Millions of individuals enjoy the sport of hunting, and even beyond that it is still an important source of food for many sportsman families in the United States and around the world.
There are many types of hunting out there. Depending on the season, things can look a lot different. Bow hunting deer is going to look a lot different than using a bird dog and shotgun for pheasant hunting. Plenty of states are known for being really good for one type of hunting or another for this reason – because there are so many options.
We will discuss some of the most popular styles of hunting currently practiced in the United States.
Hunting with Modern Firearms
Hunting with modern firearms is probably the most common style practiced today, but it’s important to understand right off the bat that there are different seasons, rules, and regulations for each type of firearm. Shotguns, rifles, and handguns all often have different rules as well as different seasons. For some animals only one of these is legal to use. For others all three are legal, but at different times.
Understanding the way each firearm works, and the power of its shot, is key to picking out the right gun for the season and increasing the chance of a successful hunt.
Among the various types of hunting out there, bow hunting is probably the second most popular. Most hunters bow hunt for the local species of deer. This probably accounts for the overwhelming amount of recreational deer hunting that takes place in the U.S.
Whitetail deer and mule deer in particular are very popular with bow hunters. There are also some areas where bow hunting for wild pigs/boars and bighorn sheep are allowed as well. Caribou bow hunting has also continued to grow in popularity over recent years.
One important thing to note is that while many states have crossbows and bows on the same season, that’s not going to be the same case in every state. Make sure to check local rules and regulations as some states separate the two seasons and some do not.
Muzzleloader (Black Powder) Hunting
Limited in many areas, but popular with a very small group of hunters who love the challenge, muzzleloader season involves the use of any firearms loaded through the muzzle, or basically those that use powder. This traditional form of hunting requires a lot of skill to be able to get into close range with often some very large prey and make a very good high pressure shot.
Big Game Hunting
Aside from the type of weapon used, some people differentiate based on the style of hunting. Most people instantly think of rabbits, deer, birds – the type of animals that are often hunted for both sport and food in a local area. However, big game hunting is quite different and usually refers to trophy hunting. Going after an animal that is more for the challenge or trophy aspect of it as opposed to providing food.
These are the most common forms of hunting in the U.S. and each one provides its own unique challenges and rewards.