Hunting Seasons in the US, 2018-2019, Select a State

The history of hunting in the USA started a long time ago and it is an essential part of this great country. 

While hunting you can experience the real American outback and it will offer you many hunting types as well as different adventures depending on the state you are hunting in.

In many states, you can choose between hunting on public or private properties, both offer unique experiences and various game animals. And it is not just about hunting, while doing it on different lands you can enjoy the most popular America’s natural attractions.

In this article, you can find out about the best hunting seasons, earliest season dates. You will also read about the most interesting states for hunting and which ones are the best for deer and turkey hunting.

OR Click on Your State Below


Which States Have the Earliest Seasons?

us hunting seasons

If you are wondering in which state you can start your next hunting season, then you are in the right place. Here is the list of the earliest season dates in the USA.


Season Start From


Season starts in July


Season starts in mid-September


Season starts in the last week of September


Season starts in the last week of September


Season starts at the beginning of October.


Season starts from mid-October.


Season starts at the end of the October.


Season starts in the last week of October.


Season starts in the middle of November.

Florida – season starts in July, and the main attraction is antlerless and antlered deer.

Missouri - season starts in mid-September.

Virginia - season starts usually in the last week in September.

Maine – season starts from the last week of September, and its attraction is deer hunting. Hunters can use both archery and firearms.

Michigan – season starts at the beginning of October.

Indiana – season starts from mid-October, and it begins with hunting the fox. There are no limits on this game animal.

Oklahoma – season starts at the end of the October. The animals that are most hunted are deer, elk and antelope.

Colorado – season starts in the last week of October. This season opens for elks and deer.

Alabama – season starts in the middle of November. In Alabama hunting seasons depend from areas.

Which States Are the Best for Deer Hunting?

If you are a hunter that enjoys the most to hunt deer, then these states are your best choice.

Mississippi is likely the best state for deer hunting. Here you can find a lot of mature bucks on more than 2 million acres of public land.

Right next to Mississippi is the state of Wyoming. The state is popular for the most whitetails in the books than any other state in the USA. If you are looking for the holy grail of deer hunting, you will certainly go to Ohio.

Indiana and Oklahoma both have a great deer population that is increasing as the years pass. Kansas is another state you want to visit when it comes to deer, but be careful, it is one of the priciest states for hunting.

Nebraska is probably the least popular of all states for deer hunting, but it has a great deer population and not a lot of competition, so you would want to check it. Iowa is known to have giants. This is both great and hard for hunting, it takes three or more years just to draw a tag in Iowa. But, don’t be discouraged, it is worth it. Kentucky is becoming Iowa in the future, it has bigger bucks than Iowa now. Only Wisconsin surpasses it in deer hunting. 

If you are looking for a lot of deer and deer hunters, you will definitely visit the state of New York. In the east, the best state you can hunt deer in is Virginia. It is really hard to beat it. Washington and North Dakota have a lot of ground for deer hunting, and both states don’t charge that much.

The States With the Earliest Deer Seasons

us hunting season dates

Love hunting deer but can’t decide which state is the best for deer hunting? Don’t worry; here are all the states that are best for deer hunting.


Deer Season Start Form


Season starts in July

South Carolina

Season starts in August.


Season starts in August.


Season starts at the beginning of September.


Season starts at the beginning of September.


Season starts at the beginning of September.


Season starts at the beginning of September.

North Dakota

Season starts at the beginning of September.

FloridaSunshine State is a perfect place to start your hunting season with deer hunting, and the deer season begins at the end of July. The attraction is antlerless and antlered deer.

South Carolina - this is the only state where you can hunt velvet bucks with a gun, and the season starts in August.

Idaho – the state is known for the biggest population of whitetails. The season dates start in early August.

Nebraska – the most popular thing about Nebraska is that it has everything that one deer hunter wants. The season starts at the beginning of September.

Wyoming – deer isn’t as popular as antelope in this state, but it has one of the earliest deer seasons, so it certainly is worth visiting. Season dates start from the beginning of September.

Kentucky – the state has a great deer population, and the season starts really early, at the beginning of September

Montana – this big sky country is a heaven for deer hunters. All hunters can enjoy hunting deer from the beginning of September.

North Dakota – the state has greatly improved when it comes to hunting whitetails. This is the Dakota you want to start your hunt when it comes to deer hunting. You can do it as early as from the start of September.

Which States Are the Best for Turkey Hunting?

longest hunting seasons in us

For turkey hunting there are a lot of places in the USA, the main problem is narrowing down the best ones. Well, we did that for you. Here are five states that are the best if you want to go on turkey hunting.

South Dakota – the state is really special. It has some of the most beautiful and vocal turkey and it is plentiful in a setting that is different from any other state. You should be looking in the Merriam’s and Black Hills that are an obvious choice but don’t exclude the rest of the state.

Kansas – it is true that Kansas is the most popular state for big whitetails, but the turkey is great here as well. Whether you're into bow hunting turkeys or shooting them with a shotgun, Kansas is certainly worth checking out.

Texas – hunting in Texas will be an experience you’ll never forget. There are open areas for turkey hunting and you may not see a person within miles. It is just nature and this state is really worth visiting if you plan to hunt turkey this season.

Nebraska – plenty of states are worth considering when going on a turkey hunt, but Nebraska is high on that list. It has long seasons and liberal bag limits, so it is no wonder it’s among the favorite ones.

Oklahoma – this state is diverse, full of public lands and the tags are really generous. It is one of the best to visit when it comes to turkey hunting; it offers three subspecies and a pile of mutts.

Night Hunting in Different States

night hunting seasons in us

Night hunting laws depend on the state. Some states have strict laws, and some of them allow the use of night vision equipment. Here are the states that prohibit night vision and the ones that don’t, as well as the states with the most interesting animals to hunt at night.

States, where night vision equipment is illegal, are Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

Other states allow night hunting, but every state has its own regulations about night hunting and animals you can hunt, so always check the regulations of the state you are planning to hunt in.

Which are the states where you can find the most animals to hunt at night?

There aren’t many states where you can hunt a lot of different species at night, but here are the ones that offer the most animals for night hunting.




Coyotes, all foxes, bobcats, beavers, and skunks.


Muskrats, frogs, opossums, raccoons, otter, minks, and foxes.


Foxes, coyotes, raccoons, opossums and alligators.


Coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoon, skunk, and opossum.


Fox, raccoon, opossum, nutria, beaver, coyotes and bobcats.


Bullfrogs, green frogs, raccoons, and furbearers.

New York

Fox, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, opossum, skunk, mink, weasel.


Skunks, raccoons, opossums, weasels, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes.

South Dakota

Bobcat, coyote, fox, badger, raccoon, mink, and opossum.


Bullfrogs, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, foxes, and furbearers.


Armadillos, mountain lions, bobcats, rabbits, porcupines, frogs, coyotes, turtles, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, mink, badger, opossum, beaver, ring-tailed cat, muskrat, skunk, otter, raccoon, and nutria.

Which are the states with the strict regulations, and which species are allowed to hunt?




Coyotes only.


Bobcat only with the use of dogs.


Coyotes and fox only on private properties.


Raccoon and opossum only.


Allowed on private properties only.


Raccoon and coyote only with the permission of the landowner.


Allowed only from November to March.


Allowed only for coyote and furbearers.


Armadillos, feral hogs and coyotes allowed only on private properties.


Coyote and raccoon only.


Allowed only from October to March.


Coyotes and fox only.


Allowed on private properties only.

New Hampshire

Coyotes only from January to March.

New Jersey

Allowed only from January to March.

North Carolina

Feral hogs and coyotes only on private lands.


Allowed only in specified Counties.


All hunting is allowed except on Sunday when only raccoons can be hunted.

West Virginia

Coyote only.

States With Exclusive and Limited Game Animals

when is hunting season over

Interested in hunting limited game animals? Here are some of the most unique animals you can hunt and find in the USA.

Alligators were endangered species in the past, but now you can hunt them in Arkansas and Georgia. In Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico you can go hunting on ‘wild pigs’ or javelinas.

Love hunting birds? Then Texas is perfect for you because only there you can find chachalacas. Texas offers you more rare animals to add to your trophy list, like armadillos, turtles, porcupines, nutrias, and otters. Another great place for hunting armadillos is South Carolina. In Ohio, you have the opportunity to go on boar hunting.

Missouri and Tennessee are not the usual states, because there you can go hunting on green frogs and bullfrogs. Mink is one of the game animals you will find in South Dakota.

In Canada and Alaska, you can find caribous, muskox, and moose, and California is home to the least common elk, tule elk. Mexico is known for cougars, and bison. Cold Alaskan mountains are a home to beautiful white Dall sheep. Probably the biggest and rarest animal you can hunt is a polar bear which can be found on the islands and shores of the arctic.

Here are some states with the most interesting seasons, games and areas for hunting.

Alabama Hunting Seasons 2018 – 2019

As a state with natural diversity, Alabama is a perfect place for hunting various species. Alabama is known to have one of the longest seasons, and the most liberal bag limits. If you are interested in hunting species like deer, wild turkey, feral hogs, bobwhite quail and many more than you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to hunt in this state.

If you want to know what license requirements for this state are, you can visit the official Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division website.

Interested in night hunting? In Alabama, night hunting is allowed, but any kind of night vision equipment is prohibited.

This state manages over 91,000 acres of land available for different types of hunting. Special opportunity areas and areas for physically disabled are one of the unique places on which you can hunt only in Alabama.



Big Game Season

October 15 – January 15

Turkey Season

March 16 – April 30

Small Game

November 3 – August 31

Bag Limit: Lowest is 8 per day and 8 in possession -
Highest is no limit

*NOTE: The exact season dates vary by zone or species.

Read more about Alabama Hunting Season here.

California Hunting Seasons 2018 – 2019

hunting seasons in the us

California is a state with many hunting experiences available. It has five big game species, and a many small game animals, furbearers and birds. On more than 1,100,000 acres you can hunt bear, deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, wild pig, sheep and many small animals. It is a heaven for any type of hunter.

If you want to hunt in this state be sure to check all license requirements, stamps or tags.

Want to hunt at night? In California, you can hunt coyotes and fox during the night. When hunting birds, amphibians, reptiles or fish it is unlawful for you to possess any kind of night vision equipment. Be careful, there are some areas that are closed to night hunting.

Wildlife Areas of California and Ecological Reserves are unique and every area has a different type of hunting and other game species.

Come, and explore a wildlife area or ecological reserve near you!



Big Game Season

August 11 – February 3

Small Game

All Year

Bag Limit: Lowest is 7 – Highest is 30 

*NOTE: The exact season dates vary by zone or species.

Read more about California Hunting Season here.

South Dakota Hunting Seasons 2018 – 2019

South Dakota offers you an incredible abundance of game. Hunting species such as deer and turkey has never been better; this state is heaven especially for these species. Love to hunt rabbits, squirrels, pheasants or quail? Then this is the right place for you. South Dakota is incredibly popular for its pheasant hunts.

Every hunter that wishes to hunt here will need a license for game species.

In South Dakota, you can go hunting at night on coyote, bobcat, badger, raccoon, opossum and fox. Artificial lights are allowed, but under special circumstances so be sure to check the regulations.

Need a guide for hunting areas? The South Dakota Public Hunting Atlas is the guide for all lands that are open for public hunting. Federal, private and state-owned regions are included in the guide as well.



Big Game Season

September 1 – January 20

Small Game

September 1 – April 30

Bag Limit: Lowest is 3 (daily), 15 (possession) – Highest is 10 (daily), 30 (possession)

*NOTE: The exact season dates vary by zone or species.

Read more about South Dakota Hunting Season here.

Washington Hunting Seasons 2018 – 2019

For big game lovers, Washington is a perfect place with many animals to offer like elk, deer, cougar and turkey.

Everyone who wants to hunt wildlife in Washington, regardless of age, needs a valid license, permits, tags or stamps.

Washington is one of few states where you can hunt at night with night vision. It is allowed for species that can be hunted at night, like bobcats, raccoons and coyotes.

Washington is a state with great lands and areas for hunting: federal, military, state, tribal and private. If you need more information about these areas and regulations in every one of them, you can visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.



Big Game Season

August 1 – January 20

Small Game

September 1 – March 15

Bag Limit: Lowest is 4 (daily), 12 (possession) – Highest is no limit

*NOTE: The exact season dates vary by zone or species.

Read more about Washington Hunting Season here.

Kansas Hunting Seasons 2018 – 2019

In Kansas, there are Professionally Managed Hunting Facilities that have over a half a million acres of land which provide access for hunting. This expansive outdoor space in this fantastic state and the available game is every passionate hunter's dream.

Kansas is one of the best destinations for hunters, and even if you're not an experienced one, there are many guide books and educations that will help you learn about hunting locations very well and can aid you in becoming a professional.

Before starting your hunt in this state, you will first need to purchase a license.

In Kansas, night hunting is allowed for coyotes and furbearers. Night vision is not permitted per Kansas Hunting Regulations.

Need some interesting areas for hunting? Here, there are Wildlife Areas that are especially managed for hunting opportunities. Some of them offer special deals that are available only to a limited number of hunters.



Big Game Season

September 1 – March 15

Small Game

All Year

Bag Limit: Lowest is 5(daily), 20(possession) – Highest is no limit

*NOTE: The exact season dates vary by zone or species.

Read more about Kansas Hunting Season here.

Experience Unique Hunting Opportunities in the USA

Hunting in the USA is some of the best in the world, and for a lot of people hunting areas are in their backyards.

Diverse landscapes and unique species of animals make hunting exciting no matter if you are a beginner or a professional. Hunting opportunities throughout the USA are tremendous and vary from hunting deer in forests, elk in mountains, mule deer in the deserts or maybe muskox in Canada.

America doesn’t just offer you different animals; it has well planned seasons in every state, and areas for various types of hunting. Hunting is managed by each state, and hunting methods, ethics and laws are different from one state or region to another. All the information about seasons, states, licenses, and regulations you can find in wildlife agencies in each state and on their official websites.

Make sure to plan your hunt carefully, check all areas and laws so you can enjoy every step of your hunt, and make it an experience of a lifetime.