How To Find Public Hunting Land

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How To Find Public Hunting Land

Keep reading to learn some of my tricks on how to find public hunting land.


Finding a place to hunt can be really tough these days, especially if you aren’t fortunate enough to own or lease some private hunting land.  However, public hunting land is another good option that doesn’t cost much to hunt on. While the quantity and quality of public land varies from state to state, the fact remains that there are millions of acres of land all over the United States that you can hunt on, you’ve just got to find it first. Read on to learn how to find public hunting land.

State Wildlife Agencies

One of the first places you should look on your quest for finding good public hunting land is on the web site of your state wildlife agency. Not only will virtually every state wildlife agency provide a list of all state owned public hunting land parcels, but it will also let you know if any special permits are needed or if there are any special seasons that must be followed when hunting on state land. Unfortunately, the quality of information on public land varies from state to state, so you may have to look elsewhere to get all of the information that you need.

After checking out public hunting land administered by your home state, the next place you should look is for land owned administered by the federal government. Fortunately, the web site is a pretty good web site that allows you to search for public hunting land all over the country on land administered by the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management land, and the Bureau of Land Reclamation (among others). In addition to finding good public hunting land, you may also use this web site to find places to fish, camp, or hike as well.

US Fish & Wildlife

When you’re looking for a place to hunt on public land administered by the federal government, don’t forget about national wildlife refuges. The United States Department of Fish & Wildlife administers millions of acres of public hunting land and there may be one near you that you didn’t even know about. Though some wildlife refuges have specific hunting regulations and may require a special hunting permit to use, fortunately, the Department of Fish & Wildlife also runs an excellent web site that is user friendly and provides all of the necessary information in one place.

Powder Hook

Powderhook is a new resource that is dedicated to connecting hunters with good places to hunt. They have a comprehensive directory of public hunting land, as well as private land that may be hunted for a fee, all over the United States. Their idea was to compile all of the available hunting land into one single resource. Though they are still building their list of private land, their list of public hunting land is complete for the most part. All of their listings (public and private) are compiled on a searchable map.


Another method of finding public hunting land is to purchase an overlay for your global positioning system which contains property boundaries. ONXMAPS sells maps for every state in the country that are easy to use and show every piece of public (as well as private) hunting land located in that state. These maps may be used on your computer as well as your GPS and are extremely beneficial if you’re looking for a place to hunt. In addition to showing the exact boundaries (and ownership) of all tracts of land in the state, they also contain the location of many small parcels of public land that aren’t widely known.

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Featured image courtesy of Iowa DNR.

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  1. Chris OBanion June 15, 2015 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Great article! Finding public hunting land can be a challenge in may states. I’m definitely going to look into the ONXMAPS. Ohio has a great network of wildlife areas managed by the state. Here is a link
    Loved the article looking forward to more.

  2. Anonymous May 13, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Great article and info. We did a similar article but missed a lot of what you have.

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