Top 10 Eastern States With The Most Public Hunting Land

The biggest issue facing hunters today is access.

Finding places to hunt are getting harder and harder. Some states have more public land than others so if you are looking for a place to hunt and do not have the money for an outfitter or a lease this list will give you a place to start.

This list is broken down by percentage not acreage. A few smaller states made the list due to the amount of public land compared to the states total size. Although most public land is open to hunting check the state regulations before hunting a piece of property.

10. West Virginia

Country Roads take me home to a place where I can go hunting. With large swaths of the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forest the Mountaineer State comes in at 16.5{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}.

9. Virginia

Pretty much the farther away you get from Washington DC you get the more public land there is. The George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forest cover the western edge of old dominion checks in with 17.1{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

8. Arkansas

The Ozark and the Ouachita National Forests make up a huge portion of the state’s public land it will not be hard finding a place to hunt. Arkansas slides in with 17.3{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

7. Wisconsin

Famous for large whitetails you can find a place to hunt them in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in the north. The Badger State comes in with 17.8{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

6. New Hampshire

The smallest state on our list but do not let that fool you White Mountain National Forest will give you plenty of room to roam. The Granite state tips the scales at 18{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}.


5. New Jersey

It is not just mafia and gangsters the state also contains a lot of state forest with Wharton being one of the biggest. The Garden state walks in with 18.3{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

4. Minnesota

I love big states with lots of public land. You will have no trouble finding ground in Superior National Forest. The Land of 1000 lakes flies in with 23.5{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

3. Michigan

In the upper peninsula has a load of land open for hunting either the Hiawatha National Forest or Sault Saint Marie State Forest are excellent choices. The Wolverine state comes in with 28.1{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}.

2. Florida

I was a little surprised by this, but when you look at the map you see the state is littered with state forests and it also contains the Ocala National Forest. The Sunshine State stays bright with 29.2{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

1. New York

The state is more than just a city. It also boasts a lot of public land. State forests and wilderness areas in the Catskills and Adirondacks puts the Liberty State at number one with 37.1{5c20afc010e65415aecac9ea1262ea64a0924a29c29fc9ad7cafd2eeb769a435}

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Source for the list is Steve Rinella’s The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game Vol. 1 Big Game