Whether you’re toting a rifle or bow on your backcountry expeditions in search of whitetail deer, game birds, wild boar, squirrel, rabbit, grouse, or even alligator, America is a hunter’s paradise.
Every year, American hunters, like their ancestors, head for the woods and rivers to harvest America's bountiful supply of game and put fresh meat on the family dinner table.
From Alaska’s tundra to Florida’s swampland, you have a great shot at bagging game in every state in our great nation, as long as you don't mind traveling to reach the hot spots or negotiating the landscape of different hunting seasons and regulations.
Here, Newsmax presents the 50 best hunting sites in the United States:
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1. Appleton, Wisconsin
, is a top whitetail deer spot, and the Boone and Crockett Club awarded Wisconsin with its No. 1 whitetail rating in the U.S.
2. Southwestern Connecticut
recently opened a crossbow season, and whitetail deer are thick and plentiful in this part of the state.
3. Vassalboro, Maine
, offers top-notch turkey shooting in the southern part of the state, which is the prime turkey country.
4. Lenape Farms, New Jersey
, formerly a 5,000-acre private hunting preserve, was recently purchased by the state and is rife with deer.
5. Lake Umbagog, New Hampshire
, is a prime spot for hunting everything from ducks, geese, crow, and woodcock, to bear, whitetail deer, moose, and coyote.
6. Wilson Hill, New York
, offers prime waterfowl hunting; deer and small game hunting are also available. If you have a taste for pheasant, the area is stocked during the fall season.
7. Rodman's Hollow, Rhode Island
, boasts 80 to 100 whitetail deer per square mile.
8. Burrage Pond in Massachusetts
has 1,638 acres of some of the best duck hunting in America, but deer are found there as well.
9. West Virginia's Charleston-Beckley corridor
has black bear on the hunter's menu with both bow and rifle hunting seasons available. While there, don't pass up some of the best deer and squirrel hunting to be found anywhere.
10. The Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont
offers prime bear and deer hunting areas. Hunting for moose, turkey, and game birds is also available.
11. The Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area
hosts Illinois' best whitetail hunting, and enthusiasts will have a great chance at a trophy rack.
12. St. Mary’s Island near Council Bluffs, Iowa
, has plentiful pheasants for the enthusiastic bird hunter.
13. The Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area in Kansas
has pheasant, quail, snipe, and rail, and you're likely to bag your quota.
14. Lake Christina, Minnesota
, is a mecca for duck hunters. After a water cleanup program began in 2006, the lake has seen a resurgence of winged game that is drawing hunters once more.
15. The Duck Creek Conservation Area in Missouri
, just north of Puxico, has 2,400 acres of wetland that provide a paradise for duck hunters.
16. Pine Ridge, Nebraska
, boasts 100,000 acres of public hunting grounds where wild turkeys, mule deer, and whitetails abound.
17. South Dakota's James River Corridor
boasts a 42-percent increase in pheasant population and will be prime pheasant hunting during the season.
18. The Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area near Tampa, Florida
, is where hunters bagged three times more wild hogs last year than anywhere else in the Sunshine State. Deer and turkey hunting is good there, too.
19. Choose Iliamna Lake for caribou in Alaska
, Bristol Bay for brown bear, the Denali Preserve for Dall sheep or grizzlies, and Prince of Wales Island for prime deer hunting. Big game hunting draws in woodsmen from all over looking to bag moose, caribou, Dall sheep, bear, and deer.
20. Dallas County, Alabama
, is prime deer hunting ground, but virtually anywhere in the Alabama woods provides terrific deer hunting, with a deer herd estimated at 1.75 million animals. Bow, rifle, and shotgun hunting are permitted in 170,000 acres of wildlife management areas (WMA) and a host of private hunting lodges are available.
21. Arkansas' Piney Creek WM
A provides a wide spectrum of hunting, from whitetails to black bear, wild turkey, gray and fox squirrels, and raccoon.
22. Southern Louisiana
is the place to go if nailing a big alligator is on your bucket list. However, if you don't live there, you need to be accompanied by a guide. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries has a list of guides
and estimates there are around 2 million alligators ready to be hunted.
23. Georgia's Chickasawhatchee WMA
, 15 miles west of Albany, boasts prime hunting for deer, turkey, dove, and feral hogs.
24. Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina
has seen a resurgence of tundra swans, Canadian and show geese, ducks, and coots, and offers excellent hunting for the waterfowl enthusiast.
25. Bear Island, South Carolina
, can fix you up with a bagful of teal, mottled, and other ducks, and the bag has been on the increase in recent seasons.
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26. The Bear Hollow Mountain WMA in Tennessee's Franklin County
is great for deer, turkey, and squirrel, but be ready to hike the steep mountains.
27. Trans Pecos, Texas
, is known for its population of huge mule deer, and many private ranchers host deer hunts on their properties.
28. Lanai, Hawaii
, is better known for its pineapples, luaus, and ukuleles, but hunting axis deer, also called the chital or spotted Indian deer, is big on the island, while Maui and Molokai also have hunting seasons, including bow, rifle, and muzzleloader hunting.
29. Montana's Gallatin and Beaverhead-Deerlodge areas
are the best of the 148 hunting districts in Montana if you want to take down a trophy elk.
30. New Mexico's Gila National Forest
is primarily known for wild turkey hunts, but elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bear, Barbary sheep, and oryx hunting is also terrific.
31. Nevada's Selenite Range
is prime hunting area for the chukar, and the birds have been growing in number, nearly doubling in recent years.
32. Oregon's Curry, Jackson, and Josephine counties
are the places to go if you've got a taste for ruffed or sooty grouse or mountain quail, where populations of the birds are plentiful.
33. Kittitas County, Washington
, is elk world, where the elk may outnumber the human residents. The area features bow, rifle, and muzzleloader hunting.
34. Pintail Lake, Utah
, earns its name, as pintail ducks and other waterfowl make for prime hunting. The Public Shooting Grounds WMA has plenty of American wigeon, mallard, green teal, and, yes, pintail ducks ready for the taking.
35. The Bighorn Mountains Region of Wyoming
is a mecca for hunters of wild turkey, bull and cow elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope.
36. Virginia's 14,283-acre Highland WMA
and the Big Woods WMA’s wild turkey populations are way up just in time for Thanksgiving when Virginia's wild turkey hunt is in full swing.
37. The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
provides hunting of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and coots.
38. Colorado's White River National Forest
is a dreamland for elk hunters, with abundant supplies of elk. If that doesn’t work out for you, try the nearby Bear's Ears region of the Routt National Forest.
39. The C&D Canal Wildlife Area of Delaware
is teeming with whitetail deer roaming 5,000 acres of public hunting lands.
40. Maryland's Chesapeake Forest
is a magnet for avid hunters thanks to its abundance of deer, turkey, and waterfowl. Don't overlook the Pocomoke State Forest hunting grounds as well.
41. Bald Eagle State Forest in Northern Pennsylvania
is rife with whitetail deer, bear, rabbit, and wild turkey. The 200,000-acre park provides hunters with ample opportunities to bag their limit.
42. The Woodbury Wildlife Area in Ohio's Coshocton region
is a popular place for hunters, just an hour or so north of Columbus and the largest public hunting area in the state.
43. The Harrison-Crawford State Forest in Indiana
is prime hunting ground for whitetail deer. In 2013, hunters harvested 125,635 deer in Indiana. Try using a canoe to travel the Ohio and Blue rivers to get to the deer-rich backcountry. It's great for squirrel and turkey as well.
44. Kentucky's 14-county Purchase Region and Land Between the Lakes
, in the far west of the state, is the state's top area for the hunting of trophy bucks, and a big reason why Kentucky took the 2013 Outdoor Life rating as the top deer hunting state in the U.S.
45. The Sunflower and Lake George areas of Mississippi
's South Delta region are excellent places to bag big bucks, but don't overlook Sunflower when it comes to shooting squirrel and rabbit.
46. The Flagstaff and Pinetop regions of Arizona
are prime elk, antelope, deer, and turkey areas, while the Yuma, Tucson, and Mesa regions are ideal for pheasant, quail, dove, and rabbit. Go to the Flagstaff and Kingman regions for mountain lion, and Pinetop and Mesa regions for black bear.
47. Genesee, Jackson, and Kent counties in the Southern Peninsula of Michigan
have great deer hunting, and hunters familiar with the Great Lakes State say these areas are the best bet for trophy bucks.
48. North Dakota's Mott area
along the Cannonball River, in Hettinger County, has pheasant hunters rhapsodic about their results. Mott also has deer and antelope for hunting.
49. The Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area near Broken Bow, Oklahoma
, in McCurtain County is famed for its variety and abundance of hunting quarry, including whitetail deer, raccoons, squirrels, wild turkey, and rabbit. If you prefer your game on the wing, try the Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area and Center near Frederick for ducks, geese, and quail.
50. The Magic Valley Region of Idaho
is famed for deer and elk hunting, as well as strong upland bird hunting.
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