Montana for its muleys, but the state has a rich whitetail population, especially along the Yellowstone and Musselshell riverbottoms, in the Badlands, and in the northeast. For the largest trophy bucks, though, head to the northwest. Counties such as Flathead, Lincoln, Mineral, and Missoula dominate the record book, turning out the state’s top two typicals, including Thomas Dellwo’s 1993/8 from Missoula, and the third best nontypical, a 2417/8 from Flathead County.

Mule deer are common in the higher country of this region as well. Some of the state’s biggest fork-antlered deer have come from Flathead and Sanders Counties.

Hunt during the rut in November and get away from the roads. There’s plenty of room to roam in the Lolo, Lewis & Clark, Flathead, and Kootenai National Forests.

Nonresident license: $328 ($775 for an outfitter-sponsored license)