Big-game animals that one can hunt in North America include whitetail and mule deer, elk, bison, moose and caribou, in addition to wild hogs, seals and bighorn sheep. Some hunters also pursue large predators such as grey wolves, cougars, bears and alligators. Typical small-game animals include rabbits, hares, porcupines and birds, including ducks, wild turkeys, partridges and quails. Regulations and availability of game vary by jurisdiction, and there are often seasonal restrictions on particular species.
The history of hunting in North America long predates European contact, as various indigenous tribes obtained protein and furs by capturing wild animals for centuries. However, since European contact, firearms have overtaken spears, bows and arrows, traditional traps and buffalo jumps as the primary hunting technology on the continent.
Game animals native to North America include the wild turkey, elk and bison. Others originated overseas, such as the wild hog, sika deer and European brown hare.
Hunting enclosures exist in various parts of the contiguous United States. These facilities are popular among trophy hunters, as they offer greater convenience and increased probability of a kill. However, they have drawn criticism from both animal rights campaigners and hunting ethics advocates who regard "canned" hunts as unfair. The controversy has led many U.S. states to ban captive hunting.