Deadlines for 2012 western big-game hunts
Big-game hunting in North America almost always refers to hunting that area known as “The West.” While there are lots of big game roaming parts of the eastern portion of the continent, it can’t hold a candle to the variety of big-game species and opportunities in the western United States.
The West is home to traditional species like elk, bear, antelope, mule deer and whitetail, as well as exotic species like ibex, oryx and javelina. A big-game hunt in the West provides numerous opportunities to check off that list 29 species of big game that are listed on the Safari Club International’s “North American 29.”
Hunters go on a western big-game hunt for a wide variety of reasons but all of them know that it is an adventure that cannot be entered into lightly. An outfitter can be hired to do all the grunt work but a fair amount of effort must still be exerted by a hunter, and changing conditions can make any routine hunt into a harrowing trip of survival.
States across the West don’t make it easy for nonresidents to hop on a plane or vehicle and drive west for a quick hunt. Permit deadlines, quotas, and license fees make it a hunt not to be entered into lightly. It requires a bit of study, research and navigation of paperwork.
Fortunately, most states have very helpful and informative websites with complete details on how to go about planning and arranging a hunt. Not all of the websites are easy to navigate, but many are improving each year with more information, interactive maps, population reports and quality articles on tactics and trip preparation.
All Western states today require that nonresident hunters possess hunter certification before applying while others require it once a license is officially purchased.
Now is the time to start planning that 2012 big-game hunt. In some states, the window is closing rapidly. Cruise through the information here and then dig deeper on the website of the states you are interested in hunting. From there, determine whether you are going to outfit your own trip or use the services of an outfitter/guide.