WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s not easy to know whether a state’s wild and scenic wilderness will be the right fit for a shooting sports enthusiast, but we have some good clues.
Here are our best guesses for the states that are best-suited for hunting.
North Carolina: The North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NWCF) estimates that more than 40 percent of the country’s wild areas are in the state.
According to the WCF, the North Carolina is home to about 4,000 species of wildlife, including deer, moose, black bears, bobcats, elk and mountain lions.
The WCF has been lobbying to expand the state’s wildlife parks, which currently are only open to hunters and registered wildlife management organizations.
If you’re in the market for a hunting license, the NWCF recommends you go to one of the state park branches.
Tennessee: The Tennessee Wildlife Federation says the state has more than 2,000 miles of wildlife trails, which includes more than 5,000 in the Nashville metropolitan area.
“Wildlife and conservationists in Tennessee have long been recognized as leaders in their respective fields,” said Jennifer Williams, the group’s president and CEO.
“We are thrilled to be working with Tennessee Wildlife to enhance the state and its natural areas for the benefit of wildlife and wildlife-loving citizens.”
The Tennessee Department of Natural Resources also recommends visiting the Tennessee Wildlife Museum in Knoxville.
North Dakota: According to NDSR, there are more than 1,500 wild and woodlands in North Dakota, making the state home to more than 4,300 species of animals.
“In North Dakota the abundance of wildlife is evident in the rich natural habitats that provide ample opportunities for hunting,” said NDSRP’s executive director, Dave Regan.
“North Dakota has proven itself a leader in wildlife management in recent years.
The state’s conservation efforts have been a major driver of wildlife recovery.”
Wyoming: Wyoming’s Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that there are 4,500 species of land animals in the United States, including elk, wild boar, bear, wild sheep and moose.
“Wyoming is a state of nature, where wildlife thrives and is well-served by its natural resources,” said Regan, the WCC’s executive coordinator.
“With over 500,000 acres of pristine, grassy, sagebrush-shaded wilderness in Wyoming, it is an ideal place to hunt for deer, antelope, moas and other wildlife.”
The WCC also recommends visitors to the state be prepared to hunt in designated areas.
South Carolina: There are more in South Carolina than anywhere else in the country, according to the South Carolina Wildlife Management Commission.
The commission says there are about 6,000 native species of wild animals in South South Carolina.
“The wildlife that lives in the mountains, marshes, and forests are the very reason why this state was selected as a wildlife state,” said state wildlife commission director, Tim Brown.
“It is our hope that this list will encourage hunters to visit the state, especially if they’re looking to do something unique.”
The commission also recommends hunting season is in full swing from May through November.
Idaho: The Idaho Fish and Game Department says there is about 3,000 to 4,700 species of native wildlife in the area.
The department’s Wild Life Conservation Districts (WLCDs) and Wild Bird Hunting Areas (WWHA) both recommend hunting in designated wildlife areas.
“I would recommend going to a WLCD and checking out the range,” said Brown, the EWCD’s director.
“You’ll get to experience what the wild life in the region is like, and the variety of wildlife you can find.”
In addition, the state offers hunting seasons during the spring and fall.
New Mexico: New Mexico has more wild wildlife than any other state in the union.
The EWCD has a section called “Nature’s Greatest Hits” where they list the species in New Mexico.
The WLCDs Wild Bird and Deer Areas also provide a good place to check out the wilds in the West.
Nevada: Nevada’s Wildlife Department says it has 2,700 miles of state parks, more than 6,500 wildlife species, and nearly 500,00 acres of wilderness.
“If you’re looking for a good spot to hunt, New Mexico is your state of destination,” said Clark.
“Our state has the largest number of deer in the nation and the largest range of all the states.”
You can see some of the wildest areas in Nevada at the Wild West National Wildlife Refuge, the largest deer range in the world.
“Nevada is known for being a great hunting state and the people who live there make it easy to find a good hunting spot,” Clark said.
“When you go hunting in Nevada, the land is there and you’re surrounded by nature.
It’s a great place to live.”
The state also has some of its