Knowing When You Can Hunt

The dates for legal hunting vary based on location and the targeted species. Our best advice is to research the regulations by state and apply for a hunting license. In the Western region, the archery season typically falls in September, while in the Midwest and East, it’s usually in October or November. Rifle seasons are even shorter, often lasting about eight days in November or December.

Choose Your Method

Traditional hunting methods involve either bow hunting or rifle hunting.

Bow Hunting

Modern bow hunters have a variety of bows, arrows, and arrowheads to choose from. The types of bows include:

  1. Traditional bow: Also known as the longbow, it appears straight until it is strung, and then it curves.
  2. Recurve bow: More powerful than a conventional bow and generally not used with any mechanical devices.
  3. Compound bow: Equipped with a series of cables and pulleys that reduce the force required to pull the string back. This is the most popular bow type currently.

The stages of bow hunting are as follows:

  1. Nocking: Placing the arrow in the bow.
  2. Drawing: Pulling the arrow into position.
  3. Anchor point: Stabilizing the bow and arrow against your body.
  4. Release and follow through: Discharging the arrow while maintaining your position.

There are three main methods of hunting with a bow:

  1. Still method: Moving slowly before standing still for periods of time while waiting for the prey to arrive.
  2. Stalking method: Finding a target and then moving into position for the shot.
  3. Glass method: Using scopes or binoculars to locate targets before proceeding with stalking.

Rifle Hunting

Rifle hunting starts with selecting a suitable gun. Some beginner options include:

  1. The Remington 700: A classic bolt-action rifle known for its durability and precision, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
  2. The Ruger 10/22: A dependable and affordable .22 rifle, which is less intimidating due to its minimal noise and recoil.
  3. The Savage Axis: A competitively priced, lightweight bolt-action rifle known for its accuracy.

The key to preparing for your first hunting trip is to practice shooting regularly. Always treat firearms as if they are loaded and be mindful of the direction your muzzle is pointed. Never aim your gun at something you don’t intend to shoot, and always be aware of what lies behind your target, as rifle bullets can travel several miles depending on the caliber.

There are three methods of hunting with a rifle:

  1. Still Hunting or Stalk Hunting: This involves tracking animals by looking for their tracks, droppings, feeding or mating signs, and following these clues. However, hunters must be cautious about their scent, as deer have highly sensitive noses. Stalking is best done during a light rain.
  2. Stand Hunting: Hunters remain stationary in one place using a tree stand, ground blind, or tripod, and wait for the animal to approach them. It’s crucial to position the stand so that your scent does not alert the deer to your presence.
  3. Calling: This method involves using game calls or instruments to replicate the sounds of the targeted animal. Game calls can be especially effective during the mating season.

The most effective times to hunt are early in the morning and late afternoon, as deer tend to move more during these times, particularly close to dusk.

Before hunting whitetail deer, it is essential to gather as much information as possible. For more facts and tips, visit the website at