Find the dates for hunting season by contacting the wildlife department for your area. If your state's wildlife department has a website, it may provide the season dates online.
Hunting season dates vary based on the area and the type of game, such as deer, bear, wild turkey, coyote or cottontail rabbits. The dates may also vary based on the hunting equipment used. For example, the Ohio Division of Wildlife has different white-tailed deer hunting season dates for archery, guns and muzzleloaders, as of June 2015. Certain states also have different dates for youth and adult hunting seasons.
Open seasons are specific dates when hunters legally hunt specific animals, while closed seasons are dates when hunters cannot hunt specific animals. Fish and wildlife officials establish these seasons to ensure the animal’s maximum population for the year during open season. Closed seasons protect the species when it's vulnerable, such as during food shortages, cold weather or mating season. If a person hunts an animal during its closed season, law enforcement officials can charge the person with poaching.
States typically require a hunting license to hunt game. It may require separate licenses or permits for hunting specific species. A hunter education course is a standard prerequisite before applying for a hunting license. The state may revoke a hunting license for poaching.