Games You Can Hunt in the Winter : An ultimate list of winter hunting games

Introduction

When the typical deer hunting period is over, all the hunting lovers feel shattered about it. If you are a passionate hunter, isn’t that how you feel? I have good news for you. I am telling you that from the end of November to the end of February, you have ample opportunity to kill winter hunting games in all over the US.

It might be very close to you, who knows!

So have a look, you may find your hunting destination for this winter. The following kinds of game animals you can hunt in winter and some of them all year round.

Winter Rabbit Hunting

Though the hunting period of rabbits and hares is throughout the full year-round,  when it comes to winter, you can hunt these game animals mostly from November to the end of February in many States in the US.

Winter Rabbit hunting and Hares stalking generally can be executed by an extensive range of weapons that mainly includes .22 long range rifles, 17 HMR rifle, and a 12-gauge shotgun.

You can check out the review and price for best long range rifle scopes and 17 HMR rifle scopes in here.

A significant advantage of hunting Rabbits and Hares in winter is that you can track them and find their hideout easily since they leave a trail in the snow. In winter hunting, you will face two types of Rabbits, namely Cottontail and Snowshoe.

Winter Coyote Hunting

In some States, Coyotes can be hunted whole year-round, but in some states, this game animal is seasonal. The good thing about winter Coyote hunting is that you can have a lot of fields to cover for hunting because you may find a lot of farmers will welcome you in their field to hunt this game animal down. But I must caution you hunting Coyotes in winter is not an easy thing, so if you enjoy the challenge of hunting, Coyotes can be the right game animal for you. If you can handle the stiffness of cold weather, coyote hunting in the winter can be your memorable experience.

Wild Hog

In most of the States, Coyotes can be hunted whole year-round and is one of the most popular large game animal captured in the US. Hunting this animal requires a specific set of skills, so only experienced hunters can kill this beasty and ferocious animal.

Winter Squirrel Hunting

If you have youngsters accompany you in your winter hunting journey, then you can encourage them to go for Squirrel hunting. Your child can adapt quickly to hunting if they can start something like Winter Squirrel hunting. If your youngsters are impatience and amateur hunter, then Squirrel hunting is right for them since they don’t need to wait for the Squirrel for so long since Squirrel is impatience too. Furthermore, your kids can use a small weapon like .22 long range or a .410 shotgun while hunting Squirrel. In East Texas, the adults can hunt an overall full year, but youngsters get more priority for chasing Squirrels in youth hunting season between October and February.

Raccoon

There are some states in the US that allow Raccoon hunting all year- round, and some States like States in Midwest, you can hunt this game animal in the winter season, until the month of February.

Beaver

Beaver is one of the favorite game animals all over the US, and in the numerous Northern States, the authority opens up trapping seasons in winter. In some States, those Beaver can be hunted by Rifle or other firearms. It is astonishing to know that some states don’t have any restrictions upon hunting and trapping Beaver, you can kill or catch this game animal all the time and season on selective States.

If you are thinking of winter hunting of Beaver , then Oregon can be your favorite destination. In pursuit of the pelts, the local people of Oregon were trapping Beaver, as tradition, for more than 200 years. The locals are fond of Beaver as they are natural dam-builder and eventually increase the salmon stock of the State.

Winter Turkey Hunting

In the cold weather, Turkey is also a popular game. The winter Turkey hunting season starts at the end of September, and it lasts until the end of January. In this time, you can hunt an excellent game animal Osceola Turkey in Florida.

The hunting of Rio Grande Turkey in Texas is entirely restricted in Texas. Though this bird is the official Turkey of the State, the authority allows only two days in January to hunt this game animal. Since the population of this game animal is decreasing, but when it comes to other game animals (unless not restricted by the State authority), roughly from November to January, you can hunt anywhere in Texas. In terms of wild turkey hunting in the winter, the season starts in November and ends in January.

Winter Elk Hunting

Winter Elk hunting can be legally done from November to February in Oregon, especially on private lands where hunters stay scattered. This large trophy- size animal is difficult to kill, and such a challenge gives the hunter more joy. Now-a-days the State authority is concern about Elk’s decrease of population, and so the hunters now face more difficulty in hunting this large game animal.

Black Bears

If you are planning to hunt in winter (fall season) and looking for trophy size game animal, then Oregon can be your destinations for hunting black bears. The State authorizes hunting seasons generally runs from 1st August  – 31st December on the west and south-west Oregon. To hunt in winter, you will need prior registration and license.

The ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) has a strict policy in hunting black bears. In one season one black bear you can bag. If you finally manage to hunt a Black bear, you must submit that bear’s head to an ODFW office within ten days of the hunt to be examined and marked.  You can also hunt bear in Georgia till the end of December, subject to bagging conditions imposed by the wildlife agencies from the State.

Winter Deer Hunting

The idea of winter hunting of deer can excite all deer hunters who kills deer typically in summer.  While you think of winter deer hunting you must consider two kinds of deer. They are Black-tailed deer and White-tailed deer.

Black-tailed Deer

Black-tailed deer generally available on the west side of North America, to be more specific, from Central California to British Columbia and southern Alaska. This game animal is a very quiet walker and locally often mentioned as “Pacific Ghost”. That is why it is a real challenge for any hunter to kill one of this black-tail deer.

Like the Black bear, Black-tailed deer is one of the trophy game animals available in winter.  In most States, this black-tailed can be killed from Mid-September to end of January. But you must look out two months before the hunting season starts to observe the deer’s movement.  In some State hunting, black-tailed deer is restricted like in Oregon, as in one season, a rifle hunter is allowed to hunt one antler black-tailed deer.

White-tailed Deer

Hunting season in Texas for white-tailed deer generally starts in November and ends in January.

The Texas (both North and South Zone) authority organizes a ‘special late’ season for antlerless and spike white-tailed deer between the first and last week of January.  

In Texas, there is an interesting thing that every year, they begin the separate season to use Muzzleloader rifles, which generally from the first week to the third week of January. In both Zone, Texas organizes youth-only season too in two phases, and their season starts a bit earlier than other seasons.

You can check the review and price for Muzzleloader rifles scopes here.

In Michigan, archery season take off from early October to early January and rifle shooting season exists in the very thin timeline between 15 to 30th November. Like Texas, Michigan also organizes antlerless deer seasons, muzzleloader season, and youth-only season.

You can also hunt this beautiful wild game animal in Maryland and many other States.

Cougar

In many States, Cougars is a huge and popular game in winter, but in some states, it is a year-round game.

In Oregon, the State authority authorized Cougars as a game animal to control the overpopulation of such a mountain cat. You can hunt cougars from January to December, but you can kill only one adult Cougar in a year( So one cougar per tag). Though, you can buy one additional cougar tag, only if you buy the general season tag first.   

In Washington, wild Cougars is one of the largest wild mountain cats. The State has two hunting seasons. One is early September to the end of December, and the 2nd one starts early January and ends at the end of April. Same as Oregon this State also allow one cougar in one year.

In most of the States, including Oregon and Washington,  that authorize Cougar hunting forbids hunter to kill spotted kittens or adults with spotted kittens. In general, hunters generally permitted to use any valid weapon, but the use of dogs for the harvest of a cougar is forbidden.

Hunting in winter

Winter Dove Hunting

Winter dove hunting in Texas is one of the favorite hunting game for the hunters.

In Texas, there are several kinds of Doves that exist in the wild. The Doves or white-winged dove’s winter hunting season in Texas generally starts in late December and ends in late January.

The Eurasian doves, the southern birds, migrated to North, is another kind of doves invades in America in winter. These doves quickly adapt and live in the agriculture farm area. There is no season or limit in hunting these invasive birds, so you can also hunt this game bird in winter.  Georgia is one of the favorite places for hunters to hunt Eurasian doves since one person can kill 15 birds a day for the whole season, and the season lasts until the end of January.

Javelinas

Javelinas can be hunted from October to February in North Texas, but you can track it for the whole year-round in South Texas and Hilly counties.   Also, in Arizona and New Mexico, there are several hunting hot spots where you can hunt this game animal in winter.

Winter Pheasant Hunting

Pheasants one of the birds that can be hunted in winter and one of the popular one, I must add. There are some States you can hunt this game birds in winter.

The winter pheasant hunting season in the State of Texas starts from early December to early January and the hunting take place in Panhandle County. In this hunting season, you can legally hunt three cocks per day and six cocks you can possess in a season.

In Minnesota, the Pheasant hunting season runs Statewide in between mid- December and early January. In that period, you can also hunt other State birds, e.g., Ring-necked pheasant.

Winter South Dakota pheasant hunting is also popular. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks organized traditional pheasant season, youth only, resident only seasons. It clearly explains in this State how popular Pheasant hunting is.

Quails

In many States, Quail can be hunted in winter. The States are Arizona, Texas, Nevada etc.

In Texas, the Statewide hunting season for Quails is in between late October to late February. In Texas, the daily bag limit is 15 birds and you can possess 45 birds in one season.

California Quail

In the western States, California Quail is available reportedly plenty. The State of Oregon has one of the largest population of this game bird, and the hunting restrictions rather loosen up too. In this state, you can validly hunt 10 Quail in a day and a total of 30 Quail in one season.

Don’t forget about the State of California, as you know, and the bird is named after this State. Right?

In California, the hunting season runs for all Quail (including California Quail, off course) from the end of September to the end of January. Same as Oregon, in California, you can validly hunt 10 Quail in a day and a total of 30 Quail in one season.

Mountain Quail

Though mountain Quail exists in some western States, a few zones are limited to hunting because of the authority’s worry about the Quail populace.

In California, you can hunt both mountain and Gambel’s Quail. Their season runs from mid – September to late January, and you can bag 30 Quail in one season.

In Oregon, you can hunt both mountain Quail. Their season runs from early September to late January, and you can bag 30 Quail in one season. In Washington, you can hunt both mountain Quail. Their season runs from late September to late November, and you can bag 4 Quail in one season.

Chachalaca

Chachalaca, a comparatively small size brown game bird, allowed to be hunted in the State of Texas. The hunting season runs in between early November to late February in counties like Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy. This long tailed bird can be found in the vast area of Latin America and widen its area towards Southern Texas.

Crow

It may not be an attractive game animal for the hunters, but you can consider it a recreational pastime or game. Crow maybe doesn’t look cute or handsome, but they are intelligent by nature, and that is why it can through challenges to the hunter. By nature, the crow will break nests, eat birds eggs, nestlings, and even adult birds if it ever gets a chance. So hunting these predators directly helps the population of harmless duck, dove, waterfowl etc. Furthermore, crow ruins farmer’s crops too.

In a huge number of States, hunting crow is valid, and it is probably because of the above mentioned reason. So you can hunt this game bird in States like Texas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Iowa, and Tennessee etc. in their respective hunting season.

Winter Caribou hunting Alaska

Winter hunting in Alaska is always an unforgettable experience if you know where and what to hunt. Caribou is one of the popular game animals in the State of Alaska. So winter Caribou hunting in Alaska has long practiced tradition in the hunter community.  In general, the hunting season of this animal is between mid-August to December. Though it may area in a different area of the State, so make sure you know the rules and restrictions while you receive the hunting license from “Alaska Department of Fish and Game”. Caribou is a rare big game animal in the US and reportedly only available in Alaska for hunt.

There are other game animals that can be hunted across the country worth mentioning.

There are birds like ruffled grouse, snowy owl, duck etc. Winter goose hunting is also worth saying. You can hunt these birds in from January to mid- February (varies in different States) States like Ontario, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Alaska with prior permission from the State authority.

You can hunt Pigeons in States with no hunting limits whatsoever as they are not considered game animals officially across the US.  

In a small game, some people consider Porcupine hunting as well. You can hunt this small game animal in several places like New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Maine etc.

In a big game, you can consider hunting the musk ox. If you can handle the aggressive cold, then go to Alaska for hunting, and you may trophy this rare game animal.

Conclusion

In most of the States, the State’s department of wildlife hunting authority organizes all the hunting seasons, and winter is one of them. Almost in every state in the US, you can hunt something in winter. But you must follow the hunting policy of any particular State, for example, hunting license, bagging rules, etc. while you go for a hunt to that State.

So I hope no more boringness in winter, get your weapon and go for the kill in the next chilling weather.

Good luck! Have fun!

Merrill Daley
 

Hi, my name is Merrill Daley, a Shooting expert & Part time blogger. My articles were featured on the industries biggest publications, because of the high quality of research. After shooting almost 5 years, I decided to start my own blog Scope Picks.

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