For a successful hunt, it is best to buy a hunting license from a government office before proceeding with this venture. Since poaching is punishable by law in the US, the government is keen on maintaining order and detaining those who break it.
Before going on a hunt, a hunter must be well versed of the law regarding hunting, this includes the use of stamps, bag limits, types of license issued, etc. Since there are different licenses for different species, season or weapon used, knowing all the licenses available is a very big help in your leisure activity.
Preys of the hunt
Considering the number of species that can be hunted in any season, the most common includes the White-tailed deer, Black bear, Wild Turkey, Waterfowl (includes ducks and geese), small game (cottontail, snowshoe, quail, squirrel, fox, and coyote), pheasants and Moose. Each has their own specific in which hunting them is legal, you should also note that there are different seasons for allowed weapons to be used as well.
Aside from paying the necessary fees for the licenses, tags and stamps, a hunter needs to attend seminars regarding the rules and regulations for hunting, as well as various other like wildlife protection, nature preservation and survival.
There are two kind of licenses that can be issued to hunters: the Resident Hunting License and the Nonresident Hunting License.
Resident Hunting License allows a hunter to hunt or trap any legal game mammals and birds in season without the need for an additional stamp except deer hunting during bow season, deer hunting during muzzleloader season, and migratory game birds.
For a Resident Hunting License, the price of each license differs according to age category: Juniors who are anyone under the age of 16, Regulars anyone above 16 and below 65, and Seniors which can only be buys in the month the person turns 65.
Nonresident Hunting Licenses have two types: Full Season and 3-Day Waterfowl and Small Game licenses. The Full Season hunting license allows non-residents of a certain state to hunt all legal game in season except during deer during bow season, deer during muzzleloader season, and migratory game birds.
Some hunting rules
In order to control the population of the various species that are considered prey in hunting, the government has issued the concept of tags and stamps to hunters.
Tags are often used when hunting big game (deer, elks, moose, reindeer, bear, etc.) and predators such as cougars and coyotes. A tag is needed for each animal harvested and must be buyd along with the license applied. If there are more than enough hunters who are registered for a specific season, then the tags are assigned by lottery instead of being bought individually. Waterfowl hunters are issued stamps instead of tags, though both have the same concept.
Different seasons, different rules
When hunting in the US, you should take note of the different hunting seasons offered by the law.
Closed season are designed to protect animals when they are most vulnerable, this includes the breeding season. Hunting during closed seasons is punishable by law and subject to fines and penalties.
The open season has different categories to give hunters time for their own specific specialties. When it comes to the use of weapons, there is the bow season, where only bows can be used to hunt deer, elk and game birds, muzzleloaders season and rifle/shotgun season.
Each prey has their own specific season where hunting them is permitted. Deer hunting for muzzleloaders starts on the November 3 to 13, while deer hunting for firearms starts on November 14 to December 9. Using bows for deer hunting starts on September 15 to December 15.
A knowledgeable hunter should know all there is to know about licenses, tags, stamps, seasons and regulations. Hunting the legal way in the US is considered as the best way.