Beginner Guide to Hunting in America

For a hunter, there are few things more rewarding than a catch after a long day’s hunt. In America, hunting is a tradition loved and practiced by many. As a beginner, it can be hard to know where to start or what to expect. To make sure that you have the best experience out there in the wild, we’ve put together some tips for beginners. So read on, and get ready for an adventure!

Hunting Types

There are so many types of hunting. One of the most popular types in America is big game hunting. It involves deers, bears, elk, and wild boar. Bird hunting is one of the few that can be done throughout the entire year, and dog handlers hunt side-by-side with dogs. This needs good training and teamwork. Small game hunting is also widely popular and wild boar hunting can be done throughout the year. Bait hunting requires great patience and skill and active hunting means moving quickly in long distances. Lastly there is recreational hunting, usually done on the weekends with classy hunting gear. 

Understand your quarry

The animal being hunted is called a quarry. If you are new to hunting in America, you must know your quarry. No matter if you’re hunting deer, ducks, or bears, there are certain things hunters should know about prey. This includes how and where they live. This will make your hunt more enjoyable and rewarding. You’ll be able to spend more time outdoors rather than searching Google Maps for which roads go where.

understanding your quarry will allow you to know the prey and weapons youll need for your hunt.

You will also want to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding hunting. This can vary depending on your state, county, and the local area. For example, in Iowa, it is illegal to hunt deer with a rifle larger than a .22 caliber rimfire. This also goes for a shotgun larger than 10 gauge. In Illinois, it is illegal to use anything but copper bullets while bow hunting deer. And in Texas, it is unlawful for anyone under the age of 12 to go squirrel hunting without an adult present. To hunt in America, you’ll need to find out the laws for each state and county.

Get the necessary license

To hunt in America, you’ll need to get a license. It is also critical that you obtain the appropriate hunting license for the state(s) in which you will be hunting. If not, there’s no point in even leaving home! You can get your license at the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. To get more information about how to buy American state hunting licenses you can check out the website. 

Types of Hunting Licenses

There are two types of licenses, which are state and federal. State licenses are for hunting within the issued state. Federal licenses allow hunters to travel throughout all 50 states with their weapons. This is only if they have an appropriate permit for each state they plan on visiting.

How to get a federal license 

There are some steps you need to take to get a federal license or permit. You must first register as an amateur or pro hunter with the state Fish & Wildlife department. This process requires proving that you have hunted at least five times before. You don’t need a weapon when doing so—and paying $50-$100 depending on where in America you are.

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Grant Funding

If you want a license but can’t afford it, there are other ways. You could apply for grant funding. This can be done through the local community centers or nonprofit organizations. The Red Cross International Aid Program is the ideal place to seek help. Once registered as a hunter, visit a local post office branch counter with proof of residency. Then request one free hunting permit per year. For more permits, it costs $1 each time they’re requested by mail/fax/email/web form submission.

Where to go hunting in America

I’ll briefly mention some of the most popular hunting areas in America. Montana is one of the biggest states in America with a variety of big game and upland birds. You can find mule deer, mountain goats, mountain lions, big horn sheep, turkeys, black bears, pronghorn antelope, and more. Alaska is known for arctic hunting with big game like moose, caribou, and muskox. The best time to go hunting there is in August and October.

Wyoming has large open areas and herds of big game. The most popular species include pronghorn, elk, moose, mule deer, and white-tailed deer. Colorado is famous for its elk as well as amazing views. Like Texas, Georgia is a real hunting state with more than half a million hunters. There are over a million white-tailed deer, guaranteeing you’ll have a successful hunting trip. Other honorable mentions include Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Arizona, and Louisiana. 

Take a safety course

If you’re new to hunting in America, one of the first things you should do is enroll in a hunter safety course. These classes are available in most states, and they teach students how to handle guns safely. A good class will teach about the different types of firearms (rifles, shotguns, etc.). Hunters must know what they’re using before going into the field. This will help avoid accidents from happening. Hunter education courses are available in all states. They provide hunters with the necessary knowledge and certification to legally hunt in America. Each state has particular rules and guidelines regarding hunting. These can be found on the hunting lease website.

taking part in a safety course will help you familiarize yourself with hunting weapons

The instructor will also cover other topics. These include game management methods and the best ways to hunt animals at certain times of the year. For example, deer season tends to run from October through December. It’s also worth noting that any person who carries a firearm needs some way of storing it. So this might be another thing your class goes over.

Find the right location to hunt

How do you choose the right location? 

To find a good hunting spot, you’ll need to look for certain signs. The most crucial thing is to find animal signs. This could be food, tracks, faecal matter, or habitats. Once you are sure there are animals around, you need good timing. Find out if the animals are spotted in the area during the morning, afternoon, or evening.

The site should be safe, and if using a tree stand, the tree must be stable enough to support the hunter and the stand. You need to know which direction the wind is blowing. So that you avoid animals getting a whiff of your scent. Make sure you avoid areas with poisonous plants, poison ivy, or thorny bushes. Lastly, there should be enough space for you to set up equipment, kneel, and shoot. 

Safety and Accessibility

First, consider safety and accessibility. You want to make sure that you have a safe place to hunt. Do not go somewhere where there is no cell phone reception. Or where there might be predators waiting to attack.

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Hunting Laws and Legal breaches

Consider legal matters when choosing your hunting spot. Hunting laws vary from state to state and country to country. So, make sure that what you are doing is legal in the area where you plan on hunting. If it’s not legal (or even if it is), ask yourself if it’s ethical—do you feel comfortable doing this?


Consider how crowded each hunting spot might be before deciding which one will work best for you! The less crowded area is likely going to be better. There’s less of a chance someone could get hurt by another hunter’s bullet or arrow (and vice versa). It will also mean that you won’t scare off animals by making too much noise while trying to sneak up on them!

Traveling Time

Finally—decide how long it takes to travel between home base and hunting grounds. Some people prefer shorter trips. Others may opt out based on the distance from their house being too short.

Hunting Locations in USA

  • Arctic Hunting in Alaska
  • British Columbia in Canada
  • Colorado
  • Georgia State
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nunavut
  • Wyoming
  • And the list goes on

Gear up for success

Before you go hunting, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have with you. 

Basic Hunting Gear


A compass is an absolute must so that you can find your way back home.


A good pair of Binoculars will result in better visibility. This will help keep the animal in sight longer as it moves through the brush. 


A good flashlight also allows for easy nighttime hunting when the sun goes down. You’ll need a detailed list of hunting gear and weapons. 

Hunting Rifles

An accurate rifle will help ensure clean kills every time. It’s also essential if you plan on shooting a game from afar or even a small game that’s running around near your feet! Make sure that whatever gear or tools are necessary for each type of hunt are available. These should be easy to use for someone with little experience, such as yourself! 

as a hunter you'll need to learn which weapons work best for each hunt

Hunting Boots

You’ll need some good quality hunting boot to help you travel about quietly and comfortably. There are boots ideal for hunting different types of animals. You could get a pair or deer hunting boots if that’s your prey of choice. To go with those there are heated hunting socks that will keep you extra warm when you’re outdoors. 

First Aid Kit for Hunters

A first aid kit is very important. If something happens during your hunt, it could save your life or someone else’s. Even if it doesn’t, having an injured person nearby can be distracting for other hunters. 

Portable Hunting Knives

It’s always smart to carry a knife too. Whether or not this is legal depends on where in America one intends to hunt. Since knives are great tools in general, it makes sense why someone would bring one along anyway! 

What are the Pre-Hunt Preparations

You’ll need enough time to prepare for your hunt. This includes your gear and getting familiar with the hunting grounds. It’s important to know the dates and seasons you can hunt. For hunting big game, September is the best time in the west while it’s October and November in the east.

Shooting Range

A great way to practice is by going to a shooting range, which can also boost your confidence. You can also practice by shooting a bow and arrow for 1-2 months before hunting. This also helps build a better aim. Aside from buying the necessary license, you’ll also need to get the necessary gear. Your partner or significant other needs to support your new hobby. This is important since it will keep you occupied and away for long periods.

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Hunting Conditions and Locations

Hunting is far from easy—sometimes you’ll suffer. But, you can at least choose your preferred conditions. Depending on what you’re hunting, you may need to hike, camp, climb, or crawl. So it is best that you both mentally prepare and have the necessary knowledge. If you like mountains, you can climb and hunt elk or deer. If you prefer grassy areas, then hunting pheasants and small birds would be ideal. Depending on where you’ll be hunting overnight, you might need a hardy good tent to sleep in. 

Hunting Methods

A hunting strategy that easily pursues the target animal should be used. An ideal hunting method is chosen depending on a few factors. These include the prey being hunted, the climate, geographic location and local hunting laws.

The most frequently used methods are calling, hunting with dogs, as well as stand hunting and baiting. Still, hunting is commonly used in North America for big game like elk, deer, and bears. It’s not so popular as it needs skill and time. Stand hunting is most commonly used in North America for big game. A hunter will make use of blinds, a still stand or a tripod stand. This makes the hunt easier and the prey is less likely to spot the hunter.

Calling is the use of game and animal sounds to trick the prey into coming closer. This especially works well during mating season. Some of the sounds used are rattling antlers for bucks, bleating calls for does, and grunt calls for deer. 

Choosing the right hunting weapon

It is crucial to pick and use the correct hunting weapon. Each weapon will affect your hunting. This is because of different seasons and effective ranges (the distance from your prey). For big games in the west, such as elk, antelope, deer, and bear, you have three options. These include a rifle, a muzzleloader, or a hand-held bow.

Shotguns are for most bird hunting and some deer hunting in the Midwest as well as the East. You could use a hand-held bow, which is a simple stick and a string. Or a compound bow, which has more power, a fast arrow, and a longer effective range.

When in doubt, ask for help!

If you’re a beginner, don’t be afraid to ask for help—you’ll find that there are plenty of experienced people who would assist you. You could ask a professional hunter or guide for help. They’ll likely have experience hunting in the area and will know where the best places to hunt are. They will know what time of year is best to go out and how best to prepare themselves for a successful trip. 

having a friend or mentor to hunt with will provide you with expert help and make hunting more fun.

Though hunting is a fun sport, it can also be highly dangerous. Without the necessary skills or guidance, anything could go wrong like mishandling the gun or injuring yourself. Until and unless you are a fully experienced hunter, it’s best for you to learn from a professional. Your friend or neighbor who also hunts might not have the necessary expertise to guide you. So try to take the learning process very seriously. 

Find a Hunting Professional or Mentor

Finding a mentor or trainer who has experience in hunting methods and practices They need to have years of experience on the field and may be willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you as well as offer some tips on how they got started in this field. At the beginning, its best to spend more time observing on the field before you get your hands dirty learning how to handle the weapons.


Starting your journey on mastering hunting may seem difficult, but with the right knowledge, you can start your journey. Our beginner’s guide to hunting in America will get you well on your way. Remember that it takes time and effort to become a great hunter. It is and can be a very dangerous sport that can result in accidents. So necessary precautions should be taken. For some individuals, hunting can be mentally or morally disturbing. So it’s best to ease your way into it. There will be challenges along the way, but if you keep at it, we are confident that you will succeed! Happy hunting!


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Cez Krol
Cez Krol
I’m always positive and never bored – there’s just so much more to see and experience! I began my journey around the world in 2011 with just $400 and one-way ticket to Asia. Still going and blogging today. You can typically spot me working on a laptop or rock climbing.
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