You can’t hunt everywhere, and if you’re new to hunting one of the obstacles you’ll face is finding a location that is good for hunting and legal for you to hunt.
Hunting spots are often coveted by bunters. Many people hunt the same area year after year. Others spend a lot of time looking for different ground that will provide them with a new challenge. That can make it difficult to find a place to go if you’re just getting started.
Here are some tips on finding ground you can hunt this season.
Types of Hunting Ground
There are really three options when it comes to finding hunting ground: private property, state land, and federal land. State and federal land can really be lumped into one category called public land. The rules for hunting that ground are really pretty similar.
What’s easiest for you to hunt depends a lot on where you live. If state and federal hunting grounds aren’t abundant near your home, you may need to find some private land to hunt. On the other hand, if there’s plenty of state and federal land around, you don’t have to worry about finding a good patch of private land to hunt.
Determining which is more abundant should be simple. Get online and pull up a map of your area to see what state and federal land is nearby and then find out if you can hunt it or if you’ll need to go the private land route. Most of the time you’ll have a couple of options, depending on how far you’re willing to travel.
Finding Private Property to Hunt
Private land is land owned by someone else. To hunt this land, you have to get permission from the landowner.
The best way to find private property to hunt is to turn to family and friends. If you have any hunters in your family or group of friends, ask them what private ground they hunt. Talk to them about how they found that spot and if you could also hunt it.
If you don’t have any hunters in your group of friends or family, then try to think about anyone who has a large plot of land that you could hunt. Talk with them about your hunting aspirations. Most people are pretty open to the idea as long as you respect their land and clean up after yourself. Make it clear that it won’t inconvenience them, and you shouldn’t have many issues.
If you’ve exhausted all your friends and family as options, you can always join a hunting organization like Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, or the National Wild Turkey Federation to meet new people, learn about new opportunities, and open new possibilities.
Another option is private land access programs. There’s a lot of private lands available as hunting ground through special programs across the country. These private land programs are there to allow private landowners to open their grounds to sportsmen of all kinds. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of land across the country. The rules can vary slightly depending on the state, so be sure to check on the requirements.
Finding Public Ground to Hunt
State and federally owned land can make for some fantastic hunting ground. There are millions of acres of land available to hunters across the nation. All you need to do is check and follow the rules in your area.
The U.S. Department of the Interior states there are 76 National Park Service Areas, 336 national wildlife refuges, 36 wetland management districts and over 220 million acres of Bureau of Land Management public lands as well as Bureau of Reclamation lands that are available for hunting.
Most of the time you won’t need anything more than your hunting gear and the typical hunting licenses for your state to hunt these grounds. Some areas managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior do require you to buy an additional permit. Before you set out, make sure you have all the necessary credentials.
In addition to all the land listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, there’s also plenty of state-owned lands that you can hunt. These can come with their own rules and regulations so be sure to check ahead of time.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has a handy interactive map that will help you find both state and federal land that you can hunt. If you’re unsure of where you can go, that’s a good place to start.
What’s your favorite way to find new hunting grounds? Let us know in the comments!