Hunting certain game species in California can be downright tough. When first starting out, it's important to learn the basics of hunting, stalking, spotting and more. Often these lessons are best learned with the easiest animals to hunt. Perfecting the fundamentals of hunting, such as hunter safety and etiquette, is crucial before moving on to tougher depth hunts.
By seeing pictures in history books or on social media, hunters from Daniel Boone to Cameron Hanes can intimidate new hunters who want to dive into the world of the eternal pursuit. One thing to keep in mind that the guy who put that grip and grin on that 140" whitetail was once a new hunter.
Before hunting any of these animals on our list, take the time to find a mentor. This will help develop you as a hunter and ensure you don't practice bad habits. So now let's dive into the easiest animals for beginners to hunt.
By far the most popular among new hunters,Squirrel hunting in Californiaoffers a ton of action and a good chance of success. Depending on how you want to develop as a hunter, you can tailor to your needs when hunting these tree rats.
If you're working on your marksmanship, it's a great way to practice taking a .22 to stalk squirrels. Hunters like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were as famous for their small game shooting as they were for their big game hunting.
Even if you're just looking to boost your confidence and bring home meat for the first time, a .410 shotgun should be your preferred method of take. This is great for younger kids as the margin for error is much greater.
When squirrels come through the woods, even experienced hunters mistake them for a deer or other big game. This makes it incredibly easy to find them. They are also not often frightened by humans. Typically, if you are spotted by a squirrel, they will mark and climb to the nearest tree, often exposing themselves. This is what makes them such an easy animal to hunt for anyone, regardless of their skill level.
Bullfrog hunting is a staple of Southeastern culture. Trapping these slimy creatures in bug-infested swamps on a sticky summer night might not be what some people necessarily call hunting, but ask a Southerner who routinely fights the snakes and leeches for those 2 oz legs and he'll beg to differ.
What makes bullfrogs so enticing to beginners is the excitement and camaraderie. You can also have an extremely effective frog hunt jumping from one cattle pond to another if you have some snakes that fear friends new to the wild.
The ability to catch and release bullfrogs is a great way for someone who wants to ease their way into hunting without a conscience. But if that person wants to bring some food home, frog legs will not disappoint.
Cleaning frog legs is undoubtedly one of the easiest animals to skin. Which is another reason bullfrogs are great for beginners. Give anyone a spotlight and a small net and watch them get hooked on seed hunting forever.
It is important not to actually need a fishing license to take bullfrog in California.
Rabbit hunting in CAis a great activity for new hunters looking for active training with an experienced hunter. The fast-paced nature of the sport is engaging, especially for those who like to watch dogs work. Like squirrel hunting, the number of kill opportunities is what makes this animal easy to hunt for beginners.
A new hunter may not understand the concept of how to sneak, so luckily rabbit hunting can be done with noise. It's a perfect opportunity for someone to learn how to move through the woods with the least amount of noise possible.
Locating rabbits can also be one of the easiest things for a new hunter to learn if they don't want to use dogs.
Finding an area that produced berries in the fall or small nuts in the winter is sure to host some sort of rabbit population. After finding a good rabbit habitat, simply sit nearby a bit hidden and wait for the rabbit to appear. Since rabbits feed all day long, you can go out at any time and be successful.
In the world of wing shooting, these may be the easiest animals to hunt. Not only are they a tremendous flying target, but they are also a slow flying bird. When geese congregate in decoys, they are largely immobile targets.
If you are set up correctly, the distance of your shot can be anywhere from 5 to 50 yards. The easiest shot for a beginner to make at a cupping bird is 25-30 yards, so new hunters keep that in mind. The difficulty level of a goose hunt decreases even more if the party is chasing snow geese.
In an average snow goose hunt, there will be tens of thousands of birds swarming into gun range if you are there. The overpopulation of snow geese has loosened the laws against them, and often tactics are taken to make it easier to kill them.
Practices such as using an unplugged shotgun, buckshot and lead shot are often used. If a new hunter wants to break into the world of wing shooting, this is the easiest bird to do so.
Hunting dove may not be as easy to hit as a cupping goose with a 4-foot wingspan, but the amount of effort it takes to effectively dove hunt is minimal. You can grab a shotgun of any legal gauge, find a cut cornfield, sit on a bucket, and no doubt get a few shots off at some birds.
If you have your own land, you can make your own dove hunting honey hole by broadcasting cracked corn or wheat seed over a small divided plot of land. Almost anything involving pigeon hunting is easy, except, you guessed it,hits the pigeon.
Don't be put off because there will be plenty of opportunities for you to make an effective kill. Another tip for new hunters is to try to find a place that has a barbed wire fence or power line near the field. Since it is very unsafe to shoot pigeons that are on the ground, the best opportunity to take a shot is when they are cupping to land on a fence or power line. This is relative to hunting all birds.
Raccoon hunting is definitely a great experience for novice hunters, although it does require going with someone who has hunted raccoons before. Some see raccoon hunting more as a dog training exercise since they do most of the work.
The actual killing part of the hunt is not believed to be significant. As far as actually dispatching the animal, there are two ways to do it and both are easy for beginners. If the skin will not be preserved, a shotgun will often be used. If the skin is to be harvested, a .22 is used to shoot the animal in the head.
None of these shots will typically be over 30 yards, as you will be shooting them out of whatever tree they decided to climb. The reason raccoons are on this list of the easiest animals to hunt is because the lack of physical effort it requires and the fact that you'll most likely be with someone who knows what's going on.
The racoon season is not open to all of California. clickherto see CDFW regs on raccoons.
Turkey hunting in California can be an easy species to target if done correctly. Just putting on your camo and walking into the woods won't cut it here. But if you follow the rightturkey hunting tactics for california, it can be easier than you think.
To begin with, Turkey can see very well. It is important to wear camo that blends in appropriately. The next thing to remember is that they are not the smartest creature. No need to get fancy with tree stands or stalking. Most turkey hunters will make turkey calls using a variety of calls depending on the season.
Using a shotgun is the preferred method of taking these birds. Whenever possible take the headshot, you'll thank yourself later when the bird is on your table. However, doing this takes practice. Know your gun and the spread at every distance. These are all things that are learned in preparation for your hunt.
Lav din research
When a new hunter decides he or she wants to start pursuing one of these animals on this list, remember that hunting any wild animal is not easy. There is a lifetime of things to learn about hunting any animal on the planet.
The easiest animals to hunt have a simple concept to wrap your head around, but that doesn't take away from the importance of the animal. So if you're a new hunter, do your research on the animal and make sure you're complying with state and federal fish and game laws before pursuing an animal.
After understanding which equipment is best to use for each scenario, you can begin to progress from a new hunter to an experienced hunter. Before long, you'll be the one mentoring someone who was once in your shoes. So learn everything you can so that you can pass on the knowledge to someone else.
Whether you are new to hunting altogether, or are a hunting mentor to a beginner, squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, dove, goose, antelope and bear are the easiest animals to pursue for the novice. The seven animals on this list all find themselves here for various reasons.What is the easiest animal to hunt for beginners? ›
Whether you are new to hunting altogether, or are a hunting mentor to a beginner, squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, dove, goose, antelope and bear are the easiest animals to pursue for the novice. The seven animals on this list all find themselves here for various reasons.What animals need to be hunted in California? ›
- Black Bear.
- Pronghorn Elk.
- Wild Pig.
- California Deer. Columbian Black-tailed Deer. California Mule Deer. Inyo Mule Deer. ...
- Small Game. Rabbits & Varying Hare. Jackrabbit. Tree Squirrel.
- Non-game. Coyote.
- Waterfowl. Black Brant. Coots & Moorhens. Ducks (mallard, pintail, canvasback, redhead, etc.)
- Annual California Hunting License (issued in any prior year)
- Two-day California Nonresident Hunting License (issued after 1999/2000)
- California Hunter Education Certificate.
- Certificate of successful completion of a California-approved hunter education course from any state or province.
Each offer unique challenges and have varying degrees of wariness, but when you look closely at all the big-game species in North America and weigh all the factors required to tie your tag to that animal, I'd vote for the pronghorn antelope as the easiest to hunt.