Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.

Do you like small game hunting? It is much fun as it is challenging. Additionally, you can take home good animals that provide good organic meat. Small game hunting will put your hunting skills to the test and requires patience, discipline, planning, and many other skills. In this article, we share skills to help you improve your chances of success with small game hunting.

Small Game Hunting
Small Game Hunting

In recent years there have been over 15 million people with licenses to hunt at any time across the United States. This is a huge amount of experience and knowledge that currently exists in the hunting world. So, how can you tap into that if you want to go small game hunting for yourself?

We have put together ten of the best hunting tips to help you succeed when you next go out on a hunt. Make sure to read them through if you are new, or even if you want to remind yourself of the basics, to stay at the top of your game.

1. Stay Safe

Before you go out, remember to prepare everything you need to remain protected outside. This includes maps, extra supplies, as well as a first aid kit. 

Before you even go out on the trail, let people know where you are going. Give them a map of where you plan to travel and at what point you plan to be there. This way, if you do not check in, they can call a local authority to let them know about a missing person.

When you are outside, also be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to check local weather reports, and understand what to do if you encounter a dangerous animal. Each one of these may save you in the long run.

2. Be Patient

When you are hunting, remember it is not like on TV. Creatures might take a long time, hours, or even days between visits to an area. You might even not be in luck at all and find nothing when you go out, and you need to understand this is a real possibility.

As such, remain calm if things are not going your way. Make sure to stay quiet, and it is much more likely you will see small game around you. Not only will your being quiet be good for your hunt, but it is also very respectful to other hunters who might also be in the area. It means you will not scare their prey away too.

3. Use Calls

This may not be for everyone, but sometimes using a call can mean the difference between finding plenty of game or going home empty-handed. You can often buy effective calls from equipment retailers, and there are many reviews online to help you find one that will work for you. We reviewed the best predator calls that you can read if you are interested in getting predator calls.

Remember to keep them clean, and do not use them too often. Information is available online for when you should use any particular call, as you do not want to scare an animal away.

Tips For Small Game Hunting
Tips For Small Game Hunting

4. Understand the Area

Long before you visit somewhere, look it up online. Mark any map you have with locations you might want to stake out and ensure you know how to leave in the safest manner if necessary. By talking to other hunters, you might even find out some of the secret spots in that area that are best for going to.

5. Research the Prey

While there are many different types of small game available, it is often easy to learn enough about them to stand a good chance of bagging at least one. By understanding the habits and behaviors of them, you can anticipate their actions and plan for them.

Learn their habitats. Not only where they live, but where they are likely to feed too. These facts can allow you to figure out the best places to be.

At the same time, you will need to research how to catch your prey legally. Chances are high that you need a license to catch and/or keep any trophies from a hunt you collect. As such, investigate which small game hunting license you might need and pick one up long in advance to avoid disappointment.

6. Pick Up the Perfect Equipment

Having the right small game hunting equipment can often make your whole process much easier. Look for traps, bows, rifles, or other weapons that suit the game you are trying to find, as well as your personal preferences.

You could investigate trail cameras, drags, or any other useful items including the very bags you will carry them in. For each of these, you can often find retailers or websites to advise you on which are best for your needs.

Small Game Hunting Ideas
Small Game Hunting Ideas

7. Take Care to Be Stealthy

Most small game tends to be very aware of their surroundings and will startle at the slightest noise. As such, wear camouflaged gear that works with the location you will be in, and practice your movement long in advance. Be as quiet and hidden as possible to help bring creatures closer to you.

8. Find Areas to Watch

By searching for things like animal droppings or mud pits, you will discover places your prey likes to mark or spend its time in. This can often help you work out where they have been, how long ago they were there, and if they are likely to return.

9. Practice Beforehand

Whether you are using a weapon or a trap, practice how to use it long in advance of your going out on the hunt. You want to be an expert in setting it up and making good use of it. This will both save you time and keep you safe when using a potentially dangerous weapon or trap.

Ideas For Small Game Hunting
Ideas For Small Game Hunting

10. Use Scent Neutralizers

People smell, it is as simple as that. As such, plenty of products exist to hide this scent from animals. Use this on your gear, your clothing, and even your body to hide what you smell like from animals’ keen senses.

When outside, you can even make sure to approach any game from a direction where the wind will not blow from you to the animal. You can then have assurances your scent will not scare them away.

What is the difference between small game and big game hunting?
Small game hunting relates to hunting animals that weigh less than 40 pounds like squirrels, ducks, pheasants, quails, and doves. Big game hunting, on the other hand, refers to animals that weigh more than 40 pounds like deer, elk, mule deer, and others.
What is the best thing to hunt small game with?
A rifle is the weapon most hunters use for small game hunting.
What caliber is used for small game hunting?
The .22 has been the favorite of small game hunters for a very long time.
What is the easiest big game animal to hunt?
Many hunters state that pronghorn antelope is one of the easiest big game animals to hunt.
What should beginner hunters hunt?
A beginner should do small game hunting to improve his hunting skills and squirrels, ducks, pheasants, raccoons, turkeys, and rabbits will be good targets for a beginner.
What time of day is best for small game hunting?
The best time for small game hunting is early morning.

The Bottom Line

Small game hunting is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. It will test your hunting skills in many different ways and reveal the areas that need to be improved. Additionally, you will need the right hunting gear to be successful with small game hunting.

We have gear for every type of hunt and even some fishing equipment to boot. So, check out our reviews today to learn more about how to make the best use of tools when hunting small game.

You can read the best squirrel hunting tips, the best rabbit hunting tips, and the best turkey hunting tips to improve your hunting skills for small game hunting.