6 Main Types of Hunting

November 11, 2021 4 min read

6 Main Types of Hunting

Hunting is one of America’s favorite pastimes. It allows you to explore the Great Outdoors and discover more of this country’s incredible diversity of wildlife. If you are a novice hunter or just want to change your hunting strategy, there are several different types of hunting, divided according to the game animal and the tools and tactics you use to stalk them.

bow hunting camouflage blind

1. Camouflage Hunting

Camouflage is essential to hunting, allowing you to approach your prey undetected. Part of camouflage is hiding your shape and contrast, but you’ll also need to mask your scent and proceed quietly. Many hunters use blinds — either elevated or on the ground — and wait for deer or other game animals to pass by. This allows the hunter to take the shot from a concealed and safe position. When hunting from a blind, you’ll need to take into account thehunting rules and regulations specific to your state.

elevated hunting blind

Ground vs. Elevated Hunting Blinds

Hunting blinds can be divided into two categories: ground blinds and elevated hunting blinds. Aground blind, such as the GhostBlind Phantom, allows you to lie in wait and observe deer and other animals from a concealed position until you can deliver a clear shot. Consisting of six reflective panels that fold, the 10-lb. Phantom is convenient to transport and set up in the field. This type of hunting blind is ideal for the hunter who wants to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground and sit comfortably in a turkey chair.

Elevated hunting blinds allow you to observe and track your quarry from the safety of an enclosure. Unlike traditional tree stands, elevated hunting blinds have four walls and a roof, protecting you against the elements. They also provide enough space for multiple hunters and your equipment. Regardless of whether you use a ground or elevated blind, both methods can be considered ambush hunting.

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2. Varmint Hunting

Shooting varmints — animal species typically regarded as pests — may not require a license, depending on the state, and the animals can be an inexpensive source of meat. While varmints include small game animals, such as squirrels and rabbits, the term can also apply to feral pigs and some predators, like coyotes, that pose a nuisance to farmers. 

3. Big Game Hunting 

Big game animals can encompass everything from elk and moose to black and brown bear. In Africa, the category also includes the Big Five: the lion, African leopard, black rhinoceros, African bush elephant and African buffalo.

Hunters stalk or ambush big game animals for their meat, horns, antlers, tusks and hides. Weapon selection, caliber and cartridge load are especially important when hunting big game because the animals can pose a significant danger to the hunter if not incapacitated quickly. Heavy, powerful bullets that penetrate deeply are the best choice.

4. Bird Hunting

In the context of hunting, birds fall into two categories: upland birds and waterfowl. Examples of upland birds are pheasants, turkeys, quail and grouse. These birds prefer dry land and seek dense cover. Hunters will often use gun dogs and decoys to find upland birds and retrieve them from the field. Waterfowl are species of birds that have adapted to aquatic life, such as ducks and geese. Bird hunting requires the use of a shotgun firing birdshot, which increases hit probability on aerial targets. The shot size may be regulated by law, including its material composition. In some states, shotgun magazine capacities are also restricted when shooting birds. 

5. Hunting with Dogs

Dogs can track animals better than humans and have been used as hunting partners for millennia. Dogs are typically bred and trained as one of two dog hunting styles: gun dogs and scent hounds.
Gun dogs are retriever breeds that locate prey and flush it out for the hunter to shoot. They also track and retrieve the felled animal after the hunter has taken their shot. 

Scent dogs are trackers. They typically follow scent trails to where the animal is located and bark so the hunter can follow the call to their prey. Tree dogs are also a type of scent dog; they chase prey up a tree and wait underneath until the hunter arrives. Some of the best hunting dog breeds include Labrador Retriever, American Foxhound, Beagle, Boykin Spaniel and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Although these breeds have innate hunting and tracking instincts,they still require extensive training to become accustomed to the hunt’s sounds and smells and learn how to respond to commands. 

6. Bait Hunting

Bait hunting refers to using food to lure prey into strategic positions close to your hunting blind where you can take a clear shot. The practice is banned in several states and heavily regulated in others. You may need a separate baiting license if your state allows the practice. In some states, baiting is restricted to certain times in the season, particular locations and with specific animals. There may also be limits on how much bait you are allowed to leave out. Check your state’s Department of Game and Fish for specific rules and regulations regarding bait hunting. 

While it is an excellent tactic for ensuring a swift, clean kill, there are several drawbacks. Baiting forces numerous deer to congregate in a single place, increasing the risk of contracting and spreading diseases like bovine tuberculosis. This could quickly decimate the population. Baiting too frequently can also cause changes in the animals’ behavior and feeding patterns, leading to a reliance on humans for sustenance. 

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Choose Shadow Hunter Blinds No Matter Your Hunting Style

At Shadow Hunter Blinds, we carry elevated and ground blinds and accessories for any hunting style. Discover the huge range of gear we have to offer or call us for more information on how to outfit your hunting blind for a comfortable, successful hunting trip.