Draw a line north of Idaho’s Salmon River and you’re looking at some of the best public-land trophy whitetail hunting anywhere. Mountainous country makes for difficult access, and therefore big deer. And resident hunters, focused on elk and mule deer, often view whitetails as being second-class game, meaning you’ll have little competition. One option is to climb, searching for deer at elevations of 6,000 feet and above. Expect low deer densities, with your best chances during the rut when bucks are covering lots of ground. The other tactic is to hunt near cultivated ranch fields at lower elevations. Frequently there are enough BLM holdings adjacent to private land that it’s possible to ambush deer coming from or going to feed. Contact Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Dept. FS, Box 25, Boise, ID 83707; 208-334-3700;