State Hunting Regulations

STATE HUNTING REGULATIONS


Federal Lands – US Fish and Wildlife Service
Hunting on a national wildlife refuge is subject to current federal and state regulations. Consult those regulations before hunting. All hunters must possess a valid state hunting license. All hunters 16 years or older must possess a Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp while hunting migratory waterfowl. All hunters must comply with current Federal Migratory Bird Regulations. All hunters must comply with the terms and conditions authorizing access or use of refuges, including the terms and conditions under which hunting permits are issued. All hunters must comply with refuge-specific regulations governing hunting.

Regulations, special conditions and maps of hunting areas are available at the refuge’s headquarters. In addition, refuge-specific hunting regulations for migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting appear in CFR 50 32.20 through 32.72. Use of any drug on any arrow for bow hunting is prohibited. Archers may not have arrows with such drugs in their possession. Unauthorized distribution of bait and hunting over bait is prohibited. (Baiting is authorized in Alaska, in accordance with state regulations on refuges.) Use of nails, wire, screws or bolts to attach a stand to a tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter, is prohibited. 

Alabama
Alabama has tremendous natural diversity with more than 1.3 million acres of public hunting land and some of the most liberal seasons and bag limits in the nation. Alabama hunters have an opportunity to hunt many species, including, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, feral hogs, waterfowl, rabbits, squirrel, mourning doves, and many other species.

Alaska

Alaska’s process for enacting fish and wildlife regulations is an outstanding example of an open public process. The structure ensures that a wide range of needs and values are addressed through a high level of public involvement and scrutiny. In addition, the administrative framework helps ensure that pressures from specific interest groups do not influence the departments’ job to sustainably management fish and wildlife

Arizona

Our state offers adventurous hunting opportunities all year round, from small to big game. Buy your hunting license, apply for Arizona’s big game draw, see hunting regulations and find everything else you need to plan your next outing.

Arkansas
Anyone born after 1968 must complete a hunter education course and carry a valid hunter education card to hunt in Arkansas. Children under 16 may hunt without hunter education as long as they are under the direct supervision of an adult who is 21 years old. There is no specific age requirement to enroll in hunter education. However, the educational material is based on a sixth-grade reading level. Arkansas recognizes hunter education cards from other states. Arkansas’s hunter education program is recognized in all states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

California

Effective July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition is required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California. In October 2013, Assembly Bill 711 was signed into law requiring the use of nonlead ammunition when taking any wildlife with a firearm in California. This law required the California Fish and Game Commission to adopt regulations that phased-in the statute’s requirements by July 1, 2019.

Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is charged by state statute to protect, preserve, enhance and manage the wildlife resources of the state and to provide a quality state park system. Wildlife management objectives such as determining the numbers and types of wildlife taken, and providing opportunities to hunt, fish, or engage in other wildlife and outdoor-related recreation are realized through the creation of regulations by the Parks and Wildlife Commission.

Connecticut
The DEEP Wildlife Division’s Conservation Education/Firearms Safety (CE/FS) Program offers hunting safety classes on firearms and archery hunting and trapping throughout the year. The classes are taught by a dedicated corps of certified volunteer instructors. The CE/FS Program is now offering Advanced Hunter Education seminars and clinics on such topics as waterfowl hunting, hunter marksmanship, small game hunting, venison processing, and wild turkey hunting.

Delaware

The Division of Fish and Wildlife provides numerous and diverse places for you to hunt on approximately 65,000 acres of public wildlife areas throughout the state.

Florida
Hunting is a great way for friends and family to spend time together while experiencing Florida’s natural beauty. Every hunting adventure is an opportunity to learn about wildlife and their habitats and build outdoor skills. And if the trip afield is successful, you can enjoy healthy, locally-sourced meals!

Georgia

With recent discoveries of chronic wasting disease in several of our neighboring states and a declining turkey population, adhering to Georgia’s hunting regulations is as important as ever. Without your dedication to protecting these resources, it would be impossible to ensure they remain plentiful and accessible for all people for decades to come.

Hawaii

Effective June 15, 2023, the Department of Land and Natural Resources will begin issuing hunting licenses and stamps for the new hunting season (date of issuance through June 30, 2024)

Idaho

Hunting in Idaho runs the spectrum from plentiful upland game to highly coveted big game species.
Seasons in Idaho are generally structured to provide a wide variety of hunting experiences with a strong emphasis on opportunity.

Illinois

Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that maintains the health and abundance of game species and the balance of our natural resources. Hunters play an important role in managing wildlife and it is their tax dollars paid through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and hunting licenses and fees that pay for the majority of wildlife management by the IDNR.

Indiana

If a deer, wild turkey, river otter, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, Eastern cottontail rabbit, Northern bobwhite, pheasant, or furbearer (e.g., beaver, coyote, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, skunk, long-tailed weasel) dies after a collision with a motor vehicle, an Indiana Conservation Officer or other law enforcement officer, DNR property manager or assistant property manager, or wildlife biologist may issue a permit to an individual to possess the dead animal.

Iowa

Each summer the Iowa DNR asks for volunteers to participate in the July-August Wild Turkey Survey. It is a simple process: as you work and play in Iowa this July and August keep an eye out for wild turkeys.

Kansas

Special hunts are part of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks’ “Recruitment, Retention and Re-Activation (R3)” efforts. These hunts are conducted on lands not normally open to un-restricted hunting and include department lands, including state parks, wildlife areas, and refuges. The hunts also occur on Walk-in Hunting Access areas (WIHA), national wildlife refuges, city and county properties, and other locations. These hunts limit the number of participants to ensure a quality experience or to achieve specific management goals, such as herd reduction.

Kentucky

Persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1975 must carry proof of valid hunter education certification or a hunter education exemption permit while hunting. Hunters may use hunting licenses or electronic documentation with proof of identity. Persons not required to have licenses or permits are exempt from hunter education certification.

Louisiana

Outlaw quadrupeds include the feral hog, an invasive species which has caused severe crop and land damage throughout the state, as well coyotes and armadillos. Licensed hunters may take outlaw quadrupeds year-round during legal shooting hours. These quadrupeds, along with nutrias and beavers, may be taken year-round at night on private property by the landowner or his lessee or agent, with the landowner’s written permission and contact information in his possession.

Maine

Hunters for the Hungry, is a cooperative program between The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) within The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. This program provides a means for hunters to donate all or a portion of their hunt to a family in need. This program has been extremely beneficial to our citizens providing lean, high protein meats to food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

Maryland

Maryland is home to an estimated 90 species of mammals, 93 species and subspecies of reptiles and amphibians, over 400 species of birds and several hundred species of marine and freshwater fishes. An untold number of insect and other invertebrate species (crustaceans, spiders, mollusks, etc) also reside here. Of all of these thousands of creatures, over 300 are rare. One hundred and ten of these species are designated as Threatened or Endangered in Maryland and are afforded protection under the State Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents 15 years and older who wish to possess, carry, and transport firearms, ammunition, and feeding devices are required to have a firearms license. Firearms licenses are issued by municipal police departments.

Michigan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.

Minnesota

Minnesota is a hunting paradise thanks to millions of acres of public hunting land. Spending time with someone who already hunts is the easiest way to learn.

Mississippi

All birds of prey (eagles, hawks, osprey, owls, kites and vultures) and other nongame birds are protected and may not be hunted, molested, bought, or sold. English sparrows, starlings, blackbirds, and crows may be taken according to regulations. The following endangered species are also protected: black bear, Florida panther, gray bat, Indiana bat, all sea turtles, gopher tortoise, sawback turtles (black-knobbed, ringed, yellow-blotched), black pine snake, eastern indigo snake, rainbow snake, and the southern hognose snake.

Missouri

To adapt to the changing status of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Missouri, MDC’s CWD Surveillance and Management Plan was revised in 2022. The original plan was developed after detecting the first cases of the disease in the state in 2010, then revised in 2015. Since then, CWD has been detected in new areas of the state, and distribution of the disease has expanded in some areas where it was previously detected.

Montana

Hunting is the primary tool for monitoring and managing the spread of CWD. Concerns over CWD shouldn’t stop you from enjoying hunting season. Hunters are critical to conservation efforts across the state and protecting our wildlife heritage.

Nebraska

Nebraska is the mixed-bag capital of the Great Plains. Hunt diverse big game and wild turkeys, upland game, waterfowl and other small game. Permits are affordable, and we offer 1.3 million acres of publicly accessible lands. Find success and take a beginner with you. Take ’em hunting.

Nevada

Every year, Game Division’s biologists review big game hunt results, herd management objectives, sportsmen comments and other information to develop big game season recommendations for when, where and how long hunting seasons should be. These recommendations are presented at County Wildlife Advisory Board meetings for public input and ultimately the statewide Board of Wildlife Commissioners, who set the seasons in January.

New Hampshire

The Granite State’s bear season will officially open on Thursday, September 1, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division is ready to assist successful hunters with the registration of their bruins this year. 

New Jersey

Although one of the smallest and most densely populated states in the nation, New Jersey offers numerous hunting opportunities. New Jersey’s scientifically sound research and management programs ensure sustainability of the wildlife resource.

New Mexico

Whether you’re hunting grouse, squirrels, quail or waterfowl, or holding out for that elusive trophy bull elk, mule deer or pronghorn, New Mexico’s hunting opportunities are as abundant and diverse as its terrain and habitat. New Mexico also offers hunting opportunities not found anywhere else, including hunts for exotic species including Persian ibex, oryx and Barbary sheep. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists and wildlife managers work to maintain and improve wildlife habitat and protect wildlife populations, while providing hunting opportunities on public and private lands for a range of species throughout the state.

New York

Hunting is among the most popular forms of wildlife recreation in New York State. Nearly 700,000 New Yorkers and over 50,000 nonresidents hunt in the Empire State. New York offers many exciting opportunities to hunt a large variety of wildlife, including big game, small game, game birds and furbearers.

North Carolina

From the coast to the mountains, year after year, North Carolina hunters anxiously await the coming hunting seasons. Most set aside a few days or a weekend and some reserve several weeks to a month or more. Rarely is anything else planned that would interrupt the hunting months. Some consider hunting as being part of a unique organic lifestyle. Hunters prefer to acquire fresh meat not unlike a gardener prefers fresh vegetables. Because of this, hunters and gardeners realize a feeling of pride and satisfaction that only comes from obtaining one’s own food naturally.

North Dakota

A person who has actually lived in, or maintained his or her legal residence, in North Dakota for the past six months, may qualify for resident licenses, providing he or she does not continue to claim residency in another state. When applying for a resident license applicants 18 years or older must submit a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or valid North Dakota nondriver photo identification number.

Ohio

Hunting in Ohio is seasonal and regulated to protect wildlife populations, so it is important that you understand the current Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations and buy your hunting license and permits.

Oklahoma

Do you know someone who wants to try hunting? Take them afield the first weekend in September. No hunting license is required for Oklahoma residents on Free Hunting Days!

Oregon
In spring and summer, you might come across a fledgling bird on the ground, a deer fawn or elk calf hidden away in grass, or even a seal pup by itself on the beach. And naturally, your first instinct will be to “help” the animal by picking it up and taking it home or to a wildlife center. But these young animals aren’t actually orphaned. The bird is learning to fly and the young deer or elk has been hidden there by its mother to protect it from predators while she is off feeding. It is illegal to interfere.

Pennsylvania

The Shooting Range Permit was recently updated and is now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. A permit purchased after April 10, 2023 will have access to PGC shooting ranges for an entire year after the date of purchase.

Rhode Island

The wildlife staff offices, laboratory and development staff are located at the Great Swamp Field Headquarters within the Great Swamp Management Area in West Kingston. The hunter and aquatic resource education staff offices are located at the E. Huntee Fish and Wildlife Education Center within the Arcadia Management Area in Exeter.

South Carolina

The following species may be hunted ONLY during legally established seasons: bear, beaver, bobcat, deer, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, rabbit, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, weasel, waterfowl (goose, brant and duck), bobwhite quail, mourning dove, rails (marsh hen), coot, gallinule, ruffed grouse, crow, wild turkey, common snipe and woodcock.

South Dakota

South Dakota is renowned world-wide for its pheasant hunting, and rightfully so.  Did you know the average annual pheasant harvest during the past 10 years is 1.2 million roosters? Pheasants are just part of the hunting package you can enjoy.  We offer a variety of game animals in a variety of settings: forests, river bottom, grasslands, mountains, and the vast Missouri River reservoir system.

Tennessee

TCA 70-4-115 allows wild game animals, except for non-game and federally protected wildlife species, accidentally killed by a motor vehicle to be possessed for personal use and consumption. However, possession of a deer killed by a motor vehicle is permitted only if the person notifies the TWRA or any law enforcement officer and supplies his/her name within 48 hours. Personal possession of bear accidentally killed by a motor vehicle is only lawful once a TWRA enforcement officer issues a possession tag for it.

Texas

In Texas, every hunter born after September 2, 1971, must complete a Hunter Education Course, including hunters from out of state.

Utah

The state of Utah provides numerous downloadable guides to help you navigate hunting in Utah.

Vermont

It is illegal to intentionally interfere with someone who is lawfully taking fish or wild animals, or to disrupt the taking of any fish or wild animal by harassing or disturbing the fish or animal. Vermont law prohibits obstructing private driveways, barways, or gateways with motor vehicles. People shall not drive over private lands or enter these lands for the purpose of camping without the permission of the landowner.

Virginia

The hunting of deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the aid or assistance of dogs on Sunday is prohibited. The Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 8, which affords the opportunity for public lands to be hunted on Sunday if allowed by the public landowner. Governor Glenn Youngkin signed SB8 in April and the new law became effective on July 1, 2022. DWR has been working with public landowners to understand how Sunday hunting will be implemented on their lands.

Washington

Hunting remains a vital way of life for many residents and non-residents in Washington and contributes to statewide conservation efforts. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains opportunities for seasoned and first-time hunters alike. 

West Virginia

It is the statutory mission of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to provide and administer a long-range comprehensive program for the exploration, conservation, development, protection, enjoyment, and the use of the natural resources of the State of West Virginia.

Wisconsin

In the months leading up to the various Wisconsin seasons, hunters across the state anxiously await their favorite time of year. Time spent honing shooting skills, readying equipment and scouting the land for game are enjoyable pastimes and can pay off when the season opens. Bonds with family and friends strengthen during the hunting seasons as old traditions continue and new ones begin. And of course, everyone is wondering what the season will bring.

Wyoming

From the alpines of the Bighorn and Wind River mountains, the foothills of the Shirley Basin, the plains of the east and the fabled Red Desert of the southwest. Wyoming offers an abundance of hunting experiences and opportunity. We are here to help you get your license and get outdoors. With a few simple steps, we’ll have you on your way to making an informed decision and enjoying the hunt of a lifetime.