When Is Hunting Season In the USA?

When Is Hunting Season In the USA?

For as early as Ancient Greece, hunting was already a part of human life. Although in its beginnings, hunting was necessary for our ancestors to survive. Back then, it was a way for humans to acquire food and clothing. However, as our communities evolved and agriculture developed, hunting became more of an option than a need. Fast forward to the present: hunting is now more of a sport, a means to reconnect with nature and manage wildlife.

While there are still some people who hunt for food, hunting now serves a variety of purposes. It also provides humans with health benefits such as stress reduction, physical exercise, and lower blood pressure and heart rate. However, you cannot just go out into the woods, bring your weapon, and hunt as you please. There are a few things you must know beforehand to ensure that you are hunting responsibly.


Importance of Knowing When Is Hunting Season

There are plenty of reasons why hunting seasons exist. More importantly, these seasons are not based solely on when all types of games are most vulnerable and exposed. A government’s department concerning natural resources usually decides when the hunting seasons are. Hunting seasons are in place so that hunters of future generations can enjoy the sport.

Without established hunting seasons, there might not have been animals left to hunt ages ago. Additionally, the realities of today are very much different from the societies in earlier times. This is why hunting differs in each context. Nowadays, having rules and regulations are an organized way of ensuring that animal populations do not vanish. The goal is to manage the population of wild animals and maintain or conserve the balance of a state’s ecosystem.

Hunting seasons are set in place to increase your chances for success. The authorities determine the dates of each hunting season according to animal breeding periods. The alignment of these dates with the breeding periods of each game can influence the population’s growth. Off-seasons also allow animals to recuperate or recover from being hunted. Dates are set by local authorities to control the increase or the decline of an animal’s population.

Hunting seasons vary according to each state. Knowing when hunting seasons begin and end is essential to be a responsible hunter. Knowing these dates helps level out the playing field for both hunters and animals, called “fair chase.” Furthermore, understanding hunting seasons protects you from penalties since hunting laws are in place in every state. Yourhunting license can be revoked for days to years, depending on the law. You also wouldn’t want to anger other hunters since most of them are concerned with wildlife conservation.

Hunting Season by Animal

There are different hunting seasons per type of game. Different animals will have different mating or breeding behaviors. Here are some things you need to know when hunting season is by the animal.


When Is Deer Hunting Season?

You must first refer to the schedule given by the state to know when is deer hunting season. Deer hunting seasons will also differ by what type of deer you want to harvest. There are two main species of deer in the U.S.: the mule deer and the white-tailed deer. Mule deers have black tails as opposed to white-tailed deer. Deer hunting seasons usually start in September and can last until December. However, some states begin the open season in September, whereas other states don’t open until October and even November. Seasons can last until January, depending on the state.

When hunting season begins, there might also be designated hunting hours. For example, in Missouri, you can hunt 1 hour and 30 minutes before sunrise until 1 hour and 30 minutes after sunset. There are also designated weapons that you’re allowed to use per month. Some states will only allow archery for specific months, usually during opening months, and then firearms the next. You can check out this article on best archery targets in case you need further information.
The remaining months of deer hunting season often are reserved for the youth.

You can’t just hunt any deer that you see. There are designated legal deer that you can harvest. Antlerless deer are often off-limits, and some states have special permits to hunt them. Some states will have any-deer permits, while others don’t. Antler length is also a basis for hunting legal deer. In Washington, you’re allowed to hunt deer with a minimum of a 3 antler point. Hunters there also take into account the gender of a deer when hunting. In the year 2020, hunters were allowed to harvest any black-tailed deer bucks from October 17 to November 1 in specific areas.


When is Duck Hunting Season?

Another type of hunting game is ducks. Different migratory patterns, waterfowl habitats, and species determine when is duck hunting season. However, for ducks, dates are selected a little bit differently.

Hunting dates are determined annually by the Migratory Birds Conventions. The annual framework date for hunting ducks is usually from September to January. Bag limits and weapon prohibitions are also in place to protect the duck population. The length of each hunting season will also vary according to the Flyway. Flyways stem from the routes that the ducks take when they migrate. The longest season for duck hunting is usually in the Pacific Flyway.

When is Turkey Hunting Season?

There are many wild turkey species that you can find in America. The two main wild turkey species are the North American Wild Turkey and the Ocellated Turkey of Central America. Turkey homes are around rivers and streams, oaks and grasslands, pine savannas, forest clearings, or meadows. Since they have habitats in numerous states, it is best to check with the appropriate state agency to know when is turkey hunting season.

Turkey hunting season can be during the fall or spring. However, not all states have open seasons for both. The spring hunting season is usually from April to May, although some states start in March. Fall seasons also vary from state to state. Some states open hunting season as early as August until October, while some start in November and last until February. 


When Is Hunting Season


When is Hunting Season Per State?

When is hunting season in PA? 

As of 2021-2022, it is illegal to hunt on Sundays, unless it's hunting for foxes, crows, and coyotes. To be able to hunt in PA, it is also important to have a Pennsylvania Hunting License. In order to get this, follow these steps: 

  1. Fulfill the requirements for the Pennsylvania hunter education certification. 
  2. Pick the correct license type.
  3. Purchase the license through the website of the Pennsylvania Game Commission or via Pennsylvanian-approved agents. 

To answer when is hunting season in PA: 

  • Small Game: September 12-April 11; some animals have no closed season (ex. Starlings and English sparrows)
  • Big Game: September 19 to May 31
  • Waterfowl & Migratory Birds: October 10 to January 9, September 1 to February 20, October 1 to April 23, September 1 to January 2
  • Furbearer Hunting: no closed season, October 10-February 20, January 9 to February 3


When is hunting season in Texas? 

Texas categorizes its hunting seasons based on animals and special seasons. In Texas, all hunters (including non-residents) who were born on or after September 2, 1971, must fulfill a Hunter Education Training Course. The youngest age to get certified is 9 years old. This certificate must be on one’s person at all times when hunting. 

So, when is hunting season in Texas and their different dates? 

Archery only: 

  • October 3 to November 6 


  • November 20 to December 6
  • February 1 to February 15 

Muzzleloader Deer: 

  • January 4 to 17


  • October 31 to November 1 
  • October 24 to October 25
  • November 7 to 8
  • September 26 to 27
  • January 4 to 17
  • March 27 to 28
  • May 22 to 23

Game Animals: 

  • October 1 to February 28
  • September 1 to August 31
  • October 3 to November 6
  • November 21 to December 6
  • November 27 to December 13
  • October 3 to 11
  • October 1 to February 28
  • May 1 to May 31
  • September 1 to August 31
  • November 7 to January 3 

Upland Game Birds: 

  • October 31 to February 28
  • December 5 to January 3
  • October 31 to February 28
  • October 3 to November 6

Migratory Game Birds

  • November 7 to February 21
  • September 1 to November 12
  • December 18 to January 23

Other Animals 

  • No closed season
  • By permit only
  • September 10 to September 30
  • April 1 to June 30
  • Illegal to hunt endangered or protected non-game species


When is hunting season in Michigan? 

For deer, it is on the following dates: 

  • Early Antlerless Firearm: September 19 and 20
  • Liberty Hunt: September 12 and 13
  • Independence Hunt: October 15 to 18
  • Archery: October 1 to November 14, December 1 to January 1
  • Regular firearm: November 15 to November 30
  • Muzzleloading: December 4 to December 13
  • Late Antlerless Firearm: December 14 to January 1

Besides knowing when is hunting season in Michigan, it is also important to know that if you harvest deer, elk, moose, or another cervid in any of the other states, only the following cervid parts can be brought into Michigan: 

  • Hides
  • Deboned meat
  • Quarters or other parts of the cervid except for the spinal column or head
  • Finished taxidermy products
  • Cleansed teeth
  • Antlers


When is hunting season in NY? 

Although the proposed holiday deer hunt is postponed in 2020, it is still good to know when is hunting season in NY. To get on with the actual hunting seasons: 

  • Northern Zone:
    • Early Bowhunting: September 27 to October 23
    • Crossbow: October 14 to October 23
    • Regular: October 24 to December 6
    • Muzzleloading: October 7 to October 23, December 7 to December 13
  • Southern Zone:
    • Early Bowhunting: October 1 to November 20, December 14 to December 22
    • Crossbow: November 7 to November 20
    • Regular: November 21 to December 13 
    • Muzzleloading: December 14 to December 22
  • Westchester County
    • October 1 to December 31 (bowhunting only)
  • Suffolk County
    • October 1 to January 31 (bowhunting only)
    • Special Firearms: January 4 to January 31 (a special permit is needed) 

In order to get a NY hunting license, you must follow these steps: 

  1. You must be 12 years old or above (parental consent is needed for under 16 years old)
  2. Ready proof of residency.
  3. Prepare hunting education certificate.
  4. A credit card or debit card. 
  5. Read information on the license.
  6. Sign in and register.
  7. Complete the form.
  8. Wait for confirmation.

It takes up to 2 weeks to receive the license and tags in your mail. 


When is hunting season in GA? 

There are different hunting seasons for Georgia. It is highly important to know when is hunting season in GA, so here are some dates based on species. : 

  • Deer
    • Archery: September 12 to January 10
    • Extended Archery: September 12 to January 31
    • Primitive Weapons: October 10 to January 10
    • Firearms: October 17 to January 10
  • Bear 
    • Northern Zone: September 12 to January 10, October 17 to January 10, October 10 to January 10
    • Central Zone: December 19
    • Southern Zone: September 17 to 19, September 24 to 26, October 1 to 3, and October 8 to 10
  • Turkey
    • Special Opportunity Season: March 13 to 14
    • Statewide: March 20 to May 15


When is hunting season in Virginia? 

There are different seasons in the state with big games for you to follow. If you want to enjoy a wide array of large animals to hunt, know when is the hunting season in Virginia: 

  • Bear
    • Youth Hunt: October 10-11
    • Archery: October 3-November 3
    • Muzzleloader: November 7-13
    • Early Firearms: September 28-30
    • General Season: October 1-January 2
  • Deer 
    • Youth Hunt: September 26-27
    • Early Archery: October 3-November 13
    • Late Archery: November 29-January 2
    • Urban Archery: September 5-October 2 and January 3-March 28
    • NOVA Late Archery: March 29-April 25
    • Early Muzzleloader: October 31 to November 13
    • Late Muzzleloader: December 12 to January 2
    • General Season: November 14-28
  • Elk: same as deer open season
  • Turkey
    • Fall Archery: October 3-November 6
    • Fall Youth Hunt: October 10-11
    • Fall General Season: October 17-January 23
    • Spring General Season: April 11-May 16
    • Spring Youth Hunt: April 3-4


When is hunting season in Ohio? 

There are different types of categorization in order to answer when is hunting season in Ohio. Here’s a guide on the right season and dates:

  • White-tailed deer: September 30-February 4, November 18-19, November 27-December 3, December 16-17, January 6-9
  • Wild Turkey: October 14-November 26, April 21-22, April 23-May 20, April 30-May 27
  • Small Game and Furbearer: June 1-January 31
  • Waterfowl: September 2-17


When is hunting season in Alabama? 

Different dates determine when is hunting season in Alabama, based on different zones: 

  • Zone A & Zone C
    • Bow and Arrow-Stalk Hunting: October 15-February 10
    • Special Muzzleloader and Air Rifle: November 16-20
    • Gun Deer-Stalk Hunting: November 21-February 10, December 12-January 1
    • Gun Deer-Dog Deer Hunting:  November 21-January 15, December 12-January 1
  • Zone B
    • Bow and Arrow-Stalk Hunting: October 15-24, October 15-February 10
    • Special Muzzleloader and Air Rifle: November 16-20
    • Gun Deer-Stalk Hunting: November 21-February 10, December 12-January 1
    • Gun Deer-Dog Deer Hunting:  November 21-January 15, December 12-January 1
  • Zone D
    • Bow and Arrow-Stalk Hunting: October 1-January 27, October 1-January 15
    • Special Muzzleloader and Air Rifle: November 2-6
    • Gun Deer-Stalk Hunting: November 21-November 29 & December 19-January 1
    • Gun Deer-Dog Deer Hunting:  November 21-November 29, December 19-January 1


When is deer hunting season in North Carolina? 

North Carolina is popular for hunting and fishing. Since deer is abundant in the area, if you’re interested, check out when is deer hunting season in North Carolina here: 

  • Archery: September 12-27, October 11-November 22, December 13-January 1 (for antlered deer) 
  • Blackpowder: September 28-October 10
  • Gun - November 23-December 12


When is hunting season in Tennessee? 

The statewide gun hunting season for deer in Tennessee opens on November 21 up to January 3. Anyone whose birthday is on or after January 1, 1969, must have proof of completion of hunter’s education class or have an Apprentice Hunting License. Apart from knowing when is hunting season in Tennessee, it is also important to know the bag limit of antlered bucks, which is two (2) and the limit of antlerless deer per day is three (3) without season limit. 


When is hunting season in Maine? 

The most popular animals to hunt in Maine are deer. Some several policies and permits are required before one is allowed to hunt (ex. Muzzleloader Permit, Expanded Archery Permit, Antlerless Deer Permit). It is also notable that 1 deer per year is the limit for bag and possession. 

Here are the dates on when is hunting season in Maine: 

  • Firearms: November 1-27
  • Maine Resident Only: October 30
  • Youth: October 23
  • Archery & Crossbow: October 2-29
  • Muzzleloader: November 29-December 4, December 6-11
  • Expanded Archery: September 11-December 11


When is deer hunting season in Delaware? 

To be able to hunt deer legally in Delaware, it is important to keep track of the dates of when is deer hunting season in Delaware: 

  • Archery and Crossbow: September 1-January 31
  • Muzzleloader: October 9-18, January 25-31
  • Shotgun: November 13-22, January 16-24
  • Special Antlerless: October 2-4, 19, 23-26, 30-31; December 12-20
  • Handgun: January 2, 4-9
  • Youth/Disabled: November 7-8

Tips During The Hunting Season

1.   Condition the body

Hunting involves hours of walking into the forests and hiking hills or mountains, lifting bags containing hunting equipment, or the prey's body. These activities can cause pain to a hunter's body before and after. The best way to avoid it is to exercise and get in shape. One does not need fancy gym equipment to do it. Even simple exercises like push-ups, jogging in place, or lifting one's weight can go a long way.

2.   License is a must

Hunting licenses are necessary for some places. It is established to prevent illegal hunting and provide some funds to add in local revenue. Asking the local authorities if it is required to have a hunting license is the first question that hunters should inquire about their chosen area. It can avoid future inconvenience with the law enforcers.

3.   Prepare the equipment

It is good to have a checklist of items and equipment they will bring with them.  Hunting without equipment is equivalent to warring without weapons. Every hunter should prepare their gears and equipment advisably a week before their hunting. They can double-check their list of items to ensure that all necessary items are present in their bags.  It is a big no-no to be a hunter if someone cannot prepare well for his adventure.

4.   Do not wander from the designated path

Humans are adventurers. We like to roam to different places where no one has been, which is true for hunters. However, they must stick to the place that local authorities ordained to be only the hunting place. Following this rule will prevent them from being lost in the wild or be attacked by certain animals like bears, or falling from ravines.

5.   Do not drink alcohol

Alcohol is an effective drink to reduce the capacity of our brain to think logically. It is common sense to avoid it before hunting. Drinking alcohol before hunting can deter a hunter's focus, injuring other hunters present in the area. Also, it can affect his ability to hunt. A hunter can drink, but it should be after the hunt to celebrate his catch. Make sure that you will never ride yourelectric hunting bike while drunk!

6.   Wear bright color clothing

Have you seen a neon pink bear? If none, then it is advisable for hunters to wear one. Bright-colored t-shirts or vests can reduce a hunter's mortality rate throughout his hunting galore. It is a prevention that every hunter must keep in mind before going to the hunting place since every hunter does not want to be mistaken for a bear, right?

7.   Hunt with your buddy!

Accidents always happen. A hunter can trip on a tree's roots, fall on its branch, or worst, be shot by your co-hunters. If one of those happens to a hunter, who will help him get the necessary medical assistance to avoid the worst scenario? The horrendous conclusion of every accident can be avoided by bringing a trusted friend during hunting. In unforeseen emergencies, time is of the essence. And with a friend, life is prolonged.

8.   Bring emergency kits

Emergency kits are essential during hunting season. Some emergencies and accidents can occur during hunting that every hunter should handle well. Some items that should always be present in medical kits are alcohol, cotton, scissors, and gauze. Every hunter should assume that there is almost nobody to help them when something bad happens to them during their activity.

9.   Gun safety

Hunters should be responsible for using guns. There are hunters, forest rangers, and other people that might lurk in the place where they hunt. Guns can kill both animals and humans. It is imperative for hunters who carry ominous equipment such as guns to think that they have a big responsibility to be cautious and prudent in the forest.

10.   Do not litter

It is disappointing that some hunters leave waste and garbage in the environment where they hunt. This reckless act is showing disrespect to the local community. Hunters should put in mind that there are people who worked to maintain the area where they hunt. By putting their wastes in the proper bins, they are helping to maintain the place's cleanliness. Hunters should remember that the cleaner the area, the more animals will forage there.


When Is Hunting Season


How To Know When Hunting Season Is Over

The best way to know when is hunting season over is the absence of the animals. This happens because they need to migrate to other places where more food and no hunters will disturb them. Sometimes, foods in the previous place where they forage became scarce because they have competitions. This pushed them to go other directions.

Animals have excellent sensitivity and senses.  This gives them the advantage to detect if there is a presence of humans in a particular place. Usually, hunters bring their cars or electric hunting bikes where they will hunt, and the noise those emitted alarms animals. So hunters should ensure that they should arrive in the place with minimal noise to avoid frightening them. With their enhanced hearing and smelling abilities, animals know if there are hunters near who will either kill them for food or money.

Another indication of when is hunting season over is the time the snowfalls. During this time, most animals hibernate. During their hibernation, they rest in a secluded place where they will be warm and safe. It is best to wait for the next season to hunt because aside from animals' absence, accidents are most likely to happen during winter because of the freezing temperature. 


Be Ready For Hunting Season

Throughout time, hunting evolves from a necessary means of survival to an enjoyable activity where friends or families bond. However, every hunter should always be responsible for doing it. They should think of themselves and their companions, co-hunters, and other people that patrol or present in the area. Hunting is a reminder that humans did not leave their prehistoric activities but improve them by using modern tools and approaches to align with the present's ethical mores.

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