The US Hunting Guide That’ll Take You Places!
Hunting has been an essential part of adventurous activities in the US, the hotspot for hunters looking for their strong dose of adrenaline (all across the year). If you are new to the big gaming hunting scene in the US, get used to experiencing the pleasures of authentic American outback as you go about the popular game hunt and shooting sports.
The most impressive thing about this outdoor activity is that you have a vast menu of options to choose from. The pleasures of tracking animals in different states of the US, with different adventures to their name, has to be experienced to be understood in entirety. Here, we present an overview of hunting activities in the US. We also discuss the type of clothing, hunting gear and arms needed to make your game sessions more successful.
Want more? We also have a quick synopsis of the places and terrains, tips on preparing, licensing, tools and ammunition, seasons, etc. to steer you forward in your outdoor sprees.
A Closer Look at Hunting in the US
Did you know that over 15 million people took part in this adventure sport in the year 2017 and the numbers have been on steady rise in the US ever since? Wildlife viewing and gaming are coveted sports and recreation activities in the United States. Even though hunting regulations in the US are on state-wise basis, each protected species hunter (across the US) requires a license compulsorily.
With over 15.49 million licensed hunters in 2017, US is way ahead of other nations in terms of percentage rate participation, household income spent on fishing and big game tools, young adult participation, etc. In 2017, about 2.1 million adult participants (in the age bracket of 18 and 24 years) were involved in this activity in the U.S.
The United States presents over two dozen species group of big game, with upland birds, small game and waterfowl thrown in for added fun. From the deserts of Southwest to the northern Rockies and its snowy heights, or the forested areas of East and Midwest US, there’s no dearth of terrains to hunt down game animals.
Private and Public Big Home Properties
You will find plentiful game animals as you scour hunting alternatives across the states. Besides, there are numerous hunting properties – both private and public – to choose from. With unique gaming experiences to boast of, these properties have the most popular natural attractions of America on their plate.
Legal Hunting of Animals in US
Is Big Game Hunting your First Passion?
Different states having different regulations about the animals that can be legally hunted. The list of animals is quite long and exhaustive. You can hunt imported exotic animals and a plethora of free range, wild animals. Whether you want pronghorn, bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain goat, white-tailed deer, moose, mule deer, elk, or the famed mountain lion, there’s a different adventure everywhere!
Here’s a Quick List to Guide Your Hunting Spree in US:
|Big Games||Small Games|
|Elk hunting, caribou, moose and various deer species||Numerous species of rabbits and squirrels|
|Bison hunting, musk ox, pronghorn, feral cattle||Wolf, coyote, foxes, bobcat, lynx|
|Polar, black and brown bear||Opossum, ground hog, woodchuck, beaver, muskrat, rattle snake, badgers, fisher|
|Boa constrictors, wild turkey, javalina, feral hogs||Wolverine, otter, skunks, mink, ermine, weasels|
|Mountain lion, alligators, etc.||Marmot, bullfrog, armadillo, racoon, prairie dog, nutria|
Planning your Trip
Laws, Visas, Hunting regulations in the US
You require a visa for entry in the US. However, if you are a national of Canada or Bermuda, or the participating nations in the Visa Waiver Program, you will not need a visa for travel duration of 90 days or less.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of your planned departure from United States. In case you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you would still need an e-passport.
- As a visiting hunter, you will mandatorily require a federal permit for your firearms and ammunition. This can be availed in advance of your arrival via the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and firearms (ATF).
- You need to file the ATF Form 6NIA for successful application of the ATF permit (the form can be availed from the import office of ATF’s Firearms and Explosives.)
Tags and Licenses
- United States has state-issued licenses for hunting within those specific state only.
- Additional permits for certain animals, called tags (say deer tags) are mandatory in many states.
- If you have a license issued by your home country, you will be eligible to buy a hunting license in the US.
- Some states have made it mandatory to prove that you have done a hunter education course before you can buy the license.
- A Federal Migratory Bird Stamp is a must for migratory birds, ducks and doves included.
Gear for Upping your Game
An insulated and .270 coveralls will be a good choice for tracking a white tail rut (but not doves!). For bird gaming in duck season, in case your single projectile ends up hitting a fist-sized bird that’s flying at 45 mph you are likely to miss with this gear and shoot someone. Also, the sweating will drive you crazy. To escape the concerns of hunter memes, go for a tee shirt and a 20-gauge shotgun. It’s best to take up a hunter education course to know about the most appropriate gear.
- You may want to deploy dogs for retrieving your game, to chase rabbits, retrieve quails and ducks, spot squirrels, etc.
- Attractants and cover scents? Doe or fox urine may do the job well.
- Use decoys, calls, GPS, game cameras equipped with night vision, ATVs and other hunting toys to plan ahead.
Firearms and Ammo
Once you’ve completed a hunter safety course, you would know the difference between and utility of rifles (as measured in caliber), rifle cartridges, shotgun shells, and shotguns (as measured in gauges) for your planned hunt and shooting for accuracy. Invest in the best ammunition and firearms to add the most feathers in your hat.
Tools for Hunting
Looking for head screw driver and other tools? There’s a vast range of color, length, type of metal, finish, manual/automatic, weight, and other metrics to consider. As in guns, it’s all about personal comfort and what you prefer.
Hunting Seasons in the US
Seasons come and go in the US with a single thread running through them all. You can look forward to a lot of adventure, fun and big hauls in whichever season you choose to hunt in any state, the turkey season included.
|States||Hunting Season begins in|
|Virginia||Last week of September|
|Maine||Last week of September|
|Michigan||Beginning of October|
|Oklahoma||End of the October|
|Colorado||Last week of October|
|Alabama||Middle of November|
The journey into the terrains of the US starts from here. Going forward, we will keep updating you with more informative blogs on hunting in the US. Do keep coming back to relive the experiences of others in your league, understand the ways to hunt your favorite game big game hunting activities, and so forth.
All the best!