By Mark Kenyon

This past Friday I enjoyed our first warm and sunny spring day by sipping a cold beer on the deck and reading the latest issue of Field & Stream. This month the main feature in the magazine was focused on “What’s Next”, and as part of that section, various F&S contributors offered bold predictions regarding the future of hunting and fishing in America. One of those predictions came from my friend Scott Bestul, as he shared his belief that six whitetail sleeper states will awaken, as traditional super powers such as Iowa and Illinois decline in quality.

Check out the photo below in which you can see Scott’s full predictions.


I was particularly interested and delighted by his predictions because of the fact that my home state of Michigan was included!

That said, I’ve got to agree with Scott on his prediction regarding Michigan, at least in part. I 100% agree that my home state is brimming with potential, and it’s true that we’re definitely moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately though, I still see a lot of roadblocks. APRs in the Northern part of the state will certainly help with the quality of the deer herd up there, but a recent attempt to implement APRs in lower Michigan, where most the hunters and deer are, was shot down. That said, while more and more people are passing on young bucks, there is still a huge number of hunters shooting the first buck they see on the November 15th firearm opener. And until we either enact state-wide APRs or limit hunters to one buck tag, I don’t see Michigan moving into the upper echelon of whitetail states.

I hope I’m wrong, and I’m hopeful that we’ll continue moving in the right direction, but we’re definitely still a work in progress.

That all said, what do you think? Agree with these predictions? What other states do you think should be on this list? 

Let us know in the comments!