For hunting everything from deer and elk to pronghorn sheep and turkey, there is a wide variety of attractive locations in the United States for hunting during the autumn months. The best fall hunting locations depend on the type of game animal you’re interested in hunting.
Regardless of the game that you want to pursue, an adaptive ground blind can help. Rather than changing your blind to suit your environment, a blind consisting of mirrored panels can allow you to blend into any background. Take a look at the six best locations for hunting in the U.S. this fall so you can carefully plan when and how you’re going to fill your tags.
Although Salmon, Idaho, is prized for its fishing, this picturesque area in the Rocky Mountains is rich with hunting opportunities, including everything from whitetail and mule deer to bighorn sheep and antelope. You’ll also find mountain lions (cougars) and mountain goats. If you’re after big game, rest assured, Idaho is one of the best black bear hunting locations in the autumn months.
Utah is known for its natural and geographic diversity, extending to the range of available game, especially in northern Utah. The Wasatch-Cache National Forest is home to deer, elk and moose. While mule deer and elk are common throughout the state, you’ll find a bigger population in the Wasatch and the Uinta Mountains. If it’s moose you’re hoping to hunt, they are specifically concentrated in this region.
For the waterfowl hunter, you’ll find birds congregating along the Bear River. If you’re more interested in hunting upland birds, you’ll find sage and forest grouse, chukar partridges and doves in the mountains. The Wasatch Mountains is a mountain range on the Idaho-Colorado border to the east of Salt Lake City that’s ideal for those interested in hunting mountain goats.
Situated between the Swan Mountains and the Mission Mountains, the Seeley Swan Valley is a popular destination for various outdoor activities, from hiking in the summer to snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. Aside from these recreational activities, Seeley Swan Valley is also home to significant deer and elk populations.
The Selkirk Mountains is a mountain range spanning Idaho, Washington and British Columbia. In the northeastern corner of Washington, you’ll find abundant game, including deer, moose, black bear and even wild turkeys. Making the journey to these game-rich mountains is well worth the effort, considering the opportunities that they afford.
While many locations in the U.S. offer ample opportunities for hunting deer, elk and moose, Wyoming’s plains contain substantial populations of antelope and pronghorn sheep. Wyoming’s most prized antelope hunting is primarily located in the state’s south-central, central and southwest parts. You’ll also find significant antelope populations in the eastern parts of the state, but, as privately owned land is common in those regions, you’ll need permission to hunt there. In addition to antelope, Wyoming is home to a diverse range of animal species, from elk and moose to black bear and bison. If you’re more of an upland bird hunter, there are pheasants, sage and ruffed grouse and chukar partridges as well.
Wisconsin has more than seven million acres of land open to the public for hunting and a diverse range of habitats. Widely considered to be among the best places in the country for hunting whitetail deer, the state and the town of Appleton are also known for producing some of the world’s largest bucks. Be mindful regarding weapons; for example, Wisconsin restricts the types of firearms that you can use.
It isn’t simply enough to know where and what you want to hunt. You need to know whether you can. Each state has an agency tasked with managing game, fish, wildlife and animal habitats that determines that state’s hunting season. Hunting seasons vary according to the animal species and weapon used. You should consult a season map before traveling to a state or city to hunt. Always consult your local laws regarding appropriate hunting weapons. Some states have minimum-caliber or draw-weight requirements for rifles and bows. Others have seasons for specific weapon categories, such as archery or black powder.
The weapon you’ll need depends on the game animal you intend to hunt and the local laws. Regardless of whether you carry a bow, centerfire rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader, you must train with it and ensure it’s appropriately sighted-in before venturing out into the wilderness. Always inspect your equipment before embarking on a hunting trip and never use ammunition that you haven’t personally tested — it doesn’t matter whether it’s a broadhead or a jacketed soft point.
Take food and water with you, especially when venturing out into the wilderness or hiking over rough terrain. Don’t ignore hunger and thirst. Energy-dense foods, such as beef jerky, trail mix, granola bars and chocolate can provide a steady boost in the field, allowing you to travel farther. Always bring a first-aid kit, no matter how close you think you are to civilization.
In the fall in many parts of the country, the temperature can drop precipitously. To avoid hypothermia, it’s important to dress warmly. Being cold and wet can adversely affect your performance in the field and your health more generally. Wear proper gloves, too — losing dexterity is neither good for the rifleman nor the bowhunter.
The United States has breathtaking natural diversity in both geography and animal populations. Regardless of whether you want to hunt whitetail deer or more exotic species, there’s a place for you. Always familiarize yourself with local laws and plan your trip carefully. Part of the planning process includes gathering the right equipment, and camouflage is necessary for ensuring that you remain invisible to your quarry until the last moment. A mirror ground blind is one of the most effective types of camouflage for this purpose.