As a hunter, few experiences compare to being out in nature, tracking down your quarry, taking the shot, dressing your kill, then showing respect to the animal by wasting none.
This is most hunter’s dream.
However, as the seasons go by, you may feel like there’s more to hunt than just the same old deer.
There is if you know where to go.
The thing is:
While the US has over 440 million acres of public land open to hunting and camping, you can’t just go anywhere and hunting willy-nilly and without serious repercussions (and embarrassment).
Expand Your Horizons
If you want to experience the thrill of hunting unfamiliar game, you need to know where you can legally do so.
Below I list 10 of the best places to hunt in the US.
I don’t rank these places in any particular order of most to least awesome – that’ll depend on your own experience.
1. Alaska: Arctic Hunting
Alaska has got to be on your list if you’re looking for a place that offers world-class hunting opportunities without leaving the US.
Want to teach your kids the values and ethics of hunting? Take them grouse or hare hunting in the Interior.
If you’re looking for bigger game, you’ll find muskox, caribou, or moose. You can even go on a once-in-a-lifetime hunt for brown bear or mountain goat.
All that being said:
You will need to time your hunt as Alaska’s big game species make long migrations between their seasonal ranges.
You’ll also need to fly in to several of the better locations. This means you’ll be on your own for several days. You’ll also need an out of state license if you’re not a local.
Visit the Alaska Department of Fish & Game for more info.
2. British Columbia: Wild and Historic
British Columbia is a premier hunting destination in North America.
Rich in wildlife and history, it’s reputed for many of North America’s largest, world-record big game trophies such as moose, black bear, mule deer, cougar, and numerous other big game animals. This reputation has been recognized in all the record books, including Boone & Crockett.
Canada has a thing against guns, so you may need to hire a guide. Guided hunts are allowed in BC.
Cougar Creek Lodge is located in the wilderness of British Columbia, Canada, and specializes in fully guided combo hunts for moose, bear, white-tailed deer, cougar, lynx, and wolf.
They also offer archery-only mule deer hunts as part of their guided combos.
If you’ve never been and you’re looking for a hunting lodge, check out Cougar Creek Lodge.
3. Montana: Every Hunter’s Dream
Being the fourth largest state in the US, Montana has the reputation for being an outdoorsman’s dream come true. The state is divided geographically with most of its major mountain ranges in the west and primarily prairie land in the east, with a few isolated peaks here and there.
You’ll find hunting opportunities for black bear, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain elk, Shiras moose, mountain goats, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, turkeys, wolves, and bison.
You’ll also find hunting opportunities for upland birds and waterfowl in most of the state.
Visit Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to get your Hunting License.
4. Colorado: Sport and Scenery
If you’re looking for a place to hunt elk and enjoy the scenery, Colorado is the right place to go.
The state itself is high and rugged and situated an average of 3,200 feet above sea-level.
Its eastern side has high plains made up of prairies, forests, buttes, and canyons. Its western side is covered by the southern part of the Rocky Mountains.
With so many habitats for elk, it’s no wonder this state sports more elk than any other. However, elk isn’t the only game that Colorado offers.
The state is also home to white-tailed deer and mule deer, moose, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mountain lions, and black bears.
Visit Colorado Parks & Wildlife to get your hunting license and tags.
5. Georgia State: True Hunting State
With a mix of private land and 104 Wildlife Management Areas plus nearly 630,000 hunters in the state, you can tell that hunting is a big deal in Georgia.
The state itself is humid with a subtropical climate and is made up of swampland and forests. These habitats are home to white-tailed deer that number up to 1.2 million.
If you’re looking for something other than white-tailed deer, the state also has a healthy population of black bears, wild turkeys, alligators, feral hogs, small game, doves, and waterfowl.
Visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to learn more.
6. Nunavut: Rugged and Isolated
Nunavut is the largest of Canada’s three territories.
Situated in the most northerly part of Canada, it’s one of the most isolated and sparsely populated regions in the world with just over 36,000 inhabitants (mostly Inuit).
There you’ll find muskox, central Canada barren ground caribou, and polar bears.
While you may also hunt walrus in Nunavut, they’re not allowed to be imported into the US.
You can apply for your Nunavut hunting license here.
7. Idaho: Not Just Potatoes
You may have known Idaho for its potatoes but The Gem State offers enough hunting opportunities to make any avid hunter happy.
The state itself consists of steep mountain ranges and canyons as well as lakes and rushing rivers.
Making their home in this rugged landscape are elk, deer, pronghorn, black bears, mountain lions, wolves, moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.
There’s also an abundance of bird species in Idaho with California quail, chukar, grey partridge, five types of grouse, pheasants, and turkeys.
Idahoans takes manners, and respect very seriously. As they should. If you plan to visit, be on your best behavior.
Visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to get your license, permits and tags.
8. Wyoming: Wide-open Spaces and Remote Mountains
Wyoming is a paradise for hunters who favor wide-open spaces with herds of big game aplenty.
The state itself is a huge, high plateau interrupted by remote mountain ranges flowing grasslands.
Here you’ll find Elk, mule deer, grizzlies, mountain goats, bison, black bears, mountain lions, wolves, mountain goats, sage grouse, turkeys, upland birds, and bighorn sheep.
However, it’s the state’s pronghorn, elk, moose, mule deer, and white-tailed deer that are the most sought-after big game.
Visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for licensing and tags.
9. Maryland: Small State, Plentiful Hunting Opportunities
The saying “big things come in small packages” rings true for Maryland.
Despite being a small state, Maryland boasts a wide variety of both topography and wildlife.
The state itself is situated along the densely populated eastern corridor of the US.
Here you can find anything from sand dunes and seagrass to salt marshes and cypress groves.
Going westward are gentle hills, oak forests, pine groves, and mountains as high as 3,360 feet.
That’s where you’ll find beavers, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, white-tailed and Sika deer, and many more.
Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to get your license.
10. Texas: A World of Its Own
Last but not least on this list is Texas — the Lonestar State.
With a wide ranging climate, hunting here becomes more rewarding thanks to the heat, the insects and the incredible variety of game.
In this state, white-tailed deer, mule deer, pheasant and wild hogs are common fair.
What many hunters come for is the chance to hunt more unique fare like alligators, nilgai antelope, blackbuck deer, elk, pronghorns, mountain lions and the aoudad sheep.
Texans are probably the most fun and funniest people to hunt with.
Visit Texas Parks & Wildlife to get your license and tags.
That will do it for this one!
These are my favorite places to hunt in North America.
If I left off your favorite place, please drop us a line in the comments below!
To your next hunt,