Best States For New Hunters

Top 10 States for New Hunters

If you're new to hunting, these are some of the best states where you can your feet wet with your new-found passion.

Lots of new hunters joined the ranks in the past year or two, and it's a logical next step to determine where a hunting trip for a relative beginner would be most productive.

These are the states we feel line up well with the objectives of a new hunter. Namely, they have abundant access to well-populated game species, and they offer reasonable licensing, bag limits, and opportunities to experience the best that American hunting has to offer.


For a legitimate shot at a trophy whitetail, head to Kentucky. The early archery season means deer hunters could tag a velvet buck, but the rut hunting is especially stellar here. OTC tags are affordable, and public hunting opportunities abound. The turkey hunting can be great in Kentucky, too.


The pronghorn antelope population rivals that of humans in Wyoming. To cross another species off your bucket list, head to this beautiful state ripe with hunting opportunity.


OTC non-resident tags and over 1,000 Boone & Crockett bucks on record make Ohio a great place for newbies to get a shot at a monster on public or private land. The archery hunting season spans September through February in Ohio, so bowhunters have plenty of opportunity to DIY it.


Generous bag limits, OTC tags, lots of public land, and long seasons make Oklahoma one of the best hunting states for first-time hunters.


Wisconsin counties dominate the record books for big bucks. New non-resident hunters can pick up a license over the counter or up their odds by booking with one of hundreds of reputable outfitters in the state.


Overwhelmingly dominated by private land, Texas is a great option if you want great hunting opportunities for a variety of species with an outfitter. New hunters will love the chance to witness an incredible amount of wildlife and high success rates.


Kansas is known for the big bucks, but's also a great place to hunt turkeys as well as waterfowl. You'll have to draw a license for whitetail deer hunting as an out-of-stater, but odds for success are high.


Hunt turkeys, upland birds, mule deer, and other big game in Nebraska on vast public ground with minimal hunting pressure via over-the-counter hunting licenses for non-residents.

North Dakota & South Dakota

For bird hunters who are new to the game, the Dakotas are great for waterfowl and upland hunting. Home to arguably the best pheasant hunting in the United States, South Dakota is also home to grouse, quail, and woodcock. North Dakota has the reputation of owning the best duck and goose hunting in the Lower 48. Both states feature tens of thousands of acres of public lands as well as a variety of outfitters for new hunters to choose from.

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