Five Must-Hunt North American Big Game Species

Part of the reason we hunt is to experience the outdoors. We’ve come up with a list of five species that we feel typify the North American hunting experience. Of course, we recommend you hunt as many animals as many times as you can, but if you have limited opportunities, these are the ones you might want to add to your bucket list.

1) The Whitetail Deer

America’s most sought after big-game species has long captured the hearts and dreams of millions of hunters. It’s an easy animal to access due to sheer numbers, but a real trophy whitetail is perhaps the most difficult animal in North America to hunt. It belongs at the top of every list like this one.

2) Rocky Mountain Elk

This subspecies of elk is the most populous, and inhabits a vast amount of geographic space stretching from Kentucky to the southern part of Alaska. These magnificent animals live in beautiful parts of the country, and are difficult to hunt. That being said, elk tags are available in many states or over the counter, and guided hunts can be affordable (depending on location and trophy quality). Elk is a penultimate challenge for the DIY hunter, and a dream of many easterners who might only experience the elk’s bugle once-in-a-lifetime.

3) The Canadian Moose

Yes, it’s smaller than the Alaska-Yukon sub-species, but the Canadian moose inhabits anywhere from farm country to remote wilderness areas. Canadian moose hunts are affordable for most American hunters, and easily accessible to most of the lower-48. Few sights or sounds are as intense as a rutting bull moose, and the trophy is always a jaw-dropper.

4) Black Bear

Black Bear live just about everywhere in North America, and reproduce quickly enough to maintain multiple hunting seasons in nearly every state and province. Black bears are synonymous with thrill and excitement. We’ve all heard stories about encounters with bears, and whether it’s over bait or spot-and-stalk, every hunter should experience the thrill of watching these intelligent animals and harvesting a unique trophy. For a chance at one of the truly big bears, let this trip take you to northern Canada or the islands of southern Alaska.

5) Caribou

All five subspecies of caribou inhabit terrain unfamiliar to the majority of American hunters. The vast expanses of tundra and the majesty of migrating caribou herds are sights that inspire and stay with you long after the hunt. Although caribou herds are struggling (see: wolves), there are still ample opportunities for hunters to experience this incredible adventure. The five subspecies of caribou range from coast to coast just above and below the Arctic Circle, and live in the magnificent mountain ranges of Alaska, the Yukon, and British Columbia, offering hunters a chance to visit some of the wildest and most remote places on earth.

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