Before winter turns much of the U.S. into a frozen tundra, fall is a great time to squeeze in a hunting trip (or two!). Our beautiful nation has some incredible hunting destinations, no matter what type of game you’re after.
From whitetails to mountain lions to black bears, there are a bevy of places from the East Coast all the way to Alaska that will give you a wild and picturesque hunting experience.
As always, check for local restrictions and necessary permitting and licenses before heading out on your hunt.
1. Salmon, Idaho
Located near the Montana border, Salmon has it all: plentiful fishing, grouse, deer, elk, bears, and mountain lions. Idaho boasts millions of acres of public hunting grounds that you’ll want to experience. The wolves in Yellowstone National Park have put a bit of a dent in the deer and elk populations, but there is plenty of big game left for you to go after.
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2. Appleton, Wisconsin
Wisconsin has been called the “number one trophy whitetail state in the country” by The Boone and Crockett Club, and bucks taken down in Wisconsin consistently break and set records. The 661,000 acres of hunting grounds in Wisconsin are also full of Grizzlies, mountain lions, and geese.
It’s a trek for sure, but worth the effort if you’re looking to bag a prize moose. Alaskan-Yukon bull moose antlers are the most impressive antlers you can bring home from a hunt, spanning as wide as six feet. Your fall hunt may be more on the cold side, but you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.
The plains of Wyoming offer up a wide variety of game: antelope, elk, deer, moose, bison, black bear, mountain lion, and wild turkey. Fall hunting season also offers access to plenty of small game: sage and ruffed grouse, chukar, pheasant, rabbit, hare, and squirrel.
5. Rapid City, South Dakota
You may be planning your trip in the fall, but game is available all year round in Rapid City. There’s ample fishing, as well as access to bears, deer, elk, and wild turkey. You’ll also catch sight of some amazing vistas that you won’t soon forget.
6. Wasatch Mountains, Utah
If you’re seeking out mountain goat hunting, head to the east of Salt Lake City. It can be difficult to get your hands on a goat permit these days, but if you can, you won’t be disappointed. Be ready for some serious hiking to get into goat country.
7. Georgetown, South Carolina
If you’re looking for fresh poultry and you’re on the east coast, check out Georgetown. South Carolina has more than 250,000 acres of hunting grounds that converge in Georgetown, where you’ll find wild turkey, quail and other smaller game.
8. Dallas County, Alabama
“Open season” takes on new meaning in Dallas County, where there are 170,000 acres of hunting grounds and no restrictions on the type of weapon you can use to take down your prey. There is also a deer population of 1.75 million to set your sights on.
9. Seeley-Swan Valley, Montana
Western Montana offers excellent whitetail and elk access in the conifer forest of the Seeley-Swan Valley. Be ready to put some miles on your hiking boots, and don’t forget your camera, as you’ll also find great views of the Rockies.
While you may be pining for a summer hunt or an exotic game hunt overseas, you can get your hunting fix right here in the U.S. Many of the top hunting destinations also offer incredible fishing opportunities if you’re looking to diversify.