Top Hunting Seasons

By FarWide December 22, 2020

Hunting is one of the most traditional and sought after sports in the US. For many pro hunters, it’s not just a tool for outdoor enjoyment and wildlife management but a way of life. Always a favored means of recreation, it paves the way for sustaining the natural wildlife population. Strict federal laws for points of confinement and seasons form the guiding lines for hunter activities in different states. Our experts at Farwide, have put together some valuable information if you are planning to go hunt during one of the popular hunting seasons in US.

In this article, we learn about the main hunting seasons in US and also discuss the licensing, rules, and regulations that are important to make your big gaming plan a hit. 

Why are Seasons Regulated?

Across most states, the process of assigning seasons is triggered by a lot-drawing or ballot process with focus on parties wishing to make use of federal public land. Once the seasons are allocated to specific states, authorities specify the hunting practices to be followed. The nature of permissible firearms and ammunition is also laid down for hunters. As in the past, strict rules about seasons for big and small gaming in the US will be in force in 2021. It’s possible that few new hunting regulation plans may be enforced to protect the ecosystem from getting distorted post the lockdowns. 

US Hunting Seasons
US Hunting Seasons

US States and Earliest Hunting Seasons

StateSeason Starts From, Main Attractions
FloridaJuly, antlered and antlerless deer
MaineLast week of September, deer hunting (firearms, archery)
VirginiaLast week of September.
Michigan Beginning of October
OklahomaEnd of october, elk, deer, antelope
IndianaMid-October, fox hunting
Colorado Last week of October, elks and deer
AlabamaMid november
US Hunting Seasons

Season Dates 2020-2021

Deer archeryStatewide Sept. 12 – Jan. 10
Extended Deer Archery (Clayton, Cobb, Bibb, Chatham, Clarke, DeKalb, Gwinnett & Rockdale, Forsyth, Fulton, only)Sept. 12 – Jan. 31
Primitive Weapons Deer Oct. 10 – Jan. 10
Youth Firearms DeerOct. 10 – Oct. 16
Firearms DeerOct. 17 – Jan. 10
Bear- Northern ZonePrimitive Weapons: Oct. 10 -Jan. 10 Archery: Sept. 12 – Jan. 10 Firearms: Oct. 17 – Jan. 10
Bear-Central ZoneFirearms: Dec. 19 
Bear-Southern ZoneFirearms: Sept. 17 – 19 & 24 – 26 Oct. 1 – 3 & 8 – 10
Turkey- Statewide Mar. 20 – May. 15 (2021)
Dove –  Statewide Sept. 5 – 30 Nov. 21 – Nov. 29 Dec. 8 – Jan. 21
Species Hunting Seasons

State-wise Hunting Attractions

South Carolina If you are looking for velvet bucks with your gun in place, then this is the only state to enjoy your sport. The season begins in August.

FloridaDeer hunts are a big thing in Florida, the Sunshine State. Start your outdoors sessions at the far end of July with antler less and antlered species. 

Idaho If you want your hands on the largest population of whitetails in the US then head to Idaho in early August, you will not be disappointed! 

Nebraska With a lot on the cards for amateur and professional deer hunters, Nebraska is best visited in the beginning of September.

WyomingAntelopes or deer? This state has it all and is worth a call because of its earliest deer seasons, beginning September.

Kentucky Boasting of a grand deer population, Kentucky beckons hunters from the beginning of September. 

North Dakota Whitetail hunting in Dakota is forever on the list of serious game hunters. Here, the season begins in the first week of September.

Montana Haven for deer hunters, Montana starts with its hunting season at the beginning of September.

Nocturnal Hunting can be Fun!

regulations for night hunting in the US
Night Hunting in US

The regulations for night hunting in the US are state specific. While some have extremely stringent laws making the act illegal, other states permit hunters to carry night vision equipment. 

States That Prohibit Night Hunting

It’s illegal to hunt at night in the states of Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, South Dakota and Oklahoma. It is also illegal to use night vision tools in these states. 

States that Allow Hunting of Animals at Night

States Games Allowed
ColoradoAll foxes, bobcats, coyotes, beavers, skunk.
DelawareFrogs, opossums, raccoons, muskrats, otters, minks, foxes.
GeorgiaCoyotes, raccoons, opossums, foxes, alligators.
IowaBobcats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, opossums, coyotes.
MississippiRaccoons, beavers, coyotes, opossums, nutrias, foxes, bobcats.
MissouriGreen frogs, raccoons, bullfrogs, furbearers.
PennsylvaniaCoyote, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, opossums, skunk, minks, weasels.
New YorkOpossums, weasels, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes.
South DakotaFoxes, badgers, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, minks, opossums.
TennesseeRaccoons, opossums, rabbits, bullfrogs, foxes, and furbearers.
TexasMountain lions, bobcats, rabbits, beavers, ring-tailed cats, frogs, coyotes, turtles, armadillos, porcupines, opossums, muskrats, skunks, ground squirrels, minks, badgers, otters, prairie dogs, raccoons, nutrias.

Rules of Shooting Sports

Nationwide as well as local state rules govern hunting in the US. The most important violations/ offenses that are considered to be equivalent to poaching are:

  • Killing or collecting species that are in the endangered list according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, IUCN, international treaties like CITES, the Endangered Species Act, etc. 
  • Going about hunting and fishing activities without a valid state license in place. 
  • Usage of restricted machine guns, snare traps, explosives, poison, nets, and pitfall traps, etc. 
  • Shooting game from a vehicle or aircraft that’s moving. 
  • Use of decoys, recorded calls or baiting via food to increase the probability of kill, etc. 
  • Hunting in confined areas.
  • Leading animals to restricted properties or those under the ownership of other people. 

Make the Most of Game Hunting Seasons

Despite strict seasons and regulations, you can always make your way to places where hunting is legal. It’s critical to understand that restricted seasons reduce endangerment and permit natural hibernation and predation to occur. So, steer clear of places that prohibit and mitigate the risks of being fined. 

There are ample hunting opportunities in US with deer hunting, big game hunting, elk hunting, and hunting of turkeys and ducks being mainstream.

Here are a few deer scouting tips for a successful hunting season.

Different states and regions in US, efficiently manage the hunting laws, methods, and arrangements. You can check out the official websites of the states you are interested in, for more in-depth information.

Farwide has introduced the first map-based search engine for the outdoors and provides all the information you need for state-wise managed hunting, ethics, licenses, methods, and laws. Our experts help you carefully plan your hunting trip to provide a unique experience of a lifetime.

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