Pursuing new quarry in unfamiliar places – like alligators in Texas – can help you develop your skills as a hunter.

Getting out of your comfort zone is important for improving your skills as a hunter, and the best way to push yourself is a destination hunt. You’ll have the opportunity to pursue species you’ve never considered before, and in an unfamiliar environment.

Below are some of the country’s most exciting hunting grounds. If you’re nervous about trying something new, book a trip with an experienced guide who can give you tips, help you track animals, and show you where to position yourself to successfully fill your tag.

1. Alligators in Texas

Those who are interested in hunting alligators might want to pay Texas a visit. In movies, it’s a land where you draw your gun and go to duel. In reality, however, it’s the land where alligators go free, and no one likes it when they start threatening our game – or us.

Alligator season varies from one region to another, so check with a local guide before booking your trip.

2. Boars in Tennessee

Wealthy sportsmen introduced the wild boar to Tennessee’s forests around the turn of the 20th century. It didn’t take long for the population to bloom, and they quickly became an invasive species.

Known for their aggressive temperament, boars can cause extensive damage to native crops and wildlife habitats. Boars are an exciting species to hunt, and several ranches provide this opportunity at a reasonable price. For under a thousand dollars, you can get a tag, lodging, guides, and dogs to assist you in tracking this exciting game.

Spring black bear hunts top many hunters’ bucket lists. In Idaho, black bear season starts in spring and lasts until the beginning of the summer.

3. Black Bears in Idaho

If you like bear hunts, then you might want to put Idaho on your list, too. Spring marks the start of black bear hunting, and it lasts all the way to the beginning of summer.

Bear in mind that these dates are controlled and may differ from one hunting area to another. The purpose is to avoid overpopulation, which is why most of Idaho’s game hunts require special permits.

4. Black-Tailed Deer in Hawaii

Who said that Hawaii should only be visited for beaches and the Mojito? If you’re a hunter itching to pursue big spring game, you may want to pack your bags and head to Hawaii – particularly the island of Kauai. The population of black-tailed deer is very high, which permits year-round hunting. However, since some regions of this island have hunting limits, you need to know exact harvest regulations before pulling the trigger.

5. Turkeys in Kansas

When people think of great hunting locations, Kansas usually isn’t at the top of the list. But despite what many might think, the state isn’t all corn fields, and the southeastern corner has some amazing forests for hunting turkeys. Over the past several years, the bird’s population has increased dramatically, and the chances of bagging one are quite high. Knowledgeable outfitters can teach you how to call them in properly for a better chance of success.

6. Caribou in Alaska

With wide-open spaces and plenty of wildlife, Alaska is a hunter’s paradise. It’s the sort of place that many dream of but few can afford due to the high costs of transportation. However, if you have patience and the ability to use a call correctly, caribou hunting can be an incredibly rewarding pursuit. Some areas allow only fall hunting, but others permit year-round hunting.

Small game like fox, coyote and rabbit offer challenging, entertaining hunts due to these animals’ agility and keen senses.

7. Foxes in North Carolina

If you like hunting small game, then fox hunting may be your cup of tea. Most areas in North Carolina allow year-round hunting, so if you believe your house needs some new fox fur, schedule a visit to North Carolina.

Keep in mind that each area may have different bag limits or rules; confirm with a local outfitter before hunting.

8. Coyotes in Maine

If you’re planning a visit to Maine, you may want to try coyote hunting. Not only do coyotes make great trophies, but they’re also agile enough to provide an entertaining pursuit. Plus, since their population is high, no one is really bothered by the “no limit” and “all-year-round” specifications.

9. Wild Rabbits in North Dakota

Considering how fast and agile wild rabbits are, catching one isn’t as easy as it seems. Even with dogs, it’s very difficult to hunt a rabbit – and manage to make it sit still long enough for you to catch it. Actually coming home with a couple of rabbits not only fills your table but also feeds your pride.

Mountain lions are elusive and dangerous. A professional guide can help increase your chances of hunting success, while also ensuring your safety.

10. Mountain Lions in Colorado

Colorado is packed with mountain lions, and April marks the start of the mountain lion season. This wild animal is very elusive and dangerous, which is why you should book with a professional guide.

Furthermore, hunting this animal involves certain taxes and other regulations. Talk to a local outfitter before the start of every hunting session.

Having a Successful Hunt

While these are some of the most exciting places to hunt, good hunting places can be found in almost every state.

Regulations vary significantly among states, so always conduct extensive research before you apply for a tag or book with an outfitter. Even if the guide says they’ll take care of everything, you should try to learn as much as possible. After all, the goal is to become a better hunter, not just to take a vacation.

Adam Metts is an outdoor, ranch and hunting guru. He’s the lead guide and liaison at the Lazy J Ranch. He’s an expert in conservation, and native and exotic hunting species

FEATURED OUTFITTER


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