One of the best ways to get out in the great outdoors is to go hunting. Whether you’re looking to be on the land with your family, or you’re looking for a new challenge, hunting is always a popular way to enjoy the perks that come with being a hunter. The best part? You don’t even need to own a rifle to participate, because there are many different types of hunting you can get into.
There are many different types of hunting around the world. The most popular types of hunting in the world today are:
- Firearm Hunting
- Bow and Crossbow Hunting
- Big Game Hunting
- Safari Hunting
- Small Game Hunting
While not all of us have the luxury of being able to take a week-long vacation to hunt, walking in the woods and exploring our surroundings is something that most of us can appreciate. Whether you are a hunter or not, there is something to be said about the beauty of nature. Now if you are an avid hunter this may seem foreign to you, but the truth is that there is more to hunting than just beating your head against a wall. Let’s dig deeper into the different types of hunting so you can find the best one for you to get started with.
1. Firearm Hunting
Modern day firearms are extremely popular among hunters. In fact, using a firearm for hunting is the most common way to hunt.
When deciding to use a firearm for hunting, it is important that you check the regulations in your state. There are different seasons for hunting different animals and there are also specific weapons for different animals. For example, you’ll most likely want to choose a rifle to hunt deer, but it is also possible to use a handgun.
The most common firearms used for hunting are rifles and shotguns, but there are some cases where handguns can be used for deer or wild hogs, depending on the state’s regulations.
When using a firearm, it is important to select the correct weapon and caliber for the type of game. A shotgun would be best for duck hunting, but may not be the best option for hunting elk.
Oftentimes, this type of hunting is done in the woods with the hunter camouflaged to blend with the surroundings, but can also be done in flat or hilly terrain. Some skill is required to stalk the animal and take it down in a humane manner. Most of the game hunted with firearms is used as a food source.
2. Bow and Crossbow Hunting
The second most popular type of hunting is bow or crossbow hunting.
Just as with firearms, there are different seasons for this type of hunting. I strongly urge you to check the rules and regulations for your specific area. In some states, the bow and crossbow seasons coincide, but this will not be the case for every state.
Typically bows or crossbows are used to hunt deer and wild boar. In some areas additional animals such as antelope or turkey may also be hunted with a bow or crossbow.
If you are considering hunting with a bow or a crossbow, it is important to know the difference between the two and select the weapon that is best for you. For example, a traditional bow relies on the user having the strength and stamina to hold the arrow in position until he or she can get a clear shot of the target. A crossbow is loaded and a trigger pull is the only thing needed to release the arrow.
I recommend going to a range and trying both types to find out which you are most comfortable with. The last thing you want to do is end up in a situation where you are trying to take down an animal and you realize you’ve selected the wrong weapon.
3. Big Game Hunting
A lot of the time the goal of a hunter is to provide food for their family while helping to manage overpopulated areas. However, there are times when the hunter is simply hunting for sport. This can also be referred to as “trophy hunting”. In these cases, the hunter is in it for the experience, the challenge, and bragging rights.
Examples of big game hunting would be bear, elk, mountain lions and moose. Traditionally, the hunter displays the trophy (usually the animal’s head, but sometimes the entire taxidermied body) in their home or office.
Some of the best destinations in the United States for big game hunting are found in the Western part of the country. Wisconsin, Montana and Wyoming top the list for big game hunters.
In most states a specific license is required for hunting. You can usually get information on different types of licenses, costs and requirements for your state by calling your local Wildlife Association or visiting the local website.
4. Safari Hunting
Another popular type of hunting is safari hunting. This type of hunting usually entails travel to a country where exotic animals roam freely. The most popular destination for safari hunting is Africa. Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia are the most frequented spots for safari hunting. If you are interested in more dangerous game (buffalo, leopards, and lions), Mozambique or Ethiopia would be the best place to go. These types of trips are conducted in an open safari vehicle and take the hunters directly into the area where the animals roam.
Most safari hunters are looking to land large animals such as elephants, giraffes or lions. Typically this type of hunting is for sport and the hunter displays a trophy of his or her catch.
Before deciding to embark on a safari hunting trip, I recommend researching the different areas and choosing the terrain you are most comfortable with. There are also different regulations and requirements for traveling to different countries, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the process so that you can be prepared. You’ll also want to make sure you have the appropriate equipment and clothing.
5. Small Game Hunting
We’ve talked about big game hunting, now let’s explore small game. As the name would suggest, small game is smaller animals hunted for meat or sport. Small game animals would include:
As with big game hunting, in some states you are required to have a specific license to hunt small game. You can contact your local Wildlife Association to find out what type of license you need.