Hunting Regulations

Hunting is one of the most regulated sports in America. Each state has hunting rules established to protect both hunter and prey. Many of these regulations place restrictions on some types of weapons, when and where hunting is allowed and the maximum number of animals that can be killed.

Hunting Licenses

Hunting licenses are required in all states and for each type of game. Licenses can be purchased for a day, a week or a full season and must be carried by the hunter at all times. Hunters must have written permission from the owners of any private lands on which they wish to hunt.

Hunting Seasons

Hunting seasons were established to stop the over-hunting of popular types of game. The off-season allows the animals time to reproduce and maintain populations at a healthy level. Each state has set seasons for deer, bear and wild bird hunting that also include separate date ranges in which specific weapons may be used.

Hunting Weapons and Practices

Weapons used for hunting are highly regulated. States allow the use of a longbow, crossbow, handgun, rifle or shotgun, depending on the particular animal being hunted. Automatic rifles, military grade weapons and explosives are banned. Many states have ammunition limitations for hunting certain animals. Bow weapons have similar limitations on pressure weight and arrow type.

Many hunting practices are universally banned. Hunting from within a vehicle or with the aid of a vehicle”s headlights is illegal. Hunting from public roads and hunting with a silencer-equipped firearm are never allowed.

Here are samples of hunting regulations specific to Georgia, Montana and Ohio. Other states have hunting regulations that are variations on these.

Georgia Hunting Regulations

  • A big game license is $8 for residents and $135 for non-residents.
  • A trapping license is required for trapping fur-bearing animals.
  • Licenses are issued by the Department of Natural Resources.
  • Residents may purchase lifetime licenses.
  • The state places size restrictions on all game.
  • The state specifies a hunting season for waterfowl, migratory birds, alligator and large game.

Montana Hunting Regulations

  • A conservation license is a prerequisite for game specific licenses and costs $8 for residents.
  • Applications for licenses can be submitted online, in person or by mail. Some licenses for specific types of game are awarded by special drawing.
  • Licenses are issued by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
  • Montana has separate and specific regulations and licensing for trapping fur-bearing animals.
  • The state specifies hunting seasons and has size restrictions for all game.

Ohio Hunting Regulations

  • A fur taker permit is required for trapping any furbearing animal except a coyote.
  • All first-time hunters must pass a hunter education course prior to obtaining a license.
  • Licenses are issues by the Department of Natural Resources.
  • Minors aged 15 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The state places strict limits on the number of animals bagged per day.

While all states have specific hunting rules, some are more restrictive than others. Montana is very strict about hunting seasons as there are many different types of animals that are hunted there. Georgia is restrictive with regard to the size and age of the animal. New York and California both place strict limits on the types of weapons allowed for hunting.


Georgia Department of Natural Resources (n.d.). Hunting. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the Georgia DNR Web site:

Montana Official State Web Site (n.d.). Hunting Regulations. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the Montana State Web site:

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (2006). Hunting and Trapping. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the Ohio DNR Web site: