Daytime hunters have several advantages over nighttime hitmen, importantly visibility. However, hunting during the day also has a myriad of challenges that a night hunter won’t have to worry about, for instance, concealment.
Again, the wide array of crepuscular animals (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal animals (most active at night) coupled with the limited competition increase your odds of making a kill in the dark.
This article is a guide to some of the animals that you can hunt at night. But before creeping into the woods, it’s important that you be a responsible hunter. Be aware of the current hunting restrictions in your region. It’s important that you abide by your Local Department of Fish and Game’s night hunting regulations.
Animals that you can hunt at night
Coyotes are the most common animals to hunt at night. Although the fundamentals of hunting coyotes are simple, do know that hunting them at night can be somewhat trickier. You might, therefore, need to brace yourself with some tips to make your night a successful one.
For instance, it’s important that you pre-scout for good hunting locations during the day. This can be pretty hard to do at night, and especially on new grounds. Again, remember that coyotes tend to approach distress calls slowly in the dark.
So, you’ll need to be quite patient. Without forgetting, it might also be necessary to bring along one of the best night vision binoculars to give you an edge.
Hogs have, for long, been known to be a general nuisance in most States and it’s becoming important to keep the feral hog population in control. Since they are so widely distributed, it is very likely that you’ll find some good hunting grounds near you.
As any enthusiastic hunter will tell you, the best time to hunt hogs is at night as they feed. However, as popular as night hog hunting is, remember to check with the relevant authority in your State to ensure that it’s legal to do that at night and with special lights.
Some States that allow it include;
- North Carolina
Venison (deer meat) is known to be the ultimate red meat. Hunting deer can also be an enjoyable weekend activity for the entire family. But have you ever realized that most cameras capture bucks moving in darkness?
That is simply because most deer (not all) are crepuscular critters (they are more active around sunrise and sunset).
But as fun as hunting bucks can be, do know that it can also be extremely difficult. First, deer have a really good night vision. Their ears are also very sharp to the slightest sounds in the woods.
Bucks have a lot of muscles that allow them to move their ears without turning their head. Research also proves that a deer can hear a human’s sound quarter a mile away. But what makes hunting bucks quite hard is their great sense of smell which is said to be 10,000 stronger than ours.
For successful deer hunting at night, these tips on to how hunt in windy conditions might help you. It’s also important to hike around and find a favorable position to position your tree stand preferably along frequented deer trails.
Raccoons- Those nighttime bandits
Usually, the seasons for hunting raccoons and coyotes overlap. But the most interesting bit is that you can bait and call them in pretty much the same way. So, getting a license for each of the species might tip the scale in your favor when hunting at night.
Unfortunately, do know that these little bandits are super smart in avoiding detection by people. So, outwitting them is not always guaranteed unless you are really good at making sounds that pique a coon’s interest.
To make your night raccoon hunting fruitful, it might be a good idea to invest in a good coon squall call such as the Haydels RS-85. Again, remember that raccoons can take you through very nasty terrains. So, having a reliable waterproof wader might be a wise decision.
You also don’t want to get lost in the woods. As such, consider arming yourself with a GPS tracking device to direct you to your vehicle safely after the adventure.
Rabbits and hares
Rabbits and hares are known to get out of their burrows as the night cools. So, if you want to bag yourself a sweet nighttime bunny, get out as the night draws on. However, the fact that it is dark does not automatically guarantee you an easy catch. You still have to walk and stalk.
Importantly, avoid clumsy moves and ensure that the breeze pushes your scent away from your quarry to avoid early detection.
Which is the best tool for hunting rabbits and hares? Remember that airgun shooting is a big NO since the target might be long gone before getting in range.
Spotlighting is a great way to do this. This involves using a powerful lamp or scope-mounted low-power lamp.
Foxes and feral cats
Foxes and feral cats are easy to hunt down during the day using a whistle that makes the sound of a rabbit in distress. However, you could also hunt them at night by using the spotlight method. Again, you could also use dog or noise to flush your targets out and towards your gun’s range.
To take foxes and feral cats at night, you might need a thermal scope and a .22 rimfire or .22 Magnum rimfire. These will allow you to make perfect shots at about 100 meters. You could also use a shotgun such as the 12-gauge shotgun for a clean shot at a close range of up to 40 meters.
There is a wide array of animals that you can hunt at night. In addition to the abovementioned, bobcats, jackrabbits, dingoes and wild dogs also add to your options.
The most important thing, however, is to ensure that you have a license for your targets and that you are hunting within the required time and with the right tools. In addition, remember that your safety comes first. Scout the grounds beforehand and let someone know where you’ll be hunting during the night.