These are the places where you can pack your hunting camp on your back and have thousands of acres of public land to roam at will. And the happy news is that the hunting - for elk or mule deer or even wild turkeys - often gets better the farther from civilization you roam.
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana The timbered flanks of the Absaroka Range are full of screaming bulls in September. Click ahead to see the map.
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana This vast landscape of ridges and alpine plateaus stretches from Yellowstone National Park to Montana’s Yellowstone River.
Medicine Bow Range, Wyoming/Colorado You don’t need a packtrain to access the sub-alpine elk and mule deer hunting in this cross-border range. Click ahead to see the map.
Medicine Bow Range, Wyoming/Colorado Drive Highway 230 to the tree line and backpack north for Wyoming’s best elk hunting or south into Colorado; just make sure you have the appropriate hunting licenses.
Ozark National Forest, Arkansas Ridge after ridge of white oak and hickory are home to sizeable populations of wild turkeys, some of the savviest whitetails in the country and numerous black bears. Click ahead to see the map.
Ozark National Forest, Arkansas Take a break from hunting to fish in the remote limestone-canyon tributaries of the White, Mulberry and Buffalo rivers.
George Washington National Forest, Virginia Along the adjacent Jefferson National Forest, this is one of the largest swaths of public land in the East. Click ahead to see the map.
George Washington National Forest, Virginia Most of its 1.8 million acres is just off Interstate 81. The best deer hunting is along the wild-oak-and-hickory Shenandoah Ridge of the West Virginia border.
Sturgeon River, Michigan In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, deer season is like a holiday and a homecoming wrapped around a New Year’s party. Lost in the hubbub are some of the best wilderness whitetails in the nation. Click ahead to see the map.
Sturgeon River, Michigan Float the remote, wild Sturgeon or Indiana river for a classic Big Woods hunt.
Black Kettle National Grasslands, Oklahoma Hunters are drawn to the scattered blocks of sandhills and scrub oak by Rio Grande turkeys and whitetails, but they return for the quail. Click ahead to see the map.
Black Kettle National Grasslands, Oklahoma In peak production years, the 30,000-acre refuge holds nice numbers of bobwhites and some remarkably good deer for hunters who hike far from access points.
Klamath Mountains, Oregon Blacktail deer grow big in the dark cedar glades of Oregon’s Coast Range. Click ahead to see the map.
Klamath Mountains, Oregon Backpack into the Siskiyou National Forest for unpressured deer, but plan on an early-season archery hunt for the best weather. If you get rained out, switch to salmon or steelhead on the Illinois, Chetco or Rogue rivers.
Selway River, Idaho The largest designated wilderness in the Lower 48 starts on the Selway River, just over the divide from Missoula, Montana. Elk and deer hunting here is tough, but this may be the best destination in the West for predators: black bears, mountain lions and gray wolves. Click ahead to see the map.
Selway River, Idaho Pick up a pair of licenses for bears and lions. Got another great adventure spot that’s off the grid? Leave comments below and tell us about it.