Top Hunting Seasons
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 States and Earliest Hunting Seasons
|State||Season Starts From, Main Attractions|
|Florida||July, antlered and antlerless deer|
|Maine||Last week of September, deer hunting (firearms, archery)|
|Virginia||Last week of September.|
|Michigan||Beginning of October|
|Oklahoma||End of october, elk, deer, antelope|
|Indiana||Mid-October, fox hunting|
|Colorado||Last week of October, elks and deer|
Season Dates 2020-2021
|Deer archery||Statewide 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 Deer||Oct. 10 – Oct. 16|
|Firearms Deer||Oct. 17 – Jan. 10|
|Bear- Northern Zone||Primitive Weapons: Oct. 10 -Jan. 10 Archery: Sept. 12 – Jan. 10 Firearms: Oct. 17 – Jan. 10|
|Bear-Central Zone||Firearms: Dec. 19|
|Bear-Southern Zone||Firearms: 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|
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.
Florida– Deer 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.
Wyoming– Antelopes 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!
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
|Colorado||All foxes, bobcats, coyotes, beavers, skunk.|
|Delaware||Frogs, opossums, raccoons, muskrats, otters, minks, foxes.|
|Georgia||Coyotes, raccoons, opossums, foxes, alligators.|
|Iowa||Bobcats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, opossums, coyotes.|
|Mississippi||Raccoons, beavers, coyotes, opossums, nutrias, foxes, bobcats.|
|Missouri||Green frogs, raccoons, bullfrogs, furbearers.|
|Pennsylvania||Coyote, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, opossums, skunk, minks, weasels.|
|New York||Opossums, weasels, bobcats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes.|
|South Dakota||Foxes, badgers, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, minks, opossums.|
|Tennessee||Raccoons, opossums, rabbits, bullfrogs, foxes, and furbearers.|
|Texas||Mountain 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.
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.