Man hunting with a dog

Preparing to Hunt Bigger Game Animals

Hunting is tied to the very fabric of what it is to be American. From the pre-colonial need to hunt for food and other necessities to the modern-day practice of hunting for sport, there’s no separating the activity from the people. Its pervasiveness in the culture paved the way for alternative hunting methods. Air-powered guns and compound bows have a strong following, for instance. Hunting guns and rifles, however, are still the preferred weapon for most hunters.

Whichever they choose, receiving proper firearm shooting instruction and adhering to big game hunting regulations are crucial, says Peak Firearms, a Utah-based online firearms dealer.

Hunting on Public Lands

Many public lands across the US offer opportunities for hunting. The National Park Service manages 76 areas that allow it. Additionally, the US Fish and Wildlife Service manages 36 wetland management districts and 336 national wildlife refuges.

If you’re new to the sport or the area, contact your local public lands management office first to make sure you don’t trespass onto prohibited land.

When you’re on the ground, scope the area at around noon as animals are less active during this period. Keep an eye out for spots to set traps and a place to hide and wait for your prey. Be on the lookout for ground scrapes if you’re hunting deer. The bucks that made the ground scrapes often return to check for signs that a doe showed interest and marked it.

Big Game and Their Seasons

Crew heading out to hunt

Deer, elk, feral hogs, and bears are some of the animals you can hunt in public lands. Take note that there are different hunting seasons and rules concerning the different animals in the area. These regulations prevent indiscriminate and excessive hunting of the animals.

Deer firearms hunting season is between the second week of November and the first week of December. Moose hunting is by permit only and takes place on the last week of October.

Different states have different rules and hunting seasons. For instance, Utah has multiple hunting seasons for deer or elk, although it’s for select limited-entry or premium limited-entry units.

Sorting Out Hunter Requirements

Hunting isn’t as simple as taking your rifle and going out into the wild right away. You need to have the right licenses and requirements, especially if you’re taking part in big game hunts. Among the many requirements are hunter education courses, proof of completing the courses, state hunting license, and a hunting permit.

Adult hunters based in Utah pay between $25 and $38 in license fees. On the other hand, nonresidents pay $65 to $85. There are additional permit fees based on the game you’re hunting, moreover. The minimum fees range between $40 (resident) and $268 (nonresident) for general deer to $50 (resident) and $393 (nonresident) for general bull or spike bull elks.

It’s important to learn the different hunting requirements and regulations in your area. These may save you thousands in fines for irresponsible hunting. If you’re an experienced hunter, you have the duty-bound to pass on their knowledge and guide beginners so they’ll become ethical hunters.