When most beginners go hunting for the first time, they typically imagine taking down an elk with large antlers or a massive, majestic moose.
Unfortunately, the bigger-sized animals are often not the easiest to hunt, especially for beginners.
The easiest animals to hunt for beginners are rabbits, squirrels, ducks, quail, turkey, and white-tailed deer.
So what makes some animals easier to hunt than others, and why are some better for beginners to hunt?
Why Are Some Animals Easier to Hunt?
The animals listed above are easier to hunt for several reasons.
One reason is simply that they are easy to find. These animals are widespread and are common to see, so you will not have a hard time finding them.
Another reason is due to their general lack of fear of humans. Most of the listed animals live around or see humans daily. These interactions allow them to grow used to humans, so they no longer run away at the first sight, sound, or smell of a human.
These animals are also not nearly as dangerous as other choices. Between a rabbit and a moose, rabbits can rarely cause any real harm to a human, while a moose could kill someone in a matter of minutes. So while a moose may be a more magnificent hunt, it can also be deadly to someone who does not know what they are doing.
Finally, these animals listed are not hard to hunt. They do not need any special tools to find them and can be drawn to you with something like a simple whistle mimicking their calls.
Top 6 Easiest Animals to Hunt
Here are six of the easiest animals to hunt as a beginner.
Depending on where you live, there may be other critters and small animals that are easy to hunt as well.
Rabbits are easy to hunt for beginners due to how easy it is to find one. Rabbits are practically everywhere, so finding one is easier than not finding one.
When a rabbit spots a human, it will usually freeze and will not move, hoping you will not be able to see them. So long as you move slow and careful, then the rabbit will not run away, making for an easy hunt.
Like rabbits, squirrels are virtually everywhere. It is easier to find a squirrel than to not find one. This commonality makes them easy to hunt, and a great choice for beginner hunters.
Once you have found a squirrel, it is a simple matter of doing some careful stalking to catch it in your sights.
Many experienced hunters grew their skills by stalking squirrels, using squirrel calls, and by teaching themselves what to do and what not to do when hunting outdoors. Which can then be used later to catch larger animals.
It is also very rare to be injured by a squirrel, so it is an easy animal to learn the ropes of hunting with.
Ducks are another very common animal. You can find them in most states, usually hanging around ponds or lakes that they swim in and lay their eggs around.
What makes ducks a very beginner-friendly animal hunt is that, alongside living everywhere, ducks can be drawn to you, eliminating the need to track them down. When you use a duck call, you bring them to you, making the hunt much quicker and easier.
When using a duck call, however, you should note that in some areas with a constant stream of hunters, ducks can grow used to the sound of duck calls and no longer respond to them as well. In migration paths or less used hunting areas, the duck call remains extremely effective.
Quail are small pheasant-like birds found in most areas of North America, typically staying in wooded areas or grasslands with places to hide. They are quick-moving birds who are capable of flight but tend to stay on the ground.
These small birds are easy to hunt because they require minimal gear, are generally quite easy to find, and can be a great way to learn how to aim at a flying bird.
Quail are small enough that almost anything can take one down, and while they can be easily startled, this can be a great way to learn how to sneak up on an animal without being heard or seen, without any dangers to the learning process.
Turkey is another example of a common animal that is not very hard to find. While they are not quite as common as others on this list, they are much easier to find than other animals.
Like ducks and other birds, you can also get a turkey call, which will bring the birds to you so there is less tracking and stalking to do. Turkey is not easily startled either, so they will not run away at any slight noise.
After hunting a turkey, you can also keep their meat to eat, which is always a great bonus.
If you go anywhere in North America, you will most likely see multiple white-tailed deer. These deer are incredibly common and live practically everywhere. Most of them lack a fear of humans too, so they do not run away at the first sight of a human.
Most deer, if you do startle them, will choose flight over fight, as they are generally very non-aggressive animals. The main time when a white-tailed deer will be aggressive is if it is a mother with her baby nearby. Otherwise, there are very few chances of injuries while stalking deer.
As a common animal for hunting, there is plenty of gear available for them, as well as plenty of available tutorials and help on how to successfully find, stalk, and hunt a deer. And once you have your deer, you can also freeze and keep their meat for months to come, which can be a great addition to any meal.
Which Animal Should You Hunt?
While it may be more fun to go hunting for elk, moose, or another large animal on your first hunt, the reality is that these animals are hard to find and even harder to shoot. Your hunting gear will also cost more and the overall experience will be more dangerous.
That is why starting with smaller, easier animals is better for beginner hunters, so you can take your time in growing your skills and learning the ropes without having to also worry about being hurt by the animal you are after.
Regardless of your experience level, you should always be careful when hunting, so you and those around you can all stay safe, and remember to have fun and enjoy what you are doing.