Need to find the best National Forest to hunt in?
We asked our friends at the National Forest Foundation to help come up with their list of the top ten National Forests to hunt in, and Communications and Development Associate Hannah Ettema delivered their consensus.
Click through the slideshow to see their recommendations, and leave any more you think were left off the list in the comments below.
Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest in Arizona is home to some spectacular landscapes, not to mention great big game hunting opportunities. The area is mainly roadless and great for on-foot or horseback hunting.
Part of Game Management Unit 7 East, the Peaks Hunt Unit is known for its populations of elk and antelope. The entire region introduces an experience different from normal Arizona hunting, with challenging terrain and weather conditions, plus the need to field dress and carry out any large game that’s harvested.
Daniel Boone National Forest
Kentucky whitetails, turkey and a ton of other game birds are active in Daniel Boone National Forest, and hunters have learned of its above average success rate quickly. Don’t forget about the elk herds in this part of the country as well; even though they don’t come with the panache as a Rocky Mountain elk may, those from this area can get huge.
Fishlake National Forest
Fishlake National Forest offers up a variety of wildlife and gives hunters a chance at trophy elk and deer, along with turkey, upland birds and mountain goat. Predators like cougars are known to dwell in this part of Utah, too.
Flathead National Forest
Flathead National Forest is unique in that it allows for hunting from motorized vehicles used by hunters with disabilities. The locations are limited and certain requirements must be met, but it’s a great way to make sure everyone who wants to hunt in Montana can do so.
Near Tally Lake and Swan Lake seem to be the best areas of the Flathead National Forest.
Huron Manistee National Forest
Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan is where a lot, and we mean a lot, of quality deer live. Like most places, you can’t construct permanent blinds, but we would if we could from what we hear about the area’s herds.
Hunting, trapping and even target shooting are allowed in approved areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forests.
Monogahela National Forest
Deep in the heart of West Virginia lies Monogahela National Forest, and specifically the Williams River, where some world class fishing combines with fantastic hunting opportunities. Keep an eye out for the protected West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel if small game hunting.
Nantahala National Forest
The deer, black bear and wild turkey in the Nantahala National Forest are gaining some notoriety for being great game animals in a great part of the country to hunt in.
Ozark National Forest
Ozark National Forest is a haven for hunters looking for an Arkansas turkey to write home about. Bear, deer and quail are known to frequent the woods here too, and the scenery isn’t too bad either.
Plumas National Forest
Deer hunting in California’s Plumas National Forest makes the case for the Golden State’s best opportunities, especially considering the plentiful areas within the forest to choose from. Don’t forget about bear and duck hunting in these parts.
White River National Forest
If you’re looking fore Colorado elk, this might be the place you finally manage to find and harvest a bull. White River is a beautiful mix of wildflower meadows and rugged mountain cliffs. Test your hunting skills with a trip into White River and you’ll thank yourself afterwards.