Hunting

The Best Fall Hunting Locations in the U.S.

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Whether you’re on the hunt for big game or small game or any size in between, fall is the perfect time to squeeze in another hunting trip before the threatening chill of winter decides to visit and settle down for a stay.

Fall is the ideal season for cuddling up with loved ones over a campfire or sharing ghost stories from the glow of a flashlight. In other words, it’s the perfect time to foster those bonds you may have let slip throughout the year. Hunting has actually been proven to facilitate deeper connections with friends and family, as well as give you the essential time in nature you need before retreating indoors to wait out the winter.

While you may not be cuddling up with your buds under a blanket, choose to hunker down instead and wait for that perfect shot to line up within your scope. If you’re planning a hunting trip this season, check out the best fall hunting locations in the U.S.!

Appleton, Wisconsin

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The charming town of Appleton, Wisconsin is located on the banks of the Fox River. Trappers and fur traders in search of beaver pelts originally settled here more than 170 years ago. Today, it is the home base for some of the best whitetail deer hunting in the entire United States. Deer season in Appleton runs from roughly September 15th through January 1st, but there are restrictions on the type of firearms that can be used throughout the season.

The Boone and Crockett Club calls Wisconsin “the number one trophy whitetail state in the country,” and local hunting aficionados recorded an impressive 383 B&C entries between 2013 and 2018. It’s not uncommon to find bucks killed within 50 miles of Appleton have either broken or seriously threatened Wisconsin state records. If that’s not enough of a reason to plan your trip this fall, then I don’t know what else could possibly motivate you.

Good Sam Campgrounds Nearby:

Wolf River Trips & Campground

Hucklberry Acres Campground

Bear Lake Campground

Salmon, Idaho

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Although this Idaho town has become the stuff of legend due to its annual salmon runs, the surrounding countryside of Salmon, ID offers incredible hunting opportunities as well. The big-game hunting scene of Salmon includes trophy elk, mule deer, and whitetails all tucked into breathtaking views. Wingshooters also regularly chase chukar, huns, and blue and spruce grouse in the mountains above the Salmon River valley.

Despite the fact that the resurgence of wolves in nearby Yellowstone National Park has had some slight impact on the quality of hunting in and around Salmon, it still remains one of the best locations for black bear hunting throughout the fall months. The general black bear season runs from roughly August 30th through November 30th.

Good Sam Campgrounds Nearby:

Century 2 Campground & RV Park

Buddy’s RV Park

Wagonhammer RV Park & Campground

The Plains of Wyoming

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Fun fact! Who doesn’t love a fun fact? Wyoming is home to the largest population of antelope of any other state in the U.S. Plus, it’s also a prime location for pronghorn hunters. Antelope season in the plains of Wyoming runs roughly from October 10th through November 20th, and the specific plains of eastern and northeastern Wyoming are especially prime territory for antelope hunting. Some of the best units for trophy quality are located in the south-central part of the state, so make that a must on your hunting itinerary.

Antelope aren’t the only big game in the state, however. Fall hunting season in Wyoming offers the opportunity to go after elk, deer, moose, bison, black bear, mountain lion, and wild turkey. Small-game hunters also frequently chase sage and ruffed grouse, chukar, pheasant, rabbit, hare, and squirrel. Whether you’re in the former camp, the latter, or somewhere in both camps, the beautiful plains of Wyoming promises to be fruitful for your next hunting trip.

Good Sam Campgrounds Nearby:

Kodiak Mountain Resort

Bridger-Teton/Allred Flat

Alcova Lake/Fremont Canyon Campground

Wasatch Mountains, Utah

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If you’re looking for a rugged, alpine hunting trip, look no further than the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Located to the east of Salt Lake City, these mountains offer prime territory for mountain goat hunting. At high elevations, you’ll see lots of these guys wandering around. Some will be really big, we call them bonus points. The difficulty of getting up there can be quite challenging; hunters should expect a five to six-hour hike from their vehicle to get into good goat country. It’s worth it though!

Although the odds of securing a goat permit these days can be slim, Utah is the one place you should focus your efforts if you want to go after this elusive big game. The best time to look for goats with a full white coat is from late September through mid-October. One of the benefits of this location is that non-resident hunters who draw a tag for the Lone Peak district can hunt in any of the four Wasatch districts.

Good Sam Campgrounds Nearby:

Ashley/Riverview

Uinta/Timpooneke

Otter Creek

Selkirk Mountains, Washington

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The Selkirk Mountains might not offer the tall peaks that are common in so many of the West’s other ranges, but their dense, old-growth forests provide a premier habitat for elk, moose, deer, black bear, cougar, wild turkey, and a variety of small game. These mountains are located in the far northeastern corner of Washington, so getting there can be a bit of a task. High risk, high reward though, right?

That being said, the extra commute is well worth it because this region offers some of the best opportunities in the lower 48 states to score a 50-point bull moose. Logging activity in this region has actually created great opportunities for moose hunters. Cuts, where regrowth is 10 to 15 feet tall, provide excellent cover but still allow enough visibility for hunters in this region to identify and take down their targets.

Good Sam Campgrounds Nearby:

Northern Quest RV Resort

Swinomish Casino RV Park

Olympic National Park

Seeley-Swan Valley, Montana 

Surprising to probably no one, the western portion of Montana is excellent whitetail territory. Deer and elk season along the Seeley-Swan Valley runs from roughly September 1st through November 25th, with different restrictions on the type of firearms that can be used throughout the season. Hunters here can take a buck with a general deer license. Non-residents must enter a draw for a hunting license, but luckily competition is usually very limited.

The Seeley-Swan Valley is a densely wooded conifer forest located between the Mission and Swan mountain ranges. Referring to it as gorgeous is an understatement; it’s simply one of those places you have to see to believe. It’s located in District 285, which is one of the most beautiful areas in the Rockies for a simple walk-and-stalk over the relatively flat terrain. The region also offers excellent cover and plenty of clear-cut edges to work along in search of a record-book whitetail.

Good Sam Campgrounds Nearby:

River Edge Resort

Ruby Valley Campground & RV Park

Fairmont RV Resort


The U.S. truly offers a staggering number of options for hunters in search of a vast variety of big and small game. The best locations are those with beautiful scenery and ample opportunity to take home a prized kill. We hope you enjoyed this list of the best fall hunting locations in the U.S. and we wish you the best of luck on your next hunting trip!

The best fall hunting locations in the U.S.

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