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The Best Hunting Areas Across the U.S.

California Central Coast: Wild boar

California is better-known for Hollywood and wine country, but the Central Coast is great for hunting and fishing alike. San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and San Benito counties, in particular, are home to many wild hogs, which are considered a big game animal here. They are common enough across the entire state that there are no daily bag or possession limits. The lakes across the region are also great for bass, catfish, crappie, and more.

(image via Flickr)

Talkeetna, Alaska: Bears & Wolves

Alaska has no shortage of big game or opportunities to bag it. The bears are especially notable—they grow to an average of 9 feet tall—and, along with the wolves, you can hunt them year-round in certain Alaska Fish & Game-designated predator control areas. This is also a great area for waterfowl, moose, dall sheep, and caribou.

(image via Flickr)

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland: Ducks

Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the country. Over 150 rivers flow to this one spot, bringing sea ducks, canvasbacks, bluebills, goldeneyes, puddle ducks, Atlantic brant, and more. While you're here, there's a world of local seafood to enjoy. There's nothing like fresh crab.

(image via Flickr)

Butler County, Kansas: Deer

It's hard to pin down the best place in Kansas for deer hunting. There are 12 counties in the state that have produced over 60 Pope & Young records. Butler County has the highest number, but honestly, the entire eastern half of the state is amazing. It's not the only Midwestern state that's a paradise for deer hunters, but it's one of the best. Plus, you don't have to pay the outrageous $700+ that Iowa charges for a non-resident hunting license.

(image via Flickr)

Sandy Sanders Wildlife Area, Oklahoma: Quail

There are plenty of great places for quail hunting in the U.S., but Oklahoma has five large, public wildlife management areas that are managed specifically for quail to thrive. Western Oklahoma has some of the best quail hunting in the state, and the large numbers and public availability make it a prime location.

(image via Flickr)

Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area, Alabama: Turkey

There are plenty of opportunities for hunting in Alabama, but the state is wildly known as one of the best for turkey hunting. At one point, turkeys actually had to be reintroduced into the area, but now there are around 400,000 of the birds in the state.

(image via Flickr)

Pierre, South Dakota: Pheasant

South Dakota is perhaps the best state overall for pheasant hunting. Last season was particularly strong due to a mild winter. Due to the insane prevalence of the bird, the season is long, the bag limits are generous, and the license fees are pretty reasonable. Pierre and the surrounding area is particularly noteworthy. Last year, Hughes County saw the hunting of about 30 roosters per square mile—compared to the 2.6 state average.

(image via Flickr)

Northeast Kingdom, Vermont: Moose

You can, of course, hunt moose in Alaska and Canada. But if you're going to stick to the lower 48, your best bet is Vermont. It really is a bet, however. Like Maine, the system involves a lottery, followed by an auction. But at auction, bidding starts at $1,500, which is pricey, though probably less than a trip to Canada. It's certainly less expensive than some of the license fees in other states.

(image via Flickr)

Grand Junction, Colorado: Elk

Grand Junction is a perfect combination of everything you could want from an elk hunt. It has the largest herd of migratory elk in the country. It also has thousands of deer and other live game in the nearby mountains, too. You can drive for about two hours in any direction in Grand Junction and still be in prime hunting territory. Somewhere between 70-80% of the land in Western Colorado is public, and open for hunting.

(image via Flickr)

Area 58, Wyoming: Pronghorn

The pronghorn is found across the Western and central United States, but it's vastly more prevalent in Wyoming than anywhere else. The state has nearly twice as many B&C entries for record pronghorns bagged compared to the runner-up, New Mexico. Much of the state is phenomenal, and few tags are issued, so you don't have to worry about pressure on the population.

(image via Flickr)